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If only the B’s could find their winning ways…

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Bruins game 020610

Last summer, for my father’s birthday, I gave him a “weekend in Boston” complete with a Bruins game and dinner. Of course, Heidi and Rainer are always welcome to stay with me in Boston, but I planned for this to be more of a special weekend. The Bruins played the VYR Canucks on Saturday afternoon and despite the loss (the Bruins can’t seem to find any winning ways these days!), it was a fun afternoon. While I was very guilty of “coaching from the stands” and yelling my opinions from the stands until I lost my voice back in the UMaine hockey mania days in high school, I have long given up on that, which made the fact that there were these two overly loud and overly opinionated idiots almost amusing. They were so pathetic that Heidi, Rainer and I were pretty much laughing non-stop by the end of the game. If there is an expression that I never want to hear again, it’s “Take care of the puck-handler”.

Thank you, ESPN, but ….

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Dear ESPN Network (and particularly ESPN2),

First of all, thank you so much for broadcasting about 8 million hours of Australian Open television. Seriously, if nothing else, you pretty much cover all the matches that I want to see and I like your coverage in general. Darren Cahill and Mary Carillo are funny as all shit and I can even put up with Patrick McEnroe’s “Hellos!” and “th’Dropper!” comments on net balls that tweak over. Brad Gilbert? Well, generally I just want to mute him altogether, but I’ll take him too. So, Kudos.

There is one complaint that I would like to lodge however. You might think that it is a minor one, but it drives me positively nuts, so I thought I would bring it up. You see, I pretty much only watch your channel during tennis (mostly because you don’t carry hockey games), so perhaps this has been going on forever and I never noticed. It’s the ticker on the bottom of the screen. It used to be, that we only had to endure the score updates and random other facts that you scroll along twice an hour or something (I recall at :23 and :53 maybe?), but now the ticker is ever-present, reminding me of games that I don’t really care about, and more importantly, really irrelevant news. You seem to even have a section purely entitled “Tiger” which tells me Tiger Woods’s is no longer sponsored by so-and-so and perhaps may even tell me that he’s had an affair with a giraffe for all I care. The ticker is really really *really* distracting during tennis, particularly if the player on the bottom half of the picture is on a string and being jerked around. The ticker just plain makes me dizzy in cases like that. I’ve contemplated the low-tech option of duct-taping some cardboard across the bottom of my TV (and don’t tell me that I can mess with the aspect ratio on the screen to get it off the TV because that doesn’t really work either because the rest of the picture gets messed up).

So, if you could find it in your hearts to go back to the twice hourly updates instead of making my tennis-viewing feel like a stock market update (you are not Bloomberg News!), I would appreciate it.