Josh Klingler is the co-host and update anchor of "Fescoe in the Morning," heard weekdays 6a-9a on 610 Sports Radio. Perhaps the busiest sports personality in Kansas City, "Kling" also hosts pregame and postgame for KU Football and Men's Basketball broadcasts on the Jayhawk Radio Network and does morning sports updates on News Radio 980 KMBZ. He brings you his insight each Thursday on 610sports.com
About a year ago at this time I asked then-Athletic Director Lew Perkins of Kansas what 'long term' meant in terms of the Big 12 conference? Was it three years? Five? One football season? He could not define it but it seemed everyone remaining in the ten team Big 12 could live with the terms they'd agreed to to keep the conference intact. But now?
It was perceived that everyone sold their soul to Texas to keep the Big 12 together and under those terms teams would be allowed to pursue their own television networks and keep their own television dollars. So Texas did. (Does a network exist if you can't see it? Another topic for another blog!) Other schools may have talked about the feasibility of it, but only Texas could make it happen. This was not a surprise. Would it have been better if the entire league had it's own channel? Yes (except for Texas). But apparently this couldn't be pulled off.
So knowing that Texas could and would pull this off, why the uproar of jealously? High school football game broadcasts have really seemed to set off the latest shockwave. Did the other schools not see this coming? High school football broadcasts in Texas? Nah, there's no popularity $$ there. Did they really expect the Longhorn Network to fill it's broadcast day with “Tristan Thompson: The Season” and “Cedric Benson's Summer House”? They shouldn't have.
To steal from one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Instead of veiled threats of bolting to other conferences it's time to band together and put on a channel. It may actually take some of your own money to get it started, which seems to be a lot to ask, but can't nine schools or some of the nine put on their own show? Or how about regional networks – Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas Tech on one, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on another, and Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Iowa State on another? A network with the best of the Jayhawks, Wildcats and Tigers? I'd watch that. Of course it's not my money footing the bill.