Hey, internet, remember Leaders & Legends? Those hysterically ill-advised titles the Increasingly Inaccurately-Named Big Ten picked out for its sparkly new divisions, and proudly presented to a horrified populace? They may be toast already thanks to a nationwide outcry against things having stupid names. For a conference whose commissioner is always so very quick to crow on about high academic standards, it's becoming painfully, ticklingly clear they really didn't think this one through (heinous autoplaying ad warning at the link):
"We've had enough experience with names and expansion and development of divisions that we know that you rarely get a 90 percent approval rating," Delany told WGN AM-720 in Chicago. "But to get a 90 percent non-approval rating was really surprising."
Wait. WAIT. So they did think this through, and that's what they ended up with? To quote a friend of the program, "What's amazing isn't that the Big Ten division names sucked, it's that the Big Ten thought the names didn't suck."
And their proposed course of action will somehow make you like Jim Delany even less. Trust me, it's possible:
"We’re still listening and trying to figure things out," Delany said in the interview. "We'll probably make an assessment about whether or not it’s sustainable. We’ll try to do a little education, let it breathe a bit and then probably revisit it after the first of the year."
Yes, by all means, let's subject this to a sustainability evaluation, like it's a delicate marshland. Or "let it breathe," because the Big Ten is also a fine merlot. Let's decant these names by the fireside, swirl them around in expensive crystal, and get nasty on a bearskin rug holding a jar of Ro-Tel in its mouth. I defy the entire internet to find one person not employed by the conference who thinks this is a bang-up idea.
Innuendoes aside, it's the too-casual implication of "a little education" that really gives us pause. Are we about to be treated to a PR campaign in support of these names? And would this serve any purpose but to further entrench the detractors? And isn't it ominously clear now that this is all leading to the conference being renamed THE LAYDYHAWKE EMPIRE, in honor of the 1985 Richard Donner film on which Jim Delany has clearly modeled his life (he's the Rutger Hauer character, and don't even act like you don't see it)? When that cold day comes, internet, remember you were warned.