Dear Mr. Yeager,

I’m writing today regarding an idea I’ve shared in jest with your second-in-command, the lovely and talented Ron Bertovich. However please consider this an official proposal into your office. I will gladly spend additional time and buy lunch should you desire more detail.

The concept is as simple as it is ground-breaking: The CAA Basketball New Year’s Bash.

Here’s the deal: the 18-game CAA schedule is daunting for many reasons, not the least of which is sheer logistics. You know as well as I do that the coaches hate the four-in-eight sprints, and that nagging December game.

Let’s alleviate that issue by playing a two games in four days, a season opening hoopapalooza that bridges New Year’s Eve. It brings every CAA team to a single venue to play its first two conference games, together.

Imagine the press. Imagine the parties! Imagine a quiet phone without coaches asking you to find a way around the four-in-eight.

Nobody has done this, and I think it’s high time we broke the mold in terms of scheduling. Look, the Dalai Lama spoke of impermanence a couple weeks ago on his visit to the United States. His lesson was that everything eventually changes in some form. College basketball is not immune to these forces. Who said scheduling has to be a straight SAT-WED-SAT format?

Groundbreaking, I tell you.

We’ll make it fair for the schools. Each team “gives up” one home and one away game. For fun, when the schedule is completed, take the December game and the Monday game in the four game week and put them in our event.

I know the ADs would lament the loss of a home game and its revenue, but let’s look at this from a practical perspective. Each school can offer its alumni and fans parties and events, growing their bases. The revenue from one game versus entrenching your alumni with a boondoggle holiday weekend where alums can entertain their own clients? Zillmer, Roby, and Selig have “Dr.” in their titles, and Teague and Bass surely understand the value of good money. Waddell is a marketing guy for crying out loud. I bet he’s on board within five minutes.

Heck, you can have some sort of recognition event for sponsors, and can you imagine the New Year’s Eve Party!?! You could even award the football champion its trophy at one of the parties (unless it’s Villanova, who currently plays in the Big East Conference. For now.)

But you win in other areas, too.

Let’s put the event in Philadelphia to put an end, once and for all, to all this southern bias nonsense. Don’t you think Bill Coen would be extremely happy heading to Philly in late December instead of the Cable Car Classic?

The market will help with sponsorships. Atlantic City is struggling–what better opportunity than access to busloads of basketball fans?  And there’s Comcast being somewhat based in Philly and all, but imagine the new opportunities with banks and other organizations with more money than brains. I could use a good cheesesteak at the CAA Bash. (Note to DACPack: isn’t Abner’s the best? Or worst?)

I will lend my significant sales weight to the cause. After all, since beginning CAAHoops in 2005 I’ve raked in enough sponsor dollars to finance last night’s Stella. Can you name another CAA basketball blog with that kind of revenue producing ability?

Speaking of Comcast, I know teevee rules the roost, but surely we can find a partner. As mentioned, Philly means Comcast. While it may be heresy on Patterson Avenue, we could surely trade a couple women’s games to get this, no? If not, ESPN3 is beginning to swell.

But here’s that answer: put a VCU/Mason matchup–you know, two Final Four teams–behind Drexel/Delaware for the marquee matchups. It helps embed Drexel in its own city and there’s the YouDee rivalry.

Surely a festive college basketball event trumps the Meineke Car Care Bowl any day. And ESPN somehow televised the Bowl last year, a scintillating matchup between Miami (OH) and Middle Tennessee. Really?

But all that pales in comparison to this: who else has done this?

We always hear the national guys bandy about the need for a “season opening event.” This is that deal, only better. It sets the CAA apart as willing to be experimental, to go a different route to engage its fan base like nobody else has done. So you’re tweeting nowadays. Big deal. As odd as this sounds, there’s nothing groundbreaking about Twitter anymore. It holds nothing to a four day EVENT.

Look, you’ve led this conference for about 348 years in a very distinguished manner. What better legacy to leave before you boat into that great river from which it’s all vacation than to leave your successor in a position of buzzworthy?

I mean, you have more Final Four teams in the past five years than the Big 12. You going to let Beebe beat you to this idea?

So let’s recap:

  • Each team plays two games in Philly, one designated as home and one as away.
  • Lots of parties and celebration.
  • Nobody has done this.
  • Solidifies your legacy.
  • Cures scheduling ills (zipping up coaches traps)
  • More sponsor dollars, more teevee

I close with a statement I mean with all due respect to your tenure and accomplishments, which are unassailable: I need you to sell me on how this is not a good idea, as opposed to me selling you on its merits.

I’m just sayin’.



22 Responses to “A Modest Proposal…”

  1. Shawn Says:

    Great idea, Litos. Of course, it’s shocking for the CAA to do anything in a city besides their beloved downtown Richmond.

