On a recent Saturday afternoon, I sent my older son a text message telling him we’re in that window of time in which baseball is getting interesting and I have not yet lost interest in college football.
That makes it challenging to navigate among the games I need to watch on TV, not to mention getting anything else accomplished over the weekend.
With my wife out of town on this particular Saturday, it was just me and the remote. A more faithful sports fan than I, she had briefed me on the location of the channels I would need (oh for the days when they were only single and double digit and there were only a handful of them), and had given me a lesson on how to hit the “last” button so it would return to the most recent channel viewed.
It used to be when I hit “last,” I would be immediately redirected to the last (hence the name, duh) channel watched but now, I suppose due to a technology upgrade, the last several channels that have been viewed show up in little boxes across the top of the screen and all I have to do is click on those boxes to be able to keep up.
Not only can I go to the most recent previous channel viewed, I can also go to the one before that and the one before that.
Of course that’s all easier said than done, and that little row across the top is pretty small. I have to make sure I am looking through the appropriate part of my progressive lenses.
Anyway, I managed to maneuver from one channel to the other and see the Astros playing the Red Sox, Ball State at Notre Dame and Georgia at South Carolina. I looked in on Vanderbilt a time or two also.
Those were the afternoon games. That night it was Auburn’s game (Auburn is where all three of my children matriculated and where, if there were any justice, a building would be named after me), as well as Clemson playing at Texas A&M.
A friend at work was telling me how, with Apple TV, I can split the screen into four parts and see that many games that are being broadcast on the various ESPN channels at the same time. He told me the different ways I could handle video and audio to maximize my enjoyment.
Because I am really working on letting people finish talking before I respond, I let him say his piece, bless his heart, because I know he was trying to help. I politely told him thanks, but that was probably a little complicated for me. Working with the remote, one channel at a time, is about all I can handle.
I am a self-admitted fair-weather fan and as I indicated, I usually lose interest in college football after a few weeks, usually by the first of October. (I abandoned the NFL a long time ago).
This year, however, I paid 50 dollars to play this game with 20 other people who also paid 50 dollars, and each week we pick the winners for the top 25, as well as a few other games. Money is awarded to the first and second place pickers each week. There will be larger amounts awarded to overall first, second and third place pickers at season’s end.
With all humility, I will share with you that I came in first place the first week and collected 30 dollars, so I already have more than half my money back. The second week I came in fourth, but I am in first place overall and I feel sure, with so much of the season to go and more prize money to be awarded at the end of the season, I’ll be in the black by the time this thing is over.
It might even keep me interested a little longer than usual.
What is sure to keep my interest through the end of October is major league baseball. With my favorite American League team, the Houston Astros, and my two favorite National League teams, the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs (in that order), all in the Pennant hunt, and with the Red Sox distinguishing this year’s team as one of the best ever, it’s sure to be exciting.
I have a little slush fund set aside to go to a post-season game in Houston, Atlanta or Chicago if I can work it out. (These day jobs complicate the lives of we upper middle-agers trying to fulfill our dreams).
I know there are those of you who say baseball is too slow. I’m really sorry you feel that way, and I think I could make a believer out of you if you would only give me the chance, but just as I am learning not to interrupt as people are talking to me, I’m also practicing the graceful habit of non-persuasion – I won’t try to convince you to do, or in this case watch, something you don’t want to do or watch.
But thanks for allowing me to share my experiences with you anyway.
It’s that time of year.
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.