Sunday, February 3, 2008

Giants 17, Patriots 14

What a game.

Yeah, I know. That's not what you might expect from Mr. Artiste here, having determined years ago that I do not have the sports chromosome in my genetic code.

But the years on the Hootie bus have given me more inadvertent sports understanding than I ever thought possible; much of it seeps through while I'm just happen to be in the lounge when a game is on. Everyone in that band, and much of their crew, really knows their shit about football (and most other sports as well). They know so much that, when I ask what I sheepishly feel is a dumb question, they patiently sit down with me and explain the answer clearly, so that I can get it, even with my limited knowledge.

And the NFL on a television serves as a nice legal narcotic for me. Smart Wife has come in on me, transfixed before a football game on a Sunday afternoon, and after her initial shock, she notices that I don't appear to hear her talking to me.

The television was otherwise in use tonight, watching I-don't-want-to-say-what except that it involved Herculean weight loss and had back-to-back episodes.

So I did the next best thing in the Digital Age, and I may have found my favorite medium for maximum football enjoyment.

I went to The Fifth Down, the New York Times' sports blog and read John Woods' entries. It's a little like waiting for semaphore signals on the opposite hill, but I just kept refreshing my browser and the last two minutes of the Super Bowl were happening there, on the laptop, in writing. That's the sum total of the game that I experienced, but I'd do it again.

The idea of reading a whole game as it happens is so appealing to me. Obviously, because it's the New York Times, it's absolutely grammatically perfect. The enthusiasm is palpable. The babble that goes on in the booth is not happening in print; it's all tightly edited as it goes down.

And, best of all, I can read it. I love to read. There are few things I prefer doing with my eyes, save closing them and going to sleep. My marginal enjoyment of the sport is augmented by this new, contemporaneous method of 'watching'.

Too bad I have to wait for football season to start again.


Barry Ragin said...

If you can figure out soccer, the Guardian has a regular minute-by-minute feature of interesting games from leagues and competitions around the world. Today it's Tunisia v Cameroon from the African Cup of Nations.

And their writing blows the NYTimes out of the water.

Jeff Hart said...

the internet definitely helps when one is either not near a tv or a game's on a network that's unavailable. not having cable, when i want to keep up with my hapless baltimore orioles, i follow the games with the "gameday" online graphic. it actually displays a graphic for every pitch. i've really come to enjoy it.

i did see someone's play by play blog once when the carolina hurricanes were on their championship run.

Barry Ragin said...

Yeah, and if you want to pony up that 20 bucks a year, you can get radio broadcast of every MLB game online; for about 150 or 200/year, you can get video.

Back in the day (1998 to be precise) Mark Cuban made his nut with, which aggregated all of the local radio feeds from MLB, among other places, and made them available online for free.

Yahoo paid himn a couple of billion, if i recall, for a service that was essentially valueless within 15 months of its sale.

Jeff Hart said...

i do listen via since the o's flagship station is no longer wbal (even then, it was really hard to get it on a.m. radio). that in combination with the gameday viewer is really kind of cool. even has the speed and location of the pitches, etc. i was able to view (for about $79 a year) on my pc till their i.p. address tracker realized i was in the orioles viewing area! yeah, right. like i was gonna drive up to baltimore twice a week from durham to see the o's. dream on peter angelos or whoever. luckily, they refunded my money. i was excited at first as it was way cheaper than having cable. baseball is about the only reason i'd have cable. now that MASN is now gonna be on time-warner, i may finally pony up.