Skip to comments.Napier Brings It Home For Uconn
Posted on 04/08/2014 4:13:00 AM PDT by Biggirl
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Shabazz Napier walked slowly through the hallway of the stadium - the tears still drying, the twine from the cut-down net still hanging around his neck.
"Bittersweet. Bittersweet. Bittersweet," he said, over and over again.
Bitter because it's over. Sweet because UConn won it all after being left behind and told to go away.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
So the sec got shut out..........................what a shame *snicker*
A win for the AAC conference.
Ironic to hear ESPN analysts blather on and on, in wonderment, about UConn’s rise from nothing in the past 25 years - all without recognizing that having ESPN in the same town is probably the single biggest factor in UConn’s rise.
That, and whatever marketing genius started calling the school UCONN and not Connecticut.
Proud UCONN grad here, congratulations to a fine team. It’s especially sweet to beat Calipari.
ESPN is in Bristol CT, 50 miles from UCONN. The school has been known as UCONN since at least the ‘50’s
I was generalizing to make a point, and you’ll shame yourself if you try and deny a couple of things. Both Bristol and Storrs are part of Greater Hartford - and there was no doubt that both the Hartford Whalers and Connecticut were sort of the “hometown teams” of the early ESPN staff. The culture of UCONN and ESPN are intertwined. That’s undeniable.
As far as the 50’s, nobody outside of the area knew about the moniker UCONN until ESPN made it famous in the 80s. To say otherwise is absurd.
I was hoping Wisconsin would get to the finals. I am glad for UCONN. The Kentucky team this year was boring. All they do is layups for most of the game. They can not perform jump shots, although they won their previous two games by scoring three’s in the final seconds. The rest of their points came from under the basket. Boring.
So what exactly is your point?
That ESPN assisted in the recruiting? OK. So what?
Lots of schools have recruiting edges that they use. It still has to get done on the court, doncha think?
It became University of Connecticut in 1939, by which time the nickname Huskies was already in use. Local use of UConn dates to then. Natural that outsiders like ESPN staff would adopt local usage whenthey moved there.
How many know the University of Minnesota’s ‘Ski-U-Mah’ shtick? Had ESPN based in Minneapolis, I bet everyone would know it by now.
First of all, I’m sorry you’re so paranoid as to think there was some kind of sinister point - some kind of way to try and detract from UConn. You should go back to bed for a couple more hours.
The point is that simply UConn, ESPN and The Big East grew up together and it all worked to help each institution. That’s a fact. To me, it’s interesting. It’s also interesting how Connecticut became UCONN in the past couple of decades - and in this era of marketing and image, I wonder how important that has been.
Sometimes the simple things make a huge difference. I remember when Clemson changed their logo to the simple Tiger Paw. Their athletic program took off. I just find it interesting. If you don’t, sorry ..you miss part of the richness of these things.
I do find it funny that Mike and Mike, at ESPN, can’t connect these dots. Then again, they miss a lot of dots.
Yes, I agree that was my point ESPN in a lot of ways made UCONN. There’s nothing wrong with that. Weather makes Southern Cal. Demographics makes Texas Longhorns. There are all kind of advantages and little cold dreary NY bedroom Connecticut had no advantages til they became UCONN and ESPN made them famous.
In 1959 I lived 10 miles from UCONN as it was known then. Don’t speak about things you know nothing about. The fact that you were unaware that it was known as UCONN says more about your awareness than it does about the university. Conflating an NHL team with a university 30 miles from Hartford is more than odd.
You so miss the point. I’m talking about how the rest of the nation views the school, thus since you live there, YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT what I am talking about. You see the trees .I am talking about the forest.
And outside the forest, the U of Connecticut had zero visibility - ZERO - until the confluence of ESPN, the Big East, and the national marketing of the word UCONN all combined. If you deny this, your are simply living in an ignorant parallel universe.
I never said what drug dealers in beautiful downtown Hartford thought about it .don’t care. And yes, the Whalers analogy is apt. And for your info, 30 miles outside Hartford is still greater Hartford. Perhaps you are stuck in 1955.
BTW, I know a lot about the state for someone not from there. Had relatives most of my life in Glastonbury, and visited numerous times. Spent a lot of time at Mystic.
Did a big report on the state in school. Spent many weeks in Hartford in the 80s related to the insurance industry .many full weeks .even became a regular at “Piggys” - a well known insurance related watering hole downtown. For a non resident, I know more than most ..but again, that’s almost not relevant, because my point was now the other 49 states viewed the school, and had little or nothing to do with how locals did.
First of all, Im sorry youre so paranoid as to think there was some kind of sinister point - some kind of way to try and detract from UConn. You should go back to bed for a couple more hours.
