Eyes on Texas Sports: Whose Conference Is on First?

Mario Carrillo
For Reporting Texas

A roundup of how Texas sports are perceived in and outside of the state.

The Longhorn football team had the week off, but just as well. The non-stop news about conference realignments all but overshadowed play on the field this weekend. With the Longhorns’ biggest rival, Texas A&M now officially leaving for the SEC, and the PAC 12 deciding to keep their conference as is, Texas’ options have become limited. David Climer of the Tennessean offers an interesting solution. Texas should join the SEC. Oh, the irony if that were to happen. Texas A&M left the Big 12 out of spite for Texas and their highly controversial Longhorn Network. What would the reaction in College Station be if Texas (along with its network) were to follow?

And on the subject of the conference realignment quandary, why isn’t anyone pointing fingers at ESPN? Well, a few writers are turning their attention to the sports entertainment behemoth. In the Columbia Journalism Review, Ryan Chittum tries to sift through the mess and figure out why ESPN’s role in this problem is hardly mentioned. The Longhorn Network is eviscerated by Bill Dwyre, of the Los Angeles Times, who writes about this “Texas-Sized Fiasco,” and even refers to Texas as the  “Frankenstein Monster.”

Switching gears, Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute takes an interesting look into the ever-evolving world of sports journalism. In a time where teams and athletes themselves can become the news breakers, how has the role of team reporters changed? Fry mentions Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s thoughts on how old media, like television and newspapers, continue to be important pillars to sports organizations.

Finally, we’ve reached Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. One week, villain. Next week, hero. Romo suffered a punctured lung and broken rib last week, left the game, returned and led the Cowboys to a much-needed, come-from-behind victory over the San Francisco 49ers. What can’t Tony do? Mike Wise of the Washington Post reflects on Romomania, his “punctured” lung, and everything else that comes with being the quarterback of the most popular football team in the world. While Romo didn’t lead the Cowboys into the end zone Monday night, Dallas still beat the Redskins, 18-16.  “In reality, the Redskins did more to hurt themselves than did the Cowboys,” contends Mike Jones, another Washington Post reporter.

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