Note to Commissioner John Swofford and the ACC – back off. Keep your grubby little hands off my conference. I don’t know about all of you other Hoya fans, but this last week of conjecture and courting has just made me nauseous. It’s bad enough that I have to think about the possibility of a Georgetown team without Tony Bethel and Big Mike, but now I need to consider the possibility that the Big East may be irreparably crippled by the greed of the most obnoxious conference in college sports.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. I hate the ACC. Call me a bitter Big East fan, longing for the days of Coach Thompson’s towel and Coach Carneseca’s sweaters, but I am completely fed up with hearing about how great the ACC is. It’s everywhere. TV, print, radio – everyone loves the ACC.

At the top of my list has got to be Dick Vitale, the chrome-domed talking head at ESPN who has become so completely obsessed with Duke Basketball that I’m surprised he can even remember that there are eight other teams (for now) in the ACC. I seriously think that he would pick Coach K’s boys to take the Lakers in four. It has gotten to the point that I had to mute the TV during the Duke-Georgetown game this past year. Duke is right up there with the Yankees, the Cowboys and Notre Dame football. They’re worshipped by everyone simply because they are supposed to be the best.

Dick Vitale has become the epitome of what I hate about the ACC. It makes absolutely no difference what kind of product ACC teams put on the floor; Vitale will always love it. Gary Williams, Chris Bosh, Jay Williams – the man doesn’t have a single bad thing to say about any of them. The ACC was supposed to be the one of the best conferences in basketball this year. They had the third-best conference RPI, but did they win the NCAA Tournament, the Women’s NCAA Tournament and the NIT? No, wait a minute – that was the Big East.

If the Blue Devils take Syracuse from us, someone just might have to hold me back from Dookie V. when they come to MCI Center this coming winter. One of the defining moments of my Georgetown basketball fandom came last winter, as I told Jim Boehiem exactly what I thought about him as he walked out of the tunnel from the visitor’s locker room at MCI Center. I still get chills down my spine when I think about John Thompson boldly announcing that “Manley Field House is officially closed.” Syracuse basketball, as much as we love to hate it, is a defining characteristic of Georgetown hoops. They’re the Megatron to our Optimus Prime.

It’s not that I think the ACC is, in and of itself, terrible, but it just gets way too much praise. Carlos Boozer, Joe Forte and Lonnie Baxter – they are sure tearing up the NBA. But back when they were in college, man oh man, they were the best. Even Grant Hill has dropped off the face of the planet.

Yeah, the ACC isn’t all hype – Tim Duncan has won the last two MVP awards in the NBA. That’s an ACC product that has certainly flourished in the professional league. Yes, I absolutely love watching UNC-Duke basketball. There’s just something about it. MJ. Laettner. There is history there. There is tradition there.

But, in the end, I could care less about the ACC and its traditions. Anyone who tells you that the ACC is about tradition is lying.

For the last week or so, all of the articles considering expansion reference how everyone is concerned with preserving the history of the ACC. The conference today is practically identical to the conference that was formed 50 years ago, having lost only South Carolina and added Georgia Tech and Florida State. But, you know what, it’s all about money.

It’s all about expanding to 12 teams and having an ACC football championship, which could net the conference upward of $10 million dollars. Adding Miami would almost ensure the ACC two BCS bowl bids annually, generating even more cash. And then there’s the ACC football television contract that is up in 2005, which ESPN predicts could be upward of $25 million. Coincidence? Probably not. So don’t give me the tradition argument.

Call me bitter, call me a player hater and call me anything you want. I’m selfish. I’m a Big East guy. I want the Big East to be the best conference that it can be, and that means playing the `Cuse twice a year, having some decent football programs and winning national titles.

I’ll be damned if the ACC takes that away from me without a fight, or at least some serious complaining.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.