Brock's Bytes

Jeff Brock Releases his Latest Edition of "Brock's Bytes."

……crunch…… New World Order

Welcome to the "new" Statefans.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss……except better!!!

We hope that you are enjoying the early stages of the consolidation of resources that the old Statefans and the old Insiders have created. We couldn't be more excited about the "New World Order" that the merging of our resources and platforms ultimately will create.

This site has the potential to be the ultimate fan website on the internet. We are quite proud of the service, coverage, dialogue and analysis that Statefans has been able to generate since our launch in October of 2000. The wonderful thing about the site has always been that there were no "rules" with the way things were done; no conventional manner in coverage. We could update a story as many times as we would like throughout the day with snipits of information provided from a multitude of resources all around the country (something like we did with the George O'Leary Resume scandal). Often times, that multitude of resources were the readers of the site who would post updates on the message boards and impromptuly create a national platform of coverage for the entire community.

Most of the synergies and improvements in the new world are pretty obvious. Personally, I am most excited about the clean, standardized platform and physical design of the website. Historically, Statefans' most glaring need for improvement was our design. As an example, in late summer of 2001 I began dating a girl while living in New York who learned of my involvement with Statefans. As fall approached, this (obviously special) woman went to Statefans.com to copy the NC State Football Schedule into her personal calendar since she knew that the football season was going to be impacting her fall travel schedule. (Can you blame me for liking this woman?) She couldn't find the schedule. The schedule was on the site, but it was buried in a little article from months earlier; easy access to this prominent piece of information was unavailable to the average visitor. That simply had to be fixed.

The new platform will allow for a clear, structured presentation of the exact information and commentary that made Statefans so popular in the first place.

……crunch……Premium-Schmemium

I have never paid for a Premium service on the internet. I must admit, I never thought that I ever would - until now. It is obvious that I am not just saying this since I signed up for Premium here at Statefans last week.

Everyone has different views of what premium services offer and why they should, or should not pay for it. Some people view Premium solely as a way to get recruiting information for which they long. (I think the plethora of recent articles would more than satisfy those people). Some view Premium as a way to be the first to get important news as it happens. I used to not need a premium subscription for information. I probably still don't, but my physical proximity away from Raleigh and the people with whom I can't interact on a regular basis now makes my need for other sources of information much greater than it once was.

I take a little different perspective on the topic -- I liken Premium service to paying a telephone bill.

I expect and hope that the people and posters that step-up and join the Premium Message Board Forum are the posters that traditionally have earned my respect for their credibility, analysis, and reliability of their information... not to mention the manner in which they choose to interact. Therefore, I view the Premium Boards as the most convenient medium for conversation and interaction that is available to me.

Most people are in the same situation as I. We can't be in the bar in Raleigh chatting with the gang 24 hours a day. We don't have the ability to just pick up the phone and call people while at work, or while in class, or whenever we are in front of a monitor. More often than not, the person whom we call isn't answering and might not call you back for hours. Heck, we don't even know the telephone number of 99% of the posters with whom we enjoy interacting. The internet changes all of that. Therefore, I look at the Premium information and message board pass as a digitalized telephone service that provides an amazingly convenient medium to not only connect with people, but also to connect with them whenever is most convenient to do so.

If you were lucky enough to catch some of the internet posters on the telephone whenever you would like, then you'd still have to pay long distance for the call. Then... you'd have to repeat yourself 100 times as you reach each individual. Instead of paying for long distance telephone calls, I don't mind paying for the convenience of controlling when I can chime in on the "conversations" and the ability to figuratively have people sitting here at my desk whenever I want. Just the right to have a telephone (before you pay your long distance) costs $25-$50 a month. How can I complain with paying $8 a month for something that gives me so much more value than leaving voice mails (and paying for each time that I do)?

Added Bonus: If you have followed my writing over the years (InfoPack, WolfontheWeb, Statefans) you will remember that I often cite The Sporting News as source for ideas and information. TSN's ability to cover the gamut of sports with the level of detail and intimacy that they do is quite admirable. TSN is focused on news and information... not pictures and feature articles about Zola Budd's pets. I love it, and have sporadically carried subscriptions for the last 10 years. So, when I saw that the Statefans Total Access Premium Pass included a subscription to The Sporting News, signing-up became a no-brainer. Why would I NOT sign-up when I actually would be receiving my favorite sports magazine AND Premium access?

