‘Requiem for the Big East’ is a great ESPN 30/30 production about the rise and fall of a great American institution and sports enterprise, the Big East Athletic Conference. It’s just a fascinating American story about an institution, and an athletic conference, built on American capitalism and brought down by the same. Greed and capitalism made the conference and the same destroyed it. So paradoxical, like so much in America.
It is amazing to watch the conference come out of small campus gyms in the late 70s and early 80s and then rise to national prominence in Madison Square Garden, Boston Garden, The Spectrum, and the Carrier Dome. The rise paralleled the birth and rise of ESPN, located in Bristol, Conn., in the heart of Big East country. The league coaches were an amazing cast of characters, Lou Carnesecca, Boeheim, Big John Thompson, Rollie Massimino, Pitino. And the Syracuse/Georgetown rivalry became classic.
The conference demise began with football as BC, VT and Miami left for bigger bucks, then Syracuse / Pitt leaving in 2011 sealed it. This 30/30 production is a must see for anyone interested in the dynamics of American sports culture in 21st century and how TV contracts and the infusion of economic stimulus can impact American culture. I highly recommend this ESPN 30/30 production. (It is on 'Demand')