I have in my possession the one single phrase that will alter your life for eternity and possibly beyond…

The MAAC television network.

Believe it or not, for the past 10 years the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference along with its partner HOST Communications, has been broadcasting men and women’s basketball games on the MSG network and ESPN regional stations. While the network originally began as an 11-game package, it now consists of 28-games, including the triple-header on Monday Feb. 21 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

“[The network] is basically a great tool for highlighting student athletes and anytime we can add games to it, its great,” said David Bierwirth, the network’s general manager. “MSG has been a good partner and we hope to continue to try and grow locally with [them].”

Biertwirth also expects to see the network expand to a more national level as he eventually hopes to see MAAC games being played on ESPNU, a new ESPN network that will be dedicated solely to college sports.

Now for those of you who think it’s sort of ridiculous for the MAAC to have its own network, keep in mind this is the same conference that currently has the leading scorer (Keydren Clark) and shot blocker (Deng Gai) in the entire nation. How ’bout them apples?

But in my humble opinion, if the MAAC wants to create something that will separate it from the rest, it can’t go about it timidly. It needs to attack it like a wild pack of elderly women on a defenseless cabana boy. Inappropriate pinching and all.

Because let’s face it, if the intent of MAAC TV is to only broadcast basketball games, then its not going to get too far. No one wants to watch only sports all the time. That’s like watching an all-weather channel and that’s just crazy talk.

So I’ve taken it upon myself to come up with a few ways the MAAC can improve the up-and-coming and eventual award-winning TV network.

Puppets. Assembling a new network and looking for a gimmick? That’s easy. Puppets. They can do no wrong. As long as they’re sober. Otherwise it gets weird.

But puppets are a great way to target the younger demographic of fans, who may lack the mental capacity to focus on a sporting event for an extended period of time. Kids welcome the occasional distraction of an awkward, furry creature that “magically comes to life” when some fat, hairy guy sticks his hand up its butt…don’t we all. Sounds like a party to me.

Yet you can’t argue with success. Just look at the FOX Network’s brilliant animated character “Scooter” during the MLB season. Scooter is a fun-filled, barrel-of-laughs who teaches young children and morons alike the intricacies of the fastball. Young children and maybe a few college seniors around the nation no doubt benefited from Scooter, as they no longer had to cry themselves to sleep in fear of persecution from the fastball-savvy public. It changed my life.

Reality TV. The MAAC TV network wouldn’t fit in if it didn’t include a reality series. It would be like that first-grader still in diapers trying to use the urinals…kids can be so mean. The show will follow a basic reality TV format: Trap strangers in a house and see what happens. Easy enough. Put all the MAAC school mascots in a house and wait for chaos to ensue. Maybe Lucas the Stag will get it on with the peacock? Maybe the Canisius Golden Griff will have a drinking problem? Maybe the Jasper will refuse to wear clothing? Sounds like an episode of the Surreal Life to me…minus Mini-Me.

Game shows. People love to watch game shows whether they care to admit it or not. It’s like watching massively obese people eat while you’re at a restaurant. You don’t mean to stare and you kind of feel bad, but it eventually consumes you to the point that you only ask for water and a salad. So, the MAAC creates a game show and gets a few celebrities, big celebrities to play. C-list stars like Pauly Shore, Dustin Diamond and if we time it correctly, Ben Affleck. Then make them compete in some eating contest where they must inhale something that may have either once been a cow’s tongue or an umbrella, and ratings will soar. Guaranteed success.

I, for one, expect to be watching MAAC TV for many years to come.


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