First of all, the unfortunate news for tonight’s college football schedule is that ESPN plans to shove Aaron Judge chasing the “home run record” down everyone’s throats and show live cut-ins to his at bats during college football games.
If you follow the AoG Twitter account, you’ve probably heard my thoughts on this, but to sum up:
- If you’re old enough to remember the summer of 1998, the McGwire/Sosa chase was organically a big deal, whereas this feels entirely forced like ESPN is trying to make people care about it.
- Part of this is because Judge plays for the Yankees, part of it is because this just isn’t coming off as something that non-Yankees fans care about.
- ESPN is largely saying without saying that Maris’s 61 is the real record and the six seasons (which all happened to occur from 1998-2001, a time period when MLB was notably pretending that steroids weren’t a problem) simply don’t count, but they can somehow pretend this is a real record simply because Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa all happened to play for National League teams.
- What ESPN is doing would have been more appropriate in 1998, when even people who really cared might not be able to watch the game, than in 2022, when anyone who cares about this can definitely already watch it.
- Yes, guys in the 1970s used amphetamines. Also: MLB only had one 50-homer season between 1961 and 1990.
- Has anyone noticed how many NFL and college football passing records have been shattered in the last decade? Why do we not insist on putting an asterisk based on the fact that the NFL basically made it against the rules to play pass defense?
- The more that ESPN insists that this is great and historic, the more hollow it feels.
- There is one good thing that has come out of this, and it has been to remind everyone that the Yankees were the true evil. What, you thought it was the Astros? Oh, you sweet summer children.
Anyway, on to the games.
Tulane at Houston (6:00 PM CT, ESPN): Hey, look, an SEC-vs.-SWC matchup!
UTSA at Middle Tennessee (6:30 PM CT, CBS Sports): Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Middle drilled Miami and then lost to UTSA at home.
San Diego State at Boise State (7:00 PM CT, FS1): Sounds fun, will actually be ass.
Washington at UCLA (9:30 PM CT, ESPN): The game of the night. Also, Pac-12 After Dark.
New Mexico at UNLV (10:00 PM CT, CBS Sports): Somehow, UNLV is 3-1?