Yesterday was to be a glorious day of college hoops especially for the NBC Sports Network. Unfortunately for them, two of their “Aircraft Carrier Classics” were cancelled due to condensation making the hardwood unplayable for players. The Ohio State Buckeyes against the Marquette Golden Eagles as well as the Florida Gators vs. the Georgetown Hoyas were cancelled.
So imagine how mad you were, considering you were all pumped up for opening day, that two marquee games were both cancelled. Now times that by a bazillion and that’s how the folks at NBC Sports likely felt. Not that the weather was something they could control but the factors of playing in cold weather should have been anticipated.
I’m no meteorologist but even I know that playing in 50 degrees or less with humidity can cause some things to get moist. However I’m not saying that these games shouldn’t have been scheduled but probably jotted down to start earlier in the day or in warmer climates. The execs at NBC are smart so I’m assuming a lot of these “location” factors were out of their hands.
But a sad fact now looms over the world of college hoops, the end of “Carrier” games as we know it. While it’s a solid way to support our troops and do something different for the sport, there’s no way the NCAA can allow condensation to spoil the opening day of the season.
The blame here isn’t really on anyone. The most negative impact is being felt by NBC, they’ve been making a strong sports network push, who has likely lost a lot of money in advertising and revenue. The troops lost as well, not getting a game they wanted and ruining a night off.
I guess the question coming is what’s next for opening day games? The “Carrier” games were fun to look at, good support for our troops, and a general nice novelty to kick off the season. I doubt anything can replace all of those aspects that games at sea brought.
Who knows what’s next. Possibly a game on the roof of a skyscraper, an exhibition game at Ruckers Park, or even a game on a plane.
I can see it now. Monday Night Football has a fancy intro and so can the “Game on a Plane”. Samuel L. Jackson opens it up by saying “Enough is enough. I’ve had it with these mother “expletive” student-athletes on the mother “expletive” plane”. Followed by some awesome underground pop-music.
Joe covers the Big East for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone