I’m not a football expert but I enjoy the hell out of it. And while I’m barely an expert on most things I know with expert decisiveness that UNLV – Arizona’s opponent tomorrow night – failed with this billboard:
If you’re paying attention, this billboard – in a city swarming with billboards – was erected with the likeness of FORMER basketball coach, Lon Kruger, urging fans to “COME TO OUR HOUSE.” Kruger’s house moved to Norman in 2011 and I know of only one other institution capable of this sort of signage blunder. Interim UNLV AD, Tina Kunzer-Murphy, said their marketing department never saw the creative before it went live. The sign is being taken down and Dave Rice – the Rebels’ current coach – thought it was funny. Tina didn’t.
Alas, failed marketing never really hurt a sports team and so when the Wildcats and Rebels take to the field, all eyes will be in Arizona’s backfield to see All-American Ka’Deem Carey Daniel Jenkins. The shifty senior has “earned the start” per head coach Rich Rodriguez and thus we continue to keep a watchful eye on the controversy that is/was Carey’s off-season.
Carey misbehaved and should be punished for such. He’s served publicly – cleaning around campus – and had much of his media access removed or turned off. He sees counselors for anger management. His Heisman campaign does not exist. And now RichRod is punishing him with on-field limitations, suspending him last week against NAU and now giving Jenkins the start; propagating what could have been an issue put behind us.
But so long as Jenkins is producing and Carey is getting touches, one has to believe that this is the final piece to Carey’s disciplining. After all, some of his actions were in the vein of untouchable arrogance (Dude, don’t get escorted out of a college basketball game screaming I’m an All-American. In fact, don’t get escorted from a game, period). RichRod’s UNLV depth chart serves as a slice of humble pie to the All-American talent.
My concern would be that this could cause a rift between Jenkins, Carey, or other players. Starters vs. backups, etc. can be a sensitive subject within the greater context of a locker room. Rodriguez doesn’t want to drive a stake through what should prove to be his most important offensive assets before the meat of his schedule arrives.
But there’s still a lot of time until that sort of competition arrives, when storylines shift to games named after flowers as opposed to first and second stringers. As is the case in many of these situations, winning erases problems and so the 7:30pm kickoff cannot come soon enough.
As for now, we can focus on the lighter side, like failed billboards, and rest assured that Tucsonans won’t soon see anything featuring the imagery of John Mackovic or Kevin O’Neill.