Westward Expansion

2/27/2012

Folks often use the expression “Hobson’s choice” when what they really mean is a choice between the lesser of two evils. A Hobson’s choice is completely different. It’s a choice between something and nothing at all. It derives from a policy in a 17th century livery stable run by a gentleman named Thomas Hobson. The rule was resolute and simple. If you wanted to rent a horse from him you were offered the one next in the rotation. Your choice was the horse Hobson presented else you could damn well use your human hooves to get to wherever you went in those days.

Oddly, this brings us to West Virginia University’s imminent journey to the Big-12 Conference. In my mind, it is a classic example of a Hobson’s choice. One made because there was no practical alternative. Membership in the Big-12 beats the hell out of nothing, which in the football sense of the word is what membership in the Big East provides these days. (If you do not think football is what this is really all about, you have not gotten this far anyway so I am not going to waste the smart kids’ time explaining.)

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