Hoffman's Houston
fuzzy geography

Ken Hoffman calls out CBS' March Madness Texas map major fail

Ken Hoffman calls out CBS' March Madness Texas map major fail

CBS March Madness map Texas Ken Hoffman
Seriously...could CBS not have just Googled, "where is Austin located?" Photo by Ken Hoffman

CBS, the “Tiffany Network,” spent hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcast this year’s March Madness games.

And then they hired Timmy in the third grade to draw their graphics for the big event. And it looks like Timmy is getting an “F” in geography.

Recently, I was watching one of the first-round games — I forget which one, I was all day in front of the TV — when the announcers started talking about Texas having seven teams in the tournament. Seven teams ties the all-time record for most teams from one state with California in 2002, and Texas in 2010 and 2018.

The Texas qualifiers this year are: University of Texas, in Austin; University of Houston and Texas Southern University, in Houston; Baylor University, in Waco; Texas Tech University, in Lubbock; Abilene Christian University, in Abilene; and North Texas University, in Denton.

Under the banner of “Lone Star State Success – NCAA Tournament Teams from Texas This Season,” CBS showed a map where all the colleges are located in Texas.

Whoa? Even in my basketball bleary state, that map ain’t close.

Literally ain’t close. CBS had Austin practically on the Texas-Oklahoma border, Baylor south of UT, and UH and Texas Southern some distance apart (they’re practically next-door neighbors.

Politicians are always proposing school redistricting, but this is crazy.

If there’s one college, you don’t want to misplace, it’s the University of Texas. Fun fact: every year UT tops the Forbes list for selling the most “merch,” and no other school comes lose. Let Notre Dame, Alabama, Tennessee, and others fight it out for No. 2. Don’t mess with Texas, as in UT, indeed.

I contacted CBS to ask what gives with that map — you guys have UT hundreds of miles north of Austin – but they didn’t respond. (Maybe CBS was busy finding a geography tutor for Timmy.)

Twitter is like the goalie who wins the Vezina Trophy in the National Hockey League: nothing gets past Twitter. I freeze-framed CBS’ map of Texas’ seven colleges in March Madness and posted it.

Thousands of Twitter users responded. Many simply posted one word: Yikes! Doh! Sheesh! Embarrassing! Lazy!

But, being how this is Texas, where everybody’s a comedian, Twitter let fly:

  • “The University of Texas at Plano.”
  • “Never knew the Longhorns are now located in Arlington!”
  • “UT-McKinney.”
  • “The best thing about the new map, the drive from Dallas to Austin is now only 23 minutes.”
  • “I guess UT’s weekend MBA extension site really kicked their athletic program into high gear this year.”
  • “How did Houston wind up near Beaumont and Baylor is now located in Waxahachie?”
  • “As both a map guy and a Texas guy, this here really burns my bacon.”
  • “Yep, that online learning is paying off. #Geographymatters.”
  • “They threw some darts and hoped they weren’t too far off.”
  • “I’ve seen better attempts at pin the tail on the donkey.”
  • “How do you get semi-close with Abilene Christian and North Texas, but miss the Texas state capital city?”
  • “Who did this map? Five to 10 minutes of research is all it would have taken.”

Maybe the smartest comment, opening up old wounds that need to be opened: “I think they mean seven men's teams. Once again the women’s teams are erased.”

Jimmy and J.J.: a perfect concert match
Usually Jimmy Buffett is hitting the road this time of year, but if COVID is keeping him grounded, he’ll bring some of his greatest hits concerts to fans online. Buffett is calling this his “Nothin’ But Time Virtual Tour  2021,” rewinding concerts from yesteryear on Saturday nights at 7pm. You can watch on Margaritaville.tv or listen on Radio Margaritaville on Sirius/XM.

Next up is Jimmy’s 2003 concert from San Diego. The rest of the schedule:

April 3 – Eugene, Oregon (2017).
April 10 – Dallas (1994)
April 17 – San Francisco (2012)
April 24 – The Woodlands (1995)
May 1 – Atlanta (1996)

I asked the Buffett camp, how did you guys pick which concerts to include in this online tour? “Our decisions are based on a sampling of locations across the country, tour theme, variety of set list and quality of the sound and visual components. It’s like a creative ‘draft.” Certain shows will make the first round while others make the second round and so on.”

Also, “if there was something special, a song or skit or cool tour theme.”

I’ve been to every Buffett show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. If I were in the Buffett draft war room, I would have picked the 2016 concert. That was the show when “guest Coral Reefer” J.J. Watt was onstage, swilling a beer and playing conga drums during “Margaritaville.”

J.J. Watt, remember him? Used to play football for the Houston Texans?

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