Let’s be honest, last month when the expected announcement was finally made that ESPN and the SEC had joined forces to create a 24-hour network dedicated to the power conference that would sit in place for 20 years, it solidified the status of the southern staple as the dominant force that it is. Some people liked it, while others didn’t. If you are one to side with the latter, then you need to face reality like the rest of us.
The SEC has become its own brand. Winning seven straight national championships tends to kind of separate you from the rest of the pack. Now, with that being said, anything in this world that is its own brand, needs a face–a torchbearer, so to speak.
Many would argue that Alabama head coach Nick Saban is already that man. Okay, that may be correct in some way. But he’s still just a coach. There’s no set guarantee that he’ll be at Alabama for the next 20 years or so. Plus, he keeps himself so wrapped up in his work and is such a private human being to begin with, he’s not going to be a daily fixture on the network.
No, No. There is only one human being equipped with the talent to carry the torch for the new network on a consistent basis. And today, ESPN made an uncharacteristically smart move by locking that man into the project, as many expected.
Today, the “Worldwide Leader” announced that they have secured the services of Mr. Paul Finebaum. Yes, as anticipated, the ever-controversial Birmingham radio host will be a part of the television conglomerate that will be dedicated to the conference that he loves so dearly.
In what is described as a “multi-tiered” deal, Finebaum will have his radio show broadcast in syndication, as well as be involved with a slew of other ventures on the network. This was a move that needed to be done, and the network–as well as all of us as a consumer–will be better for it.
Those who are familiar with the work of the host are no doubt excited to see how the culture of his show will translate to an entire nation who aren’t, especially those of us up here in the northern tier of the country. It’s no secret that the north here isn’t exactly the hotbed for college football that the south is, and I can confirm after a brief poll of the area today, not many people have the faintest clue who he is.
My response: You’re going to soon, and you’re going to enjoy every second of it.
Well, actually with this being B1G country, they actually might not. But still, when Finebaum begins to explain the irrelevancy of the Big Ten as seen through his eyes, the reaction will be enjoyable to watch, at least.
But, that’s what the man is great at creating, controversy. Whether he does it on purpose or whether he’s just a magnet for it, he creates a buzz no matter what. And, that’s what this network needed to appeal the masses.
The ‘Voice of the SEC’ will now become the ‘Face of the SEC.’
With that being said, it’s now time for me to prove my own self wrong when I say these words I never thought I’d hear spew out of my mouth–Well done, ESPN.