On Saturday, Teddy Greenstein published this in the ChicagoBreakingSports.com website of the Chicago Tribune.
By joining the Big Ten, the Irish could increase their annual TV revenue from roughly $12 million to $22 million per year, get a national TV platform (the Big Ten Network) for its top-notch Olympic sports and decrease travel costs for its teams.
And pretty much ever since, various ND forums have gathered in discussion trying to figure out what source or math helped produce the numbers Teddy’s reporting as fact.
@TeddyGreenstein / @ChiTribSports what’s your src for the 12MM vs. 22MM ND television revenue numbers? (RT this until he answers).
We don’t expect a response.
To be clear, we’re not accusing him of lying. We just don’t know where he’s getting the numbers, and we find the rather common journalistic habit of stating such facts without citation to be extremely annoying and tired. We as a populace are far too eager to accept facts of any sort so long as they’re in print, and in particular from a “trustworthy” news source. So We’re simply asking him and his publisher for a source. We can’t imagine that such numbers are of such sensitivity that the source need be protected. Heck, Teddy doesn’t even bother with a quotation from a “source who wished to not be named.” He just states the numbers as if they’re available in public records. But they’re not. At least, the dollar amount ND currently makes isn’t publicly available and probably never will be.
So I’m sorry for misleading you with the title of the post. Fact is, I’ve no idea where Teddy gets his numbers. I welcome anyone who might want to take a gander at how he formulated 12 million to leave their guess in the comments, but I really don’t think a rational explanation will be delivered. And it doesn’t matter. Made up or not, they’re probably not presented to serve ND’s interests at all. Multiple people have expressed that it’s absurd to think that such numbers would be made up because it makes no sense to write something to justify Notre Dame making a move that would improve ND’s financial situation if that writer really had it out for Notre Dame. True, and I don’t think Teddy really has it out for Notre Dame. I tend to think Greenstein is too lazy to have it out for anyone or anything. Such behavior requires passion, and I think of Greenstein as more of a soulless automaton driven by corporate will than a human with an internal locus of self-control. But I do think that the “Notre Dame has Reason to Join A Conference” angle is a valuable one in the bland, uninspired arsenal of the typically mediocre journalist, and by establishing that ND could gain financially from joining the Big Ten, Greenstein establishes a motive for ND taking such action, and thus guarantees himself easy storylines into perpetuity. If ND still hasn’t joined a conference by 2020, Teddy can continue to write about how they just might sometime soon.
So are the numbers made up? No idea. But Greenstein has managed to feed the media machine by being the first journalist of the Spring to put those numbers out there. And we’ve noticed that fellow corporate automatons have since quoted him (or hell, just lifted the numbers and didn’t even bother to attribute them to Teddy. He must be pissed.)