No one ever liked the Big Ten's division names for a lot of reasons. The divisions were not totally geographically aligned, they were hard to remember, and they were strive-y management-speak in a place where "East" and "West" would have done just fine. "Leaders and Legends" are rooms at a country club, or maybe the name of a collection of expensive pens. They are not football divisions, and now never will be again.
No one liked them from the start, a development that surprised only conference commissioner Jim Delany when the Big Ten unveiled the rebrand in 2010. Not that Delany was going to yank the names immediately, or not give them a chance to survive:
"We want to breathe a little bit," Delany said. "I don't think you make a judgment in 48 hours or 72 hours. Eventually we're going to have to address the issue of whether or not it's sustainable, but I don't think that's an issue for today."
Bad news traditionally waits until late Friday to break, but the Big Ten may have set a new standard for the entire practice of newsdumping as we know it this past Friday. The Big Ten decided last week that the "Leaders and Legends" debacle had run its course, and waited to leak the news not only late on a Friday, but did so about a half hour after the capture of Dzokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, Massachusetts.
You know: a moment when the entire country was glued to the television watching the biggest American manhunt in recent history. That's when the Big Ten let people know they were changing their mind. Coincidental or not, that is a truly legendary burial of the message, Jim Delany: miles down the mineshaft, and interred so deeply it probably got the bends when it finally reached the surface.
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