……crunch……ACC Expansion

Don't worry. I am not about to attempt to cover the topic of ACC Expansion in a "Byte." The topic is one of the most important and complex out there right now... and is too juicy to only hit with the broad stroke of a byte. I can, however, set the table for any discussion thatany administrator, fan, athlete, or ya-hoo will have regarding the topic. It starts with a complete awareness with where we are today - The ACC distributed $9.7 million to each of its nine schools in the past year. This is more than any other Division I conference was able to distribute. This is not a one-time occurrence. This is the norm. Over the last 5-7 years, the ACC has handed out more money per school (maybe) every single year. The race to conference profitability isn't even close over the long term. The ACC beats the larger Big 12 and SEC every year.

With this in mind, any conversation regarding expansion boils down to a single hurdle that must be cleared --- Expansion must yield more NET DOLLARS PER SCHOOL than the alternative of not expanding. The only way that expansion should be considered a viable option by ACC-member institutions is if the numbers bear out that every ACC school will make more money each year than they would without expansion.

Folks, that is going to be much more difficult than it may sound because this does NOT just entail comparing what the ACC distributes to its members today with what the ACC would distribute to its members in an expansionary environment.

I will localize the concept to NC State for example - Will NC State's Athletics Department make more money each year as the ACC currently exists or under an expansion scenario? NC State's revenues are made up, in part, of the almost $10 million distributed by the ACC. First, for expansion to happen, that number needs to rise. Remember, however, that in an expansion scenario our expenses will be increased since many low & non-revenue sports (women's volleyball, golf, women's basketball, etc) will incur greater travel expenses with semi-annual trips to Miami, Boston, and Syracuse.

I am very weary of expanding the best and most profitable conference in the country. I used to be 100% opposed to the idea... but, like all things, it makes a heck of a lot more sense to let information create your conclusions instead of searching for information to support your opinions. So, as it relates to ACC expansion... let's see the numbers, and ALL of the numbers that will include a realistic view of ALL of the impacts that expansion would create.

……crunch……Who is the hypocrite?

The news regarding ACC expansion talk publicly surfaced two weeks ago when Big East Commissioner, Mike Tranghese, lobbed some barbs through the media at the ACC. Tranghese said a lot, but a consolidation of some of his most widely reported comments is as follows:

"It's a free society. The ACC is entitled to go after another school. Just pick up the phone and tell somebody. Instead they conduct their business through the press. Our presidents at BC, Virginia Tech, Miami and Syracuse are happy. But the ACC has tried to conquer by dividing. They whisper things to each person. I have no use for the ACC right now. They're a bunch of hypocrites. They operate in the dark. They'll never acknowledge this, but I'm aware that the ACC, for the last couple of years, without ever picking up the phone or calling me, has basically gone out and tried to convince our teams to enter their league."

Someone needs to get this guy a dictionary.

A hypocrite is defined as, "one who feigns to be other than he is." Since the ACC has publicly avoided this topic altogether….how have they presented themselves to be anything?

I want you to take a look at Tranghese's quote again. Step back and think about what he actually says, and then let's decipher the true meaning of what he says.

The very first thing out of his mouth is "It's a free society."

Well…is it? If it really is a free society…and "the ACC is entitled to go after another school"… then why all the whining? If Tranghese truly subscribed to the idea of "freedom"… then there would be nothing left to say. To say that it is a "free society" and then complain simply because you as an individual don't like something is the most hypocritical thing possible.

"It's a free society" Implied interpretation of what follows: "The ACC can do whatever they want, and we feel comfortable and confident enough that it doesn't matter. We're the Big East. The ACC can pitch to our guys all day. Why should we care?"

Instead, Tranghese's comments really went more like this: "It's a free society" (up until the point that someone does something that I personally don't like. Then I will whine and complain since it really isn't a free society. Hmmm….since I have feigned this idea of freedom, I am the exact definition of a hypocrite. Ironic isn't it?)


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