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Jim Delany defends “Legends” and “Leaders”; crickets still chirping

Jim Delany

Rick Reilly once wrote a feature with the lead, “Evel Knievel tried to jump the Snake River Canyon. David Copperfield tried to make 747s disappear. I’m going to try to defend Lane Kiffin.”

Similarly, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is defending the conference’s decision to name their newly-created divisions “Legends” and “Leaders”, which as you might have read, weren’t exactly warmly received by … well … anyone.

The defense will fall on deaf ears. In fact, the backlash to the names could be measured as a couple of torches short of a blood-thirsty mob barreling in on Delany’s hilltop castle.

But the commissioner is confident in the decision.

“If people don’t embrace it [the divisional names] in the first hour, then maybe after 24-36 hours … or in a couple of years,” Delany pointed out. “Any time you have something new, it takes some getting used to.”

According to the article via the Chicago Tribune, “Geographical names such as “Great Lakes” and “Great Plains” would not have been accurate. Delany said league officials felt that names such as “Hayes” and “Schembechler” or “Grange” and “Griffin” would not have been “inclusive” to all 12 schools.”

Naming the divisions East and West would have been fine, but as we’re sure you’ve guessed by now, subtlety isn’t a part of the Big Ten mantra.

Delany also defended the new Big Ten logo, which received a similar stamp of (dis)approval.

“Every one of the professionals we interviewed from the West Coast to New York said we needed to move beyond that,” Delany stated. “The notion was that it distracts. The ’11’ was seen as transition, a little bit of a gimmick. It’s no longer about the number. It’s about the values and characteristics that the schools represent.”

“We’ve been down that road before. The (Big Ten) Icons created a lot of controversies on campuses. And when I’ve tried to develop a Big Ten-type Hall of Fame, (school officials) ask: ‘How many will I have? Who goes in first?’ I know us. I think what we did was right.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what Delany says to justify the decision. Right now, the names and logos are a hot (and laughable) topic. In time, though, they will become part of the lingo and people will either forget about them, or the whole situation won’t be such a big deal. 

Still, it doesn’t behoove Delany or the Big Ten to shove superiority and tradition down anyone’s throat.

That’s the SEC’s job.

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13 Responses to “Jim Delany defends “Legends” and “Leaders”; crickets still chirping”
  1. bamasucks says: Dec 15, 2010 10:22 PM

    why won’t Notre Dame join the Big 10/11/12? with their arrogance and irrelevance the last 20 years, it seems like they’d love to have a commissioner like Jim Delany.

  2. rick1922 says: Dec 15, 2010 10:35 PM

    Jim Delany is a moron if we don;t like now what makes him think anyone will like it in 3 or 4 years.

  3. Celsior says: Dec 15, 2010 10:46 PM

    What a joke of a conference. It cannot even get a logo or division names right. Talented players will go to ND, SEC schools, or anywhere where the conference can actually count to ten (or eleven or twelve).

  4. stealthjunk says: Dec 15, 2010 11:37 PM

    Ben, great choice of picture! I laughed my ass off when I saw that (though I must admit this Delaney idiot was making me chuckle first).

  5. Deb says: Dec 16, 2010 12:21 AM

    All the professionals he consulted from the West Coast to New York said they needed to redesign the logo. Okay … professional what? Please don’t say professional designers. Ask professional designers whether you should change a logo, and they’re going to say You Betcha! in hopes of getting the contract.

    The new logo is … sky blue and has an unexplained numeral one in the middle of it. I know why it’s there, but at the same time, it’s illogical. Leaders and Legends sounds like the ballrooms in a country club. And the award names sound as though they were chosen by someone suffering from a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    In time, people will get used to the logo. I don’t buy SEC-themed material; I buy Alabama merchandise. They’ll eventually have fun laughing about their Leaders and Legends. But they are never gonna call those awards by their given names. The person who came up with those should never be given another responsible task.

    Delany might need a long rest, too.

  6. lostdupree says: Dec 16, 2010 1:16 AM


  7. ragtag61 says: Dec 16, 2010 8:32 AM

    The Big Ten should rethink their divisions” names. Delaney saying “…maybe after 24-36 hours … or in a couple of years…” is the same as saying that he could not care less what the fans think.

  8. 3RiversGuy says: Dec 16, 2010 8:59 AM

    Logo… Legends… Leaders… Lame.

  9. scardino says: Dec 16, 2010 12:59 PM

    “But they are never gonna call those awards by their given names.”
    – Deb

    This. People will eventually settle with the misfit name, the logo, and even the division names. Most will not be able to remember the names of the awards.

  10. tedintx says: Dec 16, 2010 1:03 PM

    Sign the petition to change the names!

  11. pokerhawk says: Dec 16, 2010 2:00 PM

    If Delaney thinks people will come around on these names then maybe it’s time for him to retire. Might as well named them Dumb and Dumber. But enough big 10 bashing, when does the bashing of the big east still being called the big east with TCU joining begin?

  12. rick1922 says: Dec 16, 2010 3:40 PM

    Delaney and the group he hired to come up with this name and logo are Dumb and Dumber Delaney as[ DUMBER].

  13. michaelmoser01 says: Dec 16, 2010 5:52 PM


    nicely done..

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