I was sitting at the gym Wednesday morning pedaling my ass off on the stationary bike while watching Sports Center and a funny commercial came on the screen. It was obviously not of the professionally produced variety -- just a simple graphic screen with a voice-over imploring (okay, asking) viewers to let their cable network know they "need" the Longhorn Network. The four names on the screen were Comcast, AT&T, Dish Network and DirecTV. Those just so happen to be four of the biggest cable providers in the country, and none of them carry LHN.
It is fair to say that the linchpin in Texas A&M's decision to move to the Southeast Conference, where they will probably be pummeled year after year by teams far superior to them, was the University of Texas's decision to create its own sports network. There is no question that A&M's move to the SEC has helped to literally destroy one of the great rivalries in college sports as well.
All of this for a network that has no major carriers and probably can't fill its lineup for a 24-hour cycle anyway. I mean, there are only so many "behind the scenes" shows you can run on the football team. Sure, they have basketball and baseball, but even those can't fill out a full schedule. Unless they want to sell air time to infomercials (and why would they run shows on a network with no carriers?), LHN is going to be running some scintillating soccer, softball, swimming and, dare I dream it, track and field action.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Is it any wonder every provider has basically told them where they can put their network?
So, it's come to this: The LHN needs your help. They want you to call your provider and tell them you "need" the Longhorn Network. Yes, because everyone needs to have access to college lacrosse at 4 a.m. on a Wednesday -- that is, assuming you are either very lonely or a degenerate gambler who took the over in the 19.5 point line in the UT versus the Simon Fraser Clan match that was played on a high school field (that actually happened, by the way) and desperately want to see if you won 50 bucks.
Just to wrap up: Sent main in-state rival to another conference, destroyed a rivalry that had lasted over 100 years, built a network that none of the major cable providers would carry and begged in locally produced commercials for fans to help.
Way to go, UT. Way to keep that proud tradition alive.