All for asking you what your point was? Had you made your point clear in your initial post, you wouldn’t get these types of posts in return.
Consider it constructive feedback on your writing skills (apparently I wasnt the only one to fail to see your point).
Have a nice day, sir.
If you go to the UConn boards you will find that folks there think that ESPN doesn't like them and didn't help them.
Anyway ESPN was a big part of the growth of the Big East Basketball and college basketball in general. But know without its football teams the BE is down.
Now let's get the baseball to the world series, and the new hockey conference to the frozen four next year and Bob Darco, the new football coach, lets win the FBS.
You mean Football and Basketball Championships?
...”Proud UCONN grad here, congratulations to a fine team. Its especially sweet to beat Calipari”...
Proud UK grad here. We are elated about the performance late in the season of our starting five freshman who could not overcome your veterans last night. We are just sorry that we will lose too many of them to the pros so that they will not ever become college veterans. Like him or hate him, Calipari is a great coach but this is not about him. This is about the energy, skill and commitment of great young athletes on both sides. I don’t know about yours, but ours are also great kids, in general. Congratulations to the UCONN players, coach and fans. It was a great win for them.
They are great kids at UK. My wife was once a neighbor of Calipari when he was at UMASS. He was a very bad neighbor. This is obviously not about that issue but its hard for us feel good about him.
You approach the issue with a mind uncluttered by the facts or relevant experience. You maintain a death grip on your erroneous first assertion even in the face of correction by those who know. If its okay with you we’ll just know you as C. Edmund Wrong
Ever hear of making free throws, KY??? You stand on the line, no one is guarding you, and you throw the ball into the basket. It’s not as sexy as dunking, but it would have won the national championship for you last night ..an excellent object lesson for coaches to share with their players.
I am right - UConn was NOT A KNOWN ENTITY outside your little Hartford slum until the 80s. In fact, they really didn’t use that for their football team until the 90s - when Skip Holtz was hired, he was still hired as coach of “Connecticut” and not UConn. The two basketball teams were way ahead in using that moniker.
I don’t know, and do not care, what people in Hartford called it. That was not my point, never ever. I’m sorry this is too hard for your teeny little brainlette to consider. I’m NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU and I’m not talking about the 1950s. GET OFF MY LAWN
ESPN might not have been helpful in the major conference issue .but that doesn’t change the fact that ESPN, The Big East, and UConn all were very good for each other and all grew up together.
The BE problem in football however was not ESPN it’s demographics. Simply put, football is a big school big stadium big money sport, and the massive schools in the Big Ten, SEC, etc, will always dominate. The BE was defying gravity in that regard, and now the ACC is to some extent too.
Aren’t they playing tonight for the women’s champ?
That’s perhaps true ..my main point was that ESPN’s Mike and Mike were clueless as to what had led UConn’s amazing rise from nowhere to 4 titles in 16 years ..and their employer ESPN was one of the main factors along with the Big East in general, hiring the right coach, and then the right replacment coach, the right womens coach, and using UCONN as the marketing moniker. I think you take any of that away, and the results are very different.
It will be interesting to see if they can stay at this level with this new smaller conference.
Exactly. Oregon doesn’t have an advantage with the Swoosh Company’s close ties and promotions?
Yes they are
Enjoy your delusion, keep it close. No one else wants it anyway.
you’re an obtuse idiot
Name a SINGLE THING I said that was wrong .and be warned, don’t say “people around here called it UConn in the 50s” - because I MADE NOT A SINGLE COMMENT ABOUT WHAT LOCALS CALLED IT IN THE 50s. If you can’t figure that out, then your reading comprehension is exposed.
Duke is projected as the number 1 preseason favorite next year, and with 4 starters returning Wisconsin most likely a pre-season number 2. Look for a Bo Ryan repeat next season, and maybe even a championship.
When I went to work in Chicago in 1973 I told the recruiter that I went to UCONN. He knew what I meant as did my co-workers. I encountered maybe one or two people who needed it explained to them that it was shorthand for the Univerity of Connecticut.
I needed it explained to me that in Chicago, “UCLA” meant University of Chicago Located on Austin.
Sorry, your assertion fails the reality test.
...”They are great kids at UK. My wife was once a neighbor of Calipari when he was at UMASS. He was a very bad neighbor. This is obviously not about that issue but its hard for us feel good about him”...
I’m sorry to hear that. He is King here and we know of nothing but praise for him and especially praise for his charitable work and contribution. People sometimes change, you know. We hear that he is a hard disciplinarian for the kids who play for him, but some other coaches are, as well. Anyway, congratulations and good luck in the future. You can be very proud of your team..It is not easy to win the big one.
