Apparently, E. Gordon Gee isn’t the only member of the Big Ten who enjoys making a mockery of himself and the institution he represents. In fact, it appears the whole conference enjoys basking in the knowledge that they will be a laughingstock off the field for at least the next year.
The Big Ten announced in mid-December that the names of its two six-team divisions would be (giggle) “Leaders” and (chuckle) “Legends” (rotflmao). Rightly so, the conference was eviscerated for their insufferable and pretentious choice of names. So much so, in fact, that commissioner Jim Delany acknowledged less than a week later that the fan and media reaction was “surprising” and “humbling”.
Not humbling enough for a change, however.
A Big Ten spokesperson told Brett McMurphy of AOL Fanhouse Thursday that the conference will revisit the division names after the football season. For now, however, the league fully intends to walk around with a “kick me” sign taped firmly to their collective backs.
“Short term there is no plan to change,” assistant commissioner Scott Chipman said. “They will definitely be utilized for the 2011 football season. It would be impossible to measure their sustainability without using them as they were intended to be used. But like any of our branding or marketing efforts, we will continuously review all aspects, conduct market research, and test sustainability.”
Regardless of whether they are used as intended, we can measure the sustainability of “Leaders” and “Legends” right now: they’re not. And it’s laughable for the conference to turn a blind eye to that fact.
We don’t know what’s more embarrassing, the names themselves or the conference’s stubborn refusal to admit a mistake and move on from it.