No Tu, no Kenny, no Mark Lyons, and, now, no Crosstown Shootout.
First off, the name Crosstown Classic really isn't that bad. If the annual meeting between Xavier University of and University of Cincinnati had always been called the Crosstown Classic, no one would mind. That, however, is not the case. The game has been played for years as the Crosstown Shootout. Now, swept up in a wave of unrelenting overreaction that has carried on since the 10th of December, history is being sacrificed at the altar of political correctness that only two institutions care about.
The Classic isn't all bad news. A very major part of the of the announcement was the revelation that the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will be a beneficiary of part of the ticket sales from the game. Ticket sales will be split between the school and the game will be played at the US Bank Arena, so raising money for the Freedom Center won't be an issue. Both schools have to be commended for at least making sure that some good will come out of their decision.
Skyline Chili remains the primary sponsor of this two year trial of the Crosstown Classic. UC will technically be the home team this year (as they would have been had nothing changed) and XU will take the reins next year. Allotments for tickets will not change from year to year, so there is no realy home court advantage for either team.
What is curious about all this is the two year trial run. One has to wonder what will happen after two years. The bloviating from both schools, most of it recently has been coming, unfortunately, from Xavier, has left no real recourse for either institutiion. Either the two year run is successful and we have a Classic, or both administrations are going to have to swallow hard and admit that the Shootout of 2011 wasn't a modern Rubicon.
Sadly, the events of December 10th have continued to spread like an unwanted ground cover. First, the Funk threatened to swallow Xavier's season whole. Second, a massive debacle over mandatory and then suddenly not mandatory "reflection sessions" gave the impression that the Xavier administration was at least partially blaming the students for a fight they didn't join or even instigate. Thirdly, both sides have been unable to just move on. Public apologies, entendre filled press releases, and half-hearted half denials over venue changes have made sure that no one forgets what may well have been the last Crosstown Shootout.
A little piece of history may have died yesterday. The Shootout will forever be David West going off, Kevin Frey dunking, Lloyd Price's steal, and Lenny in the Lane. Now, all those memories will be relegated to a memory bank with a name that is suddenly stigmatized.