One anectodal story, which may be BS - is not relevant.Like you remember what you said in 73? You’re an old unhappyfart.
Besides I never said that people wouldn’t be able to figure out what it meant DUH ..I stand by the fact that UConn athletics was totally irrelevant, and NOT known as UConn until the 80s and 90s and only became known as such nationally. You’re just wrong to think otherwise.
I’ve encountered your type before but generally by this time of the afternoon, they’re napping with their blankies. Generally people whose knee-jerk reaction is someone is lying is not someone to be trusted. I’m sure you’ve heard this before but you’re a crashing bore.
I think the ugly American came from Connecticut .I know the biggest as-hole in our family did.
I remember around 1980 hearing a St. John's vs. UConn basketball game on the radio. The announcers where St. John's announcers. They referred to UConn as "UConn". I specifically remember the person I was with in the car thinking it was "Yukon".
Interesting: The more widespread use of the name UConn started about the time the Big East came into being, at least in basketball - which was 1979 I believe. So you heard one of the early uses of it outside of Hartford.
For whatever reason, and it may be that the Big East did not have football for a while, the football team was not really referred to as UConn til later, at least out in the country at large. UMass, not being in the Big East, and being in a pro dominated market - did not become the program that UConn has become, altho they probably were a little ahead of UConn in some of the 80s. UConn kept Calhoun, UMass was never able to keep big name coaches.
UMass had Calipari if you remember. Nowadays he's a great recruiter, but in my view not as good an X's and O's coach, which is why I picked UConn to win.
What's interesting about the nickname Huskies is that it originated back when the school was called Connecticut St. College before 1939. Thus it has nothing to do with the UConn Huskies sounding like "Yukon" Huskies.
Yes, I do remember Calipari at UMass - and a very controversial loss to Kentucky and Pitino, setting up “the game” - Kentucky Duke and the Laettner shot. At that point, UMass was ahead of UConn in building a program, but the Big East developed so fast that UConn, Syracuse and Georgetown eventually passed Nova and St. Johns, who were probably the top programs when the league was formed - and now UMass is almost an afterthought.
And yes, Ollie out X and O’d Calipari in that game - but doggone it, those two guards can make a coach look brilliant!!
And yes, the Yukon/UConn Huskie thing was a very happy accident for UConn.
Mr. Wright has demonstrated over and over the strange fascination with the idea that ESPN created UConn basketball success somehow.
Sir, CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. Jesus, man, your points are so devoid of evidence or actual historical truth my head is spinning. UConn football, such as it was, was “UConn” (actually it used to be “UCONN” until the change to “UConn” last year) for many, many decades. To state otherwise is ridiculous - and is the strangest thing to hold on to as an argument as I’ve read in a long time. (A simple google search of “UConn 1965” will help you get past your error.)
I’ll agree, ESPN is in CT. 50 miles and a shitstorm of traffic jams and farmland away from Storrs. They did air Big East basketball games during the school’s rise from basketball obscurity. Fine.
But if you think that more than maybe 2 kids went to school in the polar vortex of nowheresville known as Storrs (I’m a proud alum) because a (really not all that huge in the 90’s) cable station that never owned rights to the NCAA tournament was HQ’s 50 miles away, you’re nuts. Hartford lost the Whalers when ESPN had NHL rights. UConn was royally screwed over - over and over- by conference realignments recently. ESPN sponsors nothing in Storrs and nothing in Hartford. NOTHING.
UConn was on ESPN just a few times this year.
I realize I”m late to the game here, but this conversation was annoying me. Sorry.
late to the game and a poor reader ..never ever ever ever ever said ESPN created UConns success I said like three times that UCONN, ESPN and The Big East all grew up together, and the relationship was great for all three entities.
If you deny that, you are a fool.
The SI article makes my case, clearly calls them “Connecticut” over and over, and only once mentions “the Uconns” - which is NOT how it’s used today - casually.
Thanks for the support.
Look, you are taking personally what is just an observation - and so it helps UConn to be close to Bristol? That’s not deniable. I never quantified how much it helps, no way to do it. It helps U of Texas that the name of the school is also the name of the state that is the king of college football talent. It helps Alabama that there is little else to do in Bama but cheer for the Tide. So what? It is what it is, and it doesn’t mitigate their accomplishments.
It helps the Yankees that their fan base is a natural 25 million within driving distance of the stadium, whereas the Brewers and the Reds have just a tiny sliver of that. These social, demographic, media things damned sure do matter.
Why you take it personal is beyond me. It clouds your judgement.