Blog Entry

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

Posted on: September 9, 2011 5:23 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 5:27 pm
 


By Matt Norlander


I'm all for the idea, but can we wait at least until we see how playing a basketball game on an aircraft carrier actually works before we book another one?

Despite all the factors and planning at play, UConn doesn't want to wait. According to the Associated Press, the defending champs are already eager to be on a boat. The impetus for this bubbles from Michigan State and North Carolina being the first teams to play afloat in the sport's history. Their game will take place later this year, appropriately, on Veterans Day. The game will be played on the USS Carl Vinson (pictured above, just cruising along at a cool 23 knots, I'm guessing). It's the ship that buried Bin Laden. The game will be played in San Diego, the same spot UConn's aiming to have it the following season.
Three-time national champion Connecticut has signed a deal with the Morale Entertainment Foundation to play in the second edition of the Carrier Classic basketball game in 2012 aboard an aircraft carrier on San Diego Bay.

Coach Jim Calhoun and UConn President Susan Herbst say it's an honor to be picked for the game. Mike Whalen, director of the Morale Entertainment Foundation, says UConn's opponent could be Kansas, Texas, Florida, Arizona or Illinois.

So Calhoun's signing his team up for engagement in 2012-13. Another indication he has no immediate intentions of retiring, despite the fact he'll be halfway to 71 by that point?

This year's Carolina-Michigan State game should hopefully go swimmingly and without a hitch. (It's knot like the flat top's going anywhere!) Still, I think it'd be best to wait and see how it's done, then go ahead and commit. Just be sure this isn't an utter disaster from a fan, money and execution perspective. This year's game is scheduled to be perhaps the toughest ticket all season, as most of the seats (rightfully) will go to men and women in uniform. Is that the plan going forward, and if it is, will a lot of schools want to get involved?

Maybe that's what Connecticut's would-be opponents are doing: waiting. Although, any school that can jump at this opportunity should. It's a marquee event, perhaps destined to become the marquee event, of the first month of college basketball. Few things will get your program to more eyes across the country than this, I'd think. It's innovative and a great way to market the sport. Let's just be sure it can be done an annual basis before booking this thing like we do Final Four destinations.

Photo: Getty Images
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: September 11, 2011 1:42 am
 

If not now, then when?

Matt, you write:
I'm all for the idea, but can we wait at least until we see how playing a basketball game on an aircraft carrier actually works before we book another one?
and then:
Although, any school that can jump at this opportunity should. It's a marquee event, perhaps destined to become the marquee event, of the first month of college basketball.
Basically the confusion seems to be around the scheduling a year in advance. All of the schools listed above normally schedule a year in advance. They are the high-demand schools who have no trouble getting games. So if there is to be another Classic event it needs to be scheduled now. Since the point of these games is not to seat the fans around the country but the servicemen and women who serve abord the ship. That is likely the origin of the Morale Entertainment Foundation. It is like a USO trip only it will be a counting basketball game as well. I see no reason to fear that a ship that manages 6.000 people through every kind of weather and danger can manage a college basketball game. Kudos to UConn for stepping up.



Since: Jul 11, 2008
Posted on: September 10, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

NOT GOOD.  One of these spectacles is enough.

The Navy is not intended as a sports marketing tool.

gtmo 



Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2011 3:24 am
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

I believe this is a great for morale. I remember spending over 200 days straight at sea with no port calls. Something like this upon return home would have been truly appreciated by the crew and I commend all involved in putting this together. If this was being done at an Army base in Korea or an Air Force base in Germany those troops would be just as grateful. I know my father would have loved something like this even at Marine boot camp when he was a DI. You can't put a price on the sacrifices our military has made for this country.



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:16 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

Love to see my Illini play in this game!



Since: Sep 9, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

just be sure it can be done an annual basis before booking this thing like we do Final Four destinations.
it's strong. such as the as strong and suprise.



Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

Totally agree, don't use the military for a marketing tool for your school!



Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2011 8:43 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

What a stupid effing idea. Our carriers are for our NATIONAL DEFENSE NOT SPORTS! This is the biggest waste of our military resources. What, we can't balance a budget but hey, use our carriers as an effing basketball court? Give tickets to the troops to see basketball in an ARENA, not on a ship. This country gets dumber by the day, oh for the days of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams.



Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: September 9, 2011 7:30 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

I've no doubts that aircraft carrier deck basketball games will become sporadically commonplace someday...haha...just like outdoor hockey matches are now the norm.  common thread?  Michigan State University...orchestrated and hosted the first outdoor MSU/UMich Hockey game (The Cold War) at Spartan Stadium for 75,000 fans in 2001...since then, many other collegiate and pro games have been played outdoors to monstrous crowds...it was also Michigan State University's AD, Mark Hollis, who saw the immense potential for combining pride in our military with love of collegiate basketball on the deck of a very unique venue...on 11.11.11 (veteran's Day) we'll all get to see that potential realized...an absolute golden opportunity for so many good reasons.

Go Green!




Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: September 9, 2011 7:01 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

I totally am not diving after a ball going out of bounds.



Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: September 9, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Another aircraft carrier game coming in 2012?

"I think it'd be best to wait.....although, any school that can jump at this opportunity should," lol that's awesome!  I think it's black, although I think it's white!  I think it's cool, although I think it sucks!  I think this article makes perfect sense, although I think it makes no sense at all!


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