It's not often that we at The Rivalry, Esq. choose to patronize the publicity vehicles ESPN.com invents on a yearly basis to stimulate the culture of off-season. I've been politely ignoring their most recent brainchild -- a comprehensive search to identify Title Town, USA -- since the contest was announced on Sports Center in the spring.
But, after it was made clear that the honor would be both vertically and horizontally integrated, extending into all levels and facets of athletics, I was intrigued. A Democratic process that pits the most polished professional sports cities against the country Friday night lights crowd -- capstoned by a traveling interview committee broadcasting from each locale is hard to pass up.
"I'm surprised, slightly humored, and fully anticipating Graham's outrage at the fact that his Wolverines are only given credit for 3 National Titles (the school claims 10), while the Buckeyes get 7 (incidentally the exact number the school claims)."
You've got to hand it to ESPN, they've put their money where their mouth is. The research, and production value of each edition is laudable, making the search (and the ultimate selection) at least as relevant as the MTV Music Video Awards.
So, in honor of Monday's grand finale, here are the broadcasts that originally aired live from two places close to our hearts: Columbus and Ann Arbor.
If the raw esteem of watching these doesn't absolutely rivet you, you might have accidentally clicked on Carson Palmers' 2007 Post-Season Highlight reel.
A few first blush observations:
1. I'm impressed that ESPN diversified the Columbus sports-scape by firmly exploring our link to Jack Nicklaus and Jesse Owens.
2. I'm surprised, slightly humored, and fully anticipating Graham's outrage at the fact that his Wolverines are only given credit for 3 National Titles in football (the school claims 10), while the Buckeyes get 7 (incidentally the exact number Ohio State claims).
So, what do you think? Do either Columbus or Ann Arbor deserve the nod?