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When tournaments stop being cool and start getting gimmicky

Over at, Seth Davis has a piece out about a potential Veterans Day Basketball Tournament for next season that would take place in Cowboys Stadium and have four games going on simultaneously, with tip times spaced 15 minutes apart. The tournament (a brainchild of Mark Hollis, the guy who came up with the Carrier Classic) will be designed to “simulate the madness that takes place during the first week of the NCAA tournament.”

Hollis, who is also Michigan State’s athletic director, said that plans for the tournament are being finalized and the teams, except for his Spartans, have yet to picked. I’m going to go ahead and assume that Kentucky, who plays Baylor in Cowboys Stadium in December 2013, will not be included. Which is fine, because the tournament sounds less like a revolutionary concept to me and more like a big ole headache.

Hollis came up with the idea while touring Cowboys Stadium for the unveiling of the 2014 Final Four logo. According to Davis, he wondered aloud whether they could fit four courts on the floor instead of just one, to which Rolando Blackman responded “You can never do that.” That was all the prodding Hollis needed.

Four games under one roof, starting 15 minutes apart. Cool or a gimmick?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

39 Comments for When tournaments stop being cool and start getting gimmicky

  1. nassau65
    1:33 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I like it, wish i could go.

  2. Cobalt Cat
    1:33 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    An awful gimmick. Terrible idea – useful in track & field and the circus, but not basketball.

  3. StanTheUKFan
    1:34 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink


  4. AAU
    1:37 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Terrible, it has an AAU vibe to it.

  5. PhillyCat
    1:41 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    What happens when a whistle blows in game A, and players in games B,C, & D stop playing???

    Descent idea for the fans, awful idea for the teams. Hopefully this doesn’t happen.

  6. motodog
    1:41 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    They should blindfold the players and let wild beast roam the courts during the games.

  7. motodog
    1:42 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    better yet play it in the dark

  8. Bradley
    1:42 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink


    1:42 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s the real problem: The whistles. From the looks of the layout the courts would be fairly close, and at least a few times the whistles/horns from other courts would inevitably casse some confusion.

  10. UK Snuggie
    1:43 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Nope, bad idea. I can see it now, a foul in one of the four games and the whistle blows only to have the other three games stop and look to the refs wondering if it was a stoppage in play in their game. What about score boards? Will there be any announcements over a PA system? It’s just a really bad idea.

    1:43 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Oh, thanks, #5, you type faster than me…

  12. jpd
    1:53 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Sounds exactly like AAU.

  13. bluefan
    1:55 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    My adhd brain might explode.

  14. BLUE BLY
    1:58 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    and under the courts they could have Tigers that come up….and Chariots that fly out of the open gates…..halftime we could have a Jousting competition!!!!

  15. SoFLCat
    2:02 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    @12. was thinking the exact same thing. Do we get to cheer when the ball rolls from one court to another nearly breaking legs? I konw I cherished that part of AAU the most. Or the confusing whistles from different courts.

  16. Lee Weber
    2:06 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Great idea.. Will be great for the game.. You can watch the games you want on the jumbo tron and enjoy the ambiance…

  17. Some Guy
    2:06 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I read that he also thought it would be a good idea to sell tickets to fans that want to watch all 4 games at once. The seats would hang from the ceiling. They are also going to open the roof and allow others to buy ticket for fans wanting to watch all these games on the largest TV in the world. All four on the same screen. Man this guy is crazy…

  18. BigEZ V-ball Coach
    2:06 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    reminds me of my club volleyball days.

  19. Slight of hand
    2:07 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    The only gimmick here is tyler pretending to be a writer. Stick to copying and pasting quotes from articles or stealing from catsillustrated.

  20. jimbo
    2:12 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    And once Kentucky ends up confirming that they’re participating this site will be calling it the next big thing and how revolutionary it is. I like a lot of the posts, but the constant bias on here is starting to get out of hand.

