Tuesday, November 2, 2010

LIVING LIFE: Sports Time Zoneology

*Pulled this one out of the archives from March of 2009

I knew that when I decided to move to Colorado from the East Coast a few months ago that my life would be changed and affected, I just didn't know how much my life as a sports fan would be changed and affected.

I got excited the other day when I saw a commercial for all the college basketball conference tournament coverage, so I planned out my week accordingly to make sure I was home in time to watch the games I really wanted to see.

One of those particular games was scheduled for this past Thursday at 7 p.m., so I raced home from work that evening, heated up a cardboard pizza, poured myself a cold beverage, lounged back in my recliner and was ready to enjoy the Madness of March.

As I turned on the television at seven o’clock on the dot, I was confused as to what I found playing out before me on the screen.

Not only was the game already on, it was almost over.

Suddenly, a wave of reality crashed over me as I realized that they game had indeed started at 7 p.m... Eastern Standard Time.

What a Rocky Mountain rookie mistake.

Spending my entire life by the Atlantic Ocean, I had always heard of an “East Coast Bias” but never knew what the fuss was all about; mainly, I suppose, because I had never been affected by it. I always thought it just had something to do with Heisman voting or college football polls or everyone’s misguided fascination with Derek Jeter. But now that I realize that the national sports networks only promote games to one time zone, I can understand why everyone west of the Mississippi hates the East Coast.

I'm still trying to get this straight: we are so technologically advanced as a species that there are scientists who are currently developing contact lenses that will transmit your favorite TV programs and sporting events into your eye, but we can’t come up with a way to run regionally specific commercials for those events?

Just unreal.

And it’s not just the TV ads, either. After the college basketball debacle, I began noticing other forms of skewed East Coast bias in the sporting universe. I have a fantasy NBA basketball team through a national sports website and in our league you have to have your lineup set by 7 p.m. – again – Eastern Standard Time.

On more than one occasion, I have logged on to set up my nightly lineup around 6:30 p.m. only to find that games are already in progress and my team is locked. It’s always fun to watch Carmelo Anthony put up 31 points or Chris Paul dish out 14 assists… on my bench.

Good times.

But despite any bias by the national media, I have to admit that there are some bonuses to everything starting two hours earlier than what I am used to.

It's nice to have Major League Baseball games start at five in the afternoon from the East Coast and there aren't any more annoying “late games” listed in the paper the following day. I can’t wait for football season to roll around and have the luxury of waking up to college football starting as early as 10 a.m. on a Saturday. It will also be the greatest getting home from church on a Sunday and not having to sit through those obnoxious pre-game shows anymore because the early games kickoff at 11.

And with Monday Night Football starting at 6:30 p.m. instead of 8:30, I will actually be able to watch an entire game without having to down a case of Red Bull and stumble through work like a zombie the following day.

I guess those perks will make the sacrifice of having to get my degree in Sports Time Zoneology a little more tolerable.

All I know is that I can promise you that my little scheduling faux pas from last week won’t ever happen again while I'm out here. When I heat up my cardboard pizza, pour myself a cold beverage and lay back in my recliner for the rest of the NCAA basketball tourney, I’m going to be on time this time.

Case in point: I just saw a commercial for the game I want to see this weekend and the television coverage starts at noon in the east and it’s being played in Indianapolis and that’s in the Central time zone, so I need to subtract one, divide by eight, carry the three… oh, wait… no, I need to divide by five and multiply by the square root of 47 and then…

Ok, can somebody help me?

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