For much of the past two centuries, “The South will rise again” has been a favorite phrase/threat/promise of the sort of people who still call the Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.” Haughty northerners treated such pronouncements with a mix of pity and disdain for our gauche Southern cousins, but we certainly never took them seriously. What, were they going to load up their pickup trucks full of shotguns and bourbon and come raid Chicago? We thought not, old chaps.
(Photo credit: C’lay Travis)
But of course, as with most things in life, we were wrong. The South is rising again, and soon they will rule us all. They are taking over the country bit by bit…not by musket, alcohol, or fried foodstuffs as one might expect, but by college football. It’s ESS-EEE-SEE speed, and it’s coming to a cold-weather city near you.
Over the past few years, major and mid-major conferences alike have started their own sports networks, capitalizing on increased channel capacity and increasing demand for round-the-clock sports coverage. Starting this fall, the SEC is doing the same…but because the South does college football bigger and better than everyone else, the SEC Network will be an ESPN production. And according to AL.COM (via DR. SATURDAY), when it comes to college football, SEC and ESPN have some pretty lofty goals:
The SEC wasn’t kidding when it said it would land national affiliates for its syndicated football games. Who needs to own your own network when you’ve got this type exposure, in addition to ESPN and CBS?
So far, ESPN Regional Television has landed SEC affiliates in non-SEC cities such as Phoenix; Wichita, Kansas; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Oklahoma City; Pittsburgh; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; and San Antonio. Still on the radar: Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and New York.
That’s right, you’ll soon be able to watch Mississippi State take on Kentucky in your New York City penthouse. Globalization is a crazy thing, isn’t it? Interestingly, the SEC seems to have its eye squarely on other conference’s major cities. For all the bashing that people do about the South’s provincialism, the SEC knows that college football is truly a national business - and they’re going to be the first to cash in. It’s the SEC’s world, sometimes other conferences are just allowed to play in it.