I have to hand it to Texas Tech. They are standing strong against ESPN and the now failing network lhn. For those of you who do not know, lhn is the “longhorn network,” a television network started by ESPN that was to cover the texas longhorns exclusively. In other words, 24 hours of longhorn coverage 7 days a week. (Sounds like purgatory to me!) The idea was to market this o so wonderful brand of t.u. to the nation, sort of like NBC did with Notre Dame.
The problem for ESPN is that they didn’t realize the resolve of other schools in the great state of Texas. The resolve is so great that the alumni for those schools called up their local cable networks and told them that if they carried lhn at all, they would go and find another provider. To this date, only two cable networks are providing lhn, and the network is dying a quick death (not quick enough as far as I’m concerned).
The lhn was the straw the broke the camel’s back concerning Texas A&M, and the reason they left the Big 12 conference for the SEC. The problem was that Dan Beebe, then chairman of the Big 12, would bend over backwards to do what was necessary to make t.u. happy. This was why Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska all left the Big 12 as well. The rest of the schools were simply pawns in t.u.’s quest to exalt itself.
Until recently at least. In an attempt to keep the lhn alive, ESPN is trying to designate the network as a regular ESPN platform sort of like ESPN2, or ESPNU in order to expand coverage. They have added football games from the Western Athletic Conference in order to do this because there just isn’t enough t.u. to fill 24 hours of programming for even the most avid t.u. fan.
It seems that one of the games that the lhn wants to broadcast is the Texas Tech game with Texas State University, which is a member of the WAC. When Texas Tech learned of the possibility of it being aired on the lhn, they stated that they would cancel the game and pay the buyout costs rather than appear on the lhn. Red Raider Sports reports:
ESPN announced earlier this month that the game would be carried on one of its platforms, but did not specify which.
Tech learned of this possibility several days ago, and according to the source, is “adamantly opposed to playing on the Longhorn Network” and is “putting serious consideration into canceling the game and playing an 11 game schedule” this fall.
“We are extremely disappointed,” the source told RRS. “Our hope is that the Texas State game will be played on a primary ESPN platform.”
Can you see some of the passion that is dooming the lhn? Tech would rather pay the buyout costs than do anything that would aid and abet the lhn in it’s survival. What do you bet that there were quite a few Red Raiders calling their cable companies, along with Aggies, Sooners, Cowboys, Bears, Cougars, Horned Frogs, Mustangs, and others telling them “no lhn!”
That is because we know the diseased underbelly known as t.u. We know how their recruiters will badmouth other schools to prospective recruits. We know the giant-sized egos down at that junior college in Austin who think the entire Big 12 exists for the purpose of exalting t.u. We know how they believe we should just bow down in humble compliance with the demands of their athletic department. We also know we are not going to. Nothing would say this more than the failure of the lhn.
I’m glad Texas Tech is standing strong against the lhn, just as I rejoice that A&M bolted the Big 12 for the SEC. Hopefully, the Big 12 will become a thing of the past in the future and t.u. can have their ultimate desire, to become independent like Notre Dame, and end up with the same record. It is sad that schools like TCU and OU are nothing more than canon fodder for the egos in Austin. May the canon fodder humble those involved with t.u. and the ill-advised lhn.