‘Research’ can mean a lot of things
“Hey guys, I’ve come up with a new mnemonic for remembering which teams are in the Leaders division. Ready? Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.” — A joke we have been working on, to no avail
While we were raised on one team and own many expensive hooded sweatshirts (and one spacey t-shirt) dedicated to that team’s supremacy, we are professional polytheists when it comes to college football. We have favorite teams in every conference, whose good fortune cheers us and faceplants sadden our days. We want the best for the best sport. We are also blessed with almost superhuman strength when it comes to liking dumb things ironically, but you guys: We are utterly unable to get on board with this “Leaders & Legends” thing the Increasingly Inaccurately Named Big Ten continues to insist is A Thing, a notoriously ill-conceived branding attempt we are now all apparently stuck with.
Our favorite pull quote from that Tribune report, and it’s not close:
The Big Ten plans to “work harder to help fans understand why the names were chosen” and “understand who is in which division.”
Now you know the exact percentage of people who understand anything about anything. It’s [33.333 - [haters]].
It was a diabolically shrewd plan on the part of Jim Delany and his ilk, when you think about it: Wait a year for the conference faithful to become inured to the idea, then toss out some “research” (conducted by a firm with a name straight out of a DOS game and that, as alert reader J. Clark points out, misspells “analysis” in a graphic on its front page) to prop up the campaign and count on inertia to do the rest. Plus, they already had all this stationery made.
Because it is February after Signing Day and we have nothing better to do, we conducted some highly unscientific “research” of our own. Here is a representative sample of tweets we gathered last week from a cursory Twitter search of “Leaders + Legends;” look for yourselves if you like and see if the winds have shifted any since then.
We then reached out to B1G readers on our personal and work Twitter accounts, asking for their thoughts. Their responses ranged all the way from outright hostility to grim resolution. A representative selection, presented in descending order:
That the B1G is investigating social media unrest by telephone is perhaps the most B1G thing ever, but all is not lost: Public relations, like football, is a game of inches.
Better and better.