Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So after waking up early yesterday to see the first MLB game of the season, I didn't feel like waking up for today's, and thanks to the combonation of a reshowing on ESPN2 at 2, and the good fortune to have no class on Wednesday, I've decided to watch it on tape-delay, which brings up the oft controversial subject amongst sports fans of tape delay, or watching a recorded sporting event later.

Most have tried to do it at one point or another, sometimes there are commitments one can't get out of simply because of the excuse that important sports are on. Some people I know claim that there is no value in watching a sporting event later, even if you know nothing about it; just the fact that it's over is too much. I am not of that school; I've tried it, and done it occasionally successfully - the toughest part is, first, having to decide, wherever you are at, whether you should try to get updates during the game, or have the commitment and foresight to hold it all off until you can watch it, and second, of course, to block out/not hear scores and updates once you make your decision.

I do this most commonly with football (soccer) matches that I DV-R off Fox Soccer Channel - this is relatively easy as I can pretty much bank on never ever finding out what happened unless I specifically look up the scores - one of the few benefits of the lack of popularity of football in America.

In March 2003, for the NCAA tournament's first weekend, in one of the nicest things my parents ever did for me, when I was in Spain, they taped all the first and second round games. Now, in this case though I decided I'd just pick and watch the exciting parts later; there was no way, first, I was going to wait the whole weekend to find out how my bracket was doing, and second, was going to find the time for 25 hours of programming or so during the week.

Of the two most successful times for me of recording and watching events later, one was not even a sporting event.

First, the sporting event: Again in 2003, in Syracuse's run to the title, they played Oklahoma in the elite 8 on the second sunday (march 30) of the tournament. I had a prior commitment to go see some play with my family, so I taped the game. After the play, my parents drove me to my dorm, and I of course insisted they turn off the radio - Elite 8 results are pretty big, big enough to get announced even during the minute sports segments of news stations. Eventually I got back, and immediately watched the game, maybe about two or three hours behind the actual game time, and was treated to a thrashing of Oklahoma, where Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds, to send the 'Cuse to their first Final Four since 1996. All in all, well worth recording.

The second, and perhaps even harder taping, was The Sopranos finale. I was in Israel when the finale aired, and honestly, the only way I was able to avoid having it spoiled for me, was having the good fortune not just to miss the finale, but at least to also be on a plane for most of the next day after the finale, where if I was in New York, I couldn't have turned on a TV, radio or been on the internet without reading anything. However, after the first day reports died down a bit, so I could hear snippets of media without worrying about hearing anything, before I sat down and watched the finale, unruined.

In fact, another time I had attempted this was when, arrogantly, my roomate and I, who did not get HBO in our dorm, attempted to have his family tape all of season 4 of Sopranos and then save them so we could watch in a marathon fashion. Of course, this was a foolhardy effort, as both of us had (SPOILER if you have never seen Sopranos and plan to, though the statute of limitations is really starting to run on that...) Ralphie's death ruined for us on separate occasions, but, it was still a good season anyway.

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