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Chuck Landon: Huntington offers a lot for Saturday on the town

Feb. 16, 2013 @ 12:13 AM

There are cellphones.

There are text messages.

There are emails.

There is Twitter.

There is Facebook.

Why, there are even still those old-fashioned devices called telephones.

This is the technological age of easy communication. So, with all these available avenues of communication, why is there a boondoggle of entertainment choices in a city and area the size of Huntington and the Tri-State on this Saturday night?

Roll call.

There's the "Locked and Reloaded" tour featuring country music stars Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley with special guest Thomas Rhett at 7:30 p.m. in the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Next, there's legendary Motown singer Smokey Robinson also at 7:30 p.m. in the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, as part of the Marshall Artists Series.

Finally, there's a nationally televised basketball game between No. 22 ranked Memphis and Marshall at 8 p.m. in the Henderson Center.

All three events are at roughly the same time Saturday night. That means Tri-State residents have quite a choice to make.

But isn't it a shame that anybody has to choose? And is that what's best for the community?

Sure, it's wonderful that Huntington is offering so much entertainment tonight, but does it have to conflict? Wouldn't it be better if folks could attend Miranda Lambert and the Marshall game? Or hear Smokey Robinson and still cheer for the Herd?

It seems a little communication might help the situation, but there doesn't appear to be much.

"I've never been contacted by anyone," said Mike Hamrick, Marshall's athletic director. "I didn't even know Miranda Lambert was in town tonight. Heck, I'm going to go see her."

Then, he chuckled because Hamrick will be seated in his usual seat in the Henderson Center.

Most fervent Marshall fans probably will follow Hamrick's lead. Particularly since it will be Memphis' last appearance in Huntington and probably the last time anyone will see Marshall play a nationally ranked team for a while.

But casual fans might be headed elsewhere.

That raises the communication issue again.

"The short answer is, no, there isn't communication," said Brian Sipe, general manager of the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. "I know we are all in the same market. And I know when the games are. They're on my calendar.

"But there's really no way to avoid it. We have our own calendar and budget. The Marshall Artists Series has its own calendar and budget. And Marshall athletics has its own calendar and budget."

So, the consumer loses.

Hey, I'd like to see Smokey Robinson. Hamrick and his wife would like to see Miranda Lambert. But we can't because the lack of communication leaves no room for choices.

"We really do try to communicate," said Angela Jones, director of Marketing and External Affairs for the Marshall Artists Series. "For example, the Museum Ball is also tonight. We talked to them about trying to move it to another night, but they couldn't.

"The good part is there is plenty to do in Huntington tonight."

Perhaps, there's too much for a community our size.

So much for communication.

Could someone pass me the tin cup and string?

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2827 or clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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