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Sports Then and Now



Do That Many People Really Care About the University of Texas? 4

Posted on January 20, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The Texas Longhorns will get even more exposure in the future following their deal with ESPN.

I don’t mean to sound flip or disrespectful, but I was shocked and bewildered when I heard the news that the University of Texas is partnering with ESPN to create a specific television network that will be “All Longhorns, All the Time.”

While it left some of us scratching our heads, obviously more than one person at ESPN thinks this opportunity is as primed for success as a Texas oil mine because they are going to pay the University $300 million over the next 20 year for the right to help develop, launch and operate the network.

The network will include one exclusive UT football game each year (pretty good bet it won’t be UT-Oklahoma) as well as eight men’s basketball games and women’s basketball games that are not televised elsewhere. The rest of the programming will be a combination of Olympic sports, coaches’ shows for every UT program and other campus programming including visiting speakers, lectures and commencement.

I understand that UT is the largest university in the second most populated state in our wonderful country.  However, I can’t believe there are that many people outside of Texas that are really going to be interested in watching the UT men’s tennis coaches’ show or who will be waiting with baited breath to watch a women’s soccer game on a Thursday evening.

It sounds wonderful if you are one of the 48,000 students at the school, approximately 450,000 alumni, or even the 25 million residents of Texas, but what about the other 283 million people who live in the United States and don’t bleed UT orange?

Because it isn’t even like the athletic programs at Texas are all national powers with high-profile superstars and national championships coming out of their ears.

The national championship won by UT in men’s swimming and diving in 2009-2010 was the first by the university since they claimed the football and women’s indoor track & field during the 2005-2006 school year. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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