BRISTOL, Conn. – A once proud basketball program watched helplessly as its fans began piecing together the implications of their favorite team having its game broadcast on ESPNU, reports have confirmed this morning. News that the game would also be available to stream via the WatchESPN app did little to alleviate fears among the rabid fanbase.
“It’s just kind of a sudden realization,” said long-time fan Brian Tomelli. “We’ve grown so accustomed to watching games on ESPN or, at worst, ESPN2, but now that we’re on ESPNU it just kind of hit me: maybe we aren’t very good this season.”
ESPNU has long been home to teams generally classified as “mid-majors” who would otherwise fail to get much time in the national spotlight. This season, however, more and more formerly high profile teams have been finding their way to what has typically been viewed as a barren wasteland for college basketball.
“I’m not even sure I get ESPNU,” said out of town fan Doug Perryton. “Is that, like, in the 600’s?”
Compounding the issue that some fans have had with this demotion from prime time to afterthought is the lower quality of play by play and color commentary.
“Last time we had to play on ESPNU, I’m pretty sure I heard one of the announcers say that Barry Heffernan made a three pointer for us,” said Tomelli. “We don’t even have anyone named Heffernan on the team!”
One cannot deny the overwhelming sense that ESPNU is the place where college basketball matchups go to die, at least among the fanbases of so-called “Power Conferences.” Among the lower tiers, however, teams are thrilled to get a national broadcast, even if no one will wind up watching it.
Several attempts were made to include comments from the fans of teams like New Hampshire and Delaware, but none are known to exist.