  2. rob Says:

    gtb has pocketed over $62 in google adsense revenues. just sayin’. and we’ll use the cash to buy drinks in philly when this thing becomes reality. i love this idea.

  3. Aaron Says:

    This is a brilliant idea. I like everything except for the idea of having it in Philadelphia. I personally would travel anywhere in the country for this event, but I believe having it in Philly decreases the potential fan turnout. Like it or not, the best fan bases in the CAA are with ODU, VCU, Mason, and UNCW. While Drexel also has an excellent fan base, the prospect of losing fans from those other schools would be a huge buzzkill for this event. While Philly would be a fun atmosphere for this thing, I just don’t think it makes sense. Other than that, I am all for this idea!

  4. Darren Says:

    Here here. Seconded.

  5. Mike - ODU Says:

    It’s certainly an interesting idea. Would it be a Thursday – Sunday deal?

  6. mlitos Says:

    @ Mike–The calendar dictates days of the week. I imagine Dec 30 to Jan 2 or Dec 29 to Jan 1 will suffice.

    @Aaron–Balto works. I just like Philly and want an excuse to get there.

    @rob (and The Commish)–not even one hour and I’ve scrounged up $62 in entertainment sponsorship. Thank you kind sir for being first. It will contain perks.

    @Shawn–it must be a terrible burden to be persecuted in a fun loving blog post.

  7. burythemfast Says:

    I absolutely love this idea. I also love it being in Philly. But, being a Philadelphian, I have to implore you: it’s a “cheesesteak,” Litos, not a “Philly cheese steak”!

  8. mlitos Says:

    So edited to remove my southernness. Cheesesteak it is.

  9. Mark S. Says:

    Sign me up. Now all you need is a catchy name and a way to crown one team the “champion” of this event.

  10. Chris K. Says:

    Very interesting idea. I say take it out of Philly and move it to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. That time of year, the city would welcome an event like this with open arms. Could also make New Year’s pretty interesting. Gives people a place to throw a party.

  11. Hugh Akston Says:

    Sounds like a great idea, but would the programs want to give up the revenue of a lost home game?

    I’m betting all those sponsorship dollars you’re seeing would end up in the league coffers rather then the schools’. Even if it is split w/the schools, is it split evenly? Towson or Delaware might like that, but the Big 3 (Mason, VCU, ODU) actually sell tickets and concessions for their games.

  12. mlitos Says:

    @Hugh–this is new territory so I’m making presumptions, but I’d wager it goes to the schools evenly.

    Most folks don’t realize the CAA as a conference is a non-profit. The NCAA automatic bid credit money is used as the conference’s operating budget. Once Mason and VCU got past the first round, every dollar goes to the schools to be divided and it doesn’t impact the bottom line of the conference entity.

    My guess is that the CAA would take all revenue, pay the bills, and direct overages to the schools.

  13. Pav Says:

    VCU/ODU/GMU lose a lot more money by giving up a home game than Towson and Drexel. I think you would have trouble getting their AD’s to agree to it, unless the sponsorship money was great enough to offset their loss (which would in turn be a huge bonus for Towson).

    An entertaining idea though.

  14. Pete (the ODU version) Says:

    Instead of “Jammin’ on the James” perhaps we can call it “Dishin’ on the Delaware”.

    No? Then how ’bout “Scorin’ on the Schuykill”?

    These suggestions, b.t.w., come free of charge so as not to put a dent in your sponsorship funds.

  15. Joe Says:

    This makes entirely too much sense to work. Hypothetically where in Philly do you suggest playing this? If played in Baltimore, the 1st Mariner Arena is a plauisble option. Hopefully the northern schools would consider Baltimore northern enough to eliminate the “southern biasness.”

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  17. warpig Says:

    i think this is a bad idea. nobody in philly cares about the caa so you’re greatly exaggerating the media exposure and parties. you could argue the games would be a great way to advertise the caa brand and finally make the league less virginia-centric…but it would have to survive at least 2-3 years of nobody showing up. i’d love to see va fans prove they’re willing to travel though.

    i also see this as a half-assed effort to appease northern fans. don’t give me some meaningless two day jamboree and try to say you’re being more inclusive and fair to the northern teams. give me the caa tournament so we can find out what difference the coliseum makes for vcu.

  18. Shawn Says:

    Oh, Litos…your always-entertaining posts are not persecution. Plus, fans have just as much opportunity to get murdered/mugged/beaten in downtown Philly as downtown Richmond. We’re both Southerners…let’s try to get along, my fellow lover of CAA hoops.

  19. Greg Says:

    I love the idea, however getting television coverage is a key. For a large amount of exposure on one of ESPN’s family of networks, I am sure even the big dogs at VCU & ODU would give up a home game.

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