  21. Hubes
    2:12 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I hope kentucky is not invited.. Terrible idea

  22. Hubes
    2:18 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe just two games at once. Im thinking a rivals tourny – two day event- duke vs unc – uk vs looserville at the same time.. winner play the next day for trophy and losers play for 3rd place. That would sell out cowboy stadium.

  23. whistles
    2:19 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    The whistles and horns would not be a problem. Its not a problem for the thousands of AAU, YMCA and charity tournament games played all across the nation in this same manner.

  24. zing
    2:25 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    @19 – ZING

  25. dave
    2:28 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    right when the guy said “simulate the madness… of the ncca tourney” is where this shouldve stopped.
    march madness = unique. this = gimmicky

  26. jp7
    2:31 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Gimmick with no real common sense to it. Most people in the stadium will have to watch it on the jumbotron anyway so what’s the use? Whistles, PA announcements, mass confusion just like an AAU tournament-who needs it?

  27. ruppcrazy
    2:37 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    The whistles wouldn’t be much of a problem. These players deal with that all spring and summer during AAU ball. However, it does sound a little gimmicky.

    I like the idea of two side by side courts with nearly simultaneous games. Just some high quality plexiglass in between to keep the balls from going from court to court and allow fans to watch two games at once.

  28. ukbradstith
    2:54 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve played in tons of leagues and AAU where the courts were literally right next to each other and it was never a problem. That place is massive, it’s not like the games are literally right next to each other. I think they should have 2 courts, with 4 games spaced out 1 hour apart. That would be an awesome day of basketball, with no down time, and the ability to move from one game to another in case of a blow out, or the ability to see the end of all 4 games.

  29. Carlzwa11
    3:00 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I like it, reminds me of AAU games and they always had an exciting atmosphere.

  30. Bad Idea
    3:00 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    The Cowboy Stadium game scheduled for next December between Kentucky and Baylor is a bad idea. They will be lucky to get 15,000 in the 100,000 seat stadium. Kentucky might bring 2,000 fans to the game. Who in their right mind will spend thousands of dollars to travel to Dallas on a Saturday three weeks before Christmas. Cats fans spend their expendable income on the SEC Tournament. Domes/Stadiums are horrible venues for college basketball. Way too many lousy seats.

  31. mudcreekmark
    3:07 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know about everyone else but it takes a couple of months into the basketball season to get football out of my system and start really enjoying watching basketball. I don’t think you can simulate March Madness in November or December and trying to watch what is going on in 4 different games at one time from a distance would seem like an awful experience to me.

  32. David Elswick
    3:18 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Chaotic and dumb.

  33. SeoulCat
    4:37 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Awful. This sounds like something that would take place at the North Korean Arirang Mass Games Festival.

  34. Big Blue
    4:44 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Gimmick? How about playing basketball on an aircraft carrier in the evening air filled with moisture from the ocean. Now that’s a stupid gimmick!

  35. UKUKUK1865
    4:53 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I like the idea. Sounds like a good time.

  36. JLivermore
    5:38 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    This is only interesting if they replace the concessions with betting windows. Four games at once only works for the tourney because everybody is in an office pool. Fans in general only watch games in which they have a vested interest. Unless they plan to have a giant office pool, no one is really going to care about all four games.

  37. blueneck
    6:25 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    I mostly like the idea. Whistles wouldn’t be as big of an issue as some think. For one, with games staggered, they wouldn’t all be going all the time. Two, if you have been to the big AAU events they do this all the time so players are the ones who will be most used to it already. It basically requires the refs to be a little more demonstrative and players to keep playing until they are sure the whistle blew – which is obvious most times anyway.

    To me the bigger issues are how well will attending fans be able to see all the courts? The biggest issue would be TV. If there are four courts ESPN will probably only show two games. Are there four major teams who would participate knowing their game won’t be on TV?

  38. thelestus
    7:26 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    few questions… for starters, why? (has to be money) secondly, why only four, why not 8? why 15 mins, let’s just do this thang and start them all at once?

  39. CAL
    8:43 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    ANY chance my Traveling Circus Klowns can crash this party??