Mon Feb 16 09:45am EST
What would have been just a run of the mill Wednesday night Memphis steamrolling of an in-conference opponent nearly turned into a grand and unsightly commercial for FedEx.
On "FedEx Appreciation Night," the Memphis Tigers were granted NCAA permission to wear FedEx's colors (but not their logo) against SMU. Upon further review, though, and among a few complaints, Memphis decided to stick with the traditional blue and white. Sorry, SMU. You'll get no visual distraction while you're being gutted.
The plan was scrapped because of both Memphis and FedEx, according to Gary Parrish at CBS Sports, "fearing a backlash both locally and nationally about an NCAA team blurring the lines between amateur sports and commercial revenue."
And obviously, we just can't have that line between amateur sports and commercialism being stepped on. No sir. This wholesome amateur game of ours is played for love and with the hope that maybe, if we all show good sportsmanship, that maybe little Jimmy's mother will bake us cupcakes after the game. There are no corporate interests at work in college basketball.
What would have been the harm? Memphis gets to do a Clemson impersonation, someone at FedEx gets to brag about it at the water cooler, and we all move on. Heaven forbid that someone get the idea that corporate money is involved with college basketball.
It's not too late to change your minds, Memphis. Maybe even by Wednesday, SMU could strike up a deal with UPS, wear brown uniforms to the game, bring this guy as a mascot and turn this into a heated rivalry. What can brown do for you? He can take you to the hole, baby.
Gracias, Ghetto Testimonial.