When sports fans see something new and odd on the shelves of their local grocery store, it’s almost become tradition to take a picture of it and tweet it to ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell). Rovell tweeted a couple of the latest Big Ten-related items he’s had sent his way Monday. One was a bottle of Ohio State ketchup, which happened to be on sale, and the other was Michigan branded Pop-Tarts.
The BTN bus heads back west, trekking toward East Lansing, Mich., where on Wednesday we will check out a white-hot Michigan State program that has won 11 games in each of the last two seasons. Watch the Michigan State Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Thursday.
After taking in Penn State practice Monday, we’re headed back west. To East Lansing, Mich., to be exact. We have two stops remaining on our annual tour, and it will be great to see Michigan State and Michigan. You can find all of my tour previews and recaps over here. I’m also providing updates via Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my colleagues @BTNDaveRevsine, @GerryDiNardo, and @HowardGriffith, too. Now, let’s get to my Tuesday links.
The Big Ten announced its 2012 men’s soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Players to Watch List on Tuesday, with the conference’s last two regular-season champs tied at the top. Northwestern, fresh off its first Big Ten title, and 2012 champ Indiana were picked as the conference favorites.
Are you a Purdue fan, perhaps one who also dabbles in social media? If so, the Purdue athletic department has a cool new feature. It’s called Boilermaker Social Rewards, and as the title indicates, it rewards Purdue fans for being social. The more Purdue fans use social media, the more points they earn and the more cool prizes they receive. If interested, sign up now; it’s fast and easy.
Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fifth list ranks the top five individual seasons of the BTN era.
Brock Mealer, the brother of Michigan fifth-year senior Elliot Mealer, almost lost his life in the fatal car crash that took the lives of his father and his brother’s girlfriend on Christmas Eve 2007. Nearly five years to the day, on Dec. 22, 2012, Mealer, who was left paralyzed from the waist down in the accident, will get married. Here’s the best part: Mealer will walk down the aisle ahead his bride, Haley Frank, and he’ll do it walking unassisted, according to @stephenjnesbitt. Not bad for a guy who was given a one percent chance to walk again.