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Because nothing can be special, a third aircraft carrier game has been scheduled

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
The more games on boats, the less special they become. (US Presswire)

One's special. Two's a trend. Three's a fleet.

ESPN.com is reporting that Georgetown and Florida will play each other Nov. 9 outside Jacksonville on an aircraft carrier, making it the third game of the 2012-13 season that will be held on a boat. The irony here: The Hoyas-Gators game is actually the second annual Carrier Classic, meaning it's continuing the tradition that was initiated last year. This is the original super-cool-totally-awesome college basketball game on a ship, and I've got no problem with the Carrier Classic -- which bolsters college hoops and pays big-time homage to our armed forces -- keeping with the brilliant idea it was first to the water with.

All in all, though, it's starting to feel like the U.S. Navy has arranged these warships for weekly rentals like pontoon boats at a summer vacation spot.

And with this third game happening on a ship's flight deck, we lose the luster. This is beginning to feel like a reconnaissance mission instead of a spotlight of something special in the sport. Why can't anything be unique? Is there a fourth game on the way? Yeah, that's right, I'm poo-pooing this thing now, or at least lamenting it. Ohio State and Marquette are playing in a random game off the coast of Charleston, S.C., and Syracuse gets San Diego State back in southwest California, where last year's Carrier Classic was held. The NHL's Winter Classic has become so revered because it's once a year, on New Year's, and doesn't compete with itself by putting multiple games outdoors.

Yes, pun intended, we're watering down the idea already, not even a year into its existence. And, God, I'm way too grumpy for a Friday afternoon.

By the by, Georgetown's inclusion in the Carrier Classic is actually a coup, considering it was originally in line for the San Diego State tilt before things fell through.

I love the fact that interesting games are happening. But it begs the question: Are we reaching a point where some of our marquee non-conference games in November and December have to be put on like this? ESPN.com reports none of the games have TV deals in place yet, but that won't be a problem. College basketball will always have mainstream television suitors for its best and most interesting contests and stages.

I don't doubt the beauty or execution of these staged spectacles, I only wish ambitious promoters would turn elsewhere for alternative atmospheres instead of playing copycat. And if all else fails, we'd never begrudge teams for -- oh, my -- arranging a home-and-home series.

 
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