The DVR Can Wait: Why I’m telling you the score

I enjoy my leisurely activities. I like to play sports and compete in them and I like to be social so I join things like softball and basketball leagues. I’m recreational. And with such comes scheduling and prioritizing of events. I commit to these teams; it’s called pretending to be an adult.

So when one of these ‘prior engagements’ interferes with something like a Wildcats basketball game, I choose – depending on the magnitude of the game as determined by me and the obvious – my commitments. Such was the case last night when Arizona was tipping against Tubby Smith’s Red Raiders while I was teeing off against Old Socks at Moscone #1 in the Marina (beat ’em in a pitcher’s duel, 12-10, in 45-degree weather).

I DVR’d the game and I didn’t care whether the results were shouted, mentioned, streamed across flyover banners, delivered by Amazon drone, or flashing across my Google glass (I don’t have Google glass). This is 2013, about to be 2014, and you are not escaping the news.

There is no don’t ask, gonna DVR rule.

Don’t be that guy who shouts at dinner with his girlfriend that you can’t know what happened in the game because you’re DVR’ing it. Don’t ever be him because in doing such you’re stomping on the very sanctity of fandom. Because being a fan isn’t about shooting lesser fans, it’s about the discussion, debate, conversation. It’s about the collective experience of a game and if you can’t immediately be a part of that collective then you’ve forfeit that immediate right. The world turns and you can garner your opinions of how the game unfolded on your DVR – by all means – on your time which you’ve allotted accordingly. But if you have the gall to shush my excitement because you prioritized otherwise…

And I’m not soon going to do it to you. I have a smart phone. I managed to sneak into the corner of our dugout and get updates last night. And I did the same as Arizona dropped a 2006 second round game to Villanova and when my brother and I turned our phones on, pre-landing, to catch anything we could about last year’s ASU game in Tempe (Cats won, flight landed just fine).

A quick poll of friends on gchat afforded me some of these golden responses:

“It would have to be an extreeeeeeemely rare situation, though I don’t think I’ve ever done it before” – Sarah K, San Francisco

“Interesting question. What are you doing going out if you DVR’d the game?” – Bo M, San Francisco

“nope” – Jamie T, San Francisco

“shit no” – Trevor V, San Diego

The definitive voice in fandom can be found through my friendships.

And here’s an exception to the above rule:

This weekend was Thanksgiving and I went home for that. We scooted up as a family of four to Scottsdale to visit my mom’s parents. Her father (Grandpa Jimmy) is an Ohio State alum. tOSU was playing Michigan and my brother and I were upset we couldn’t stream the game while reliving our childhood in the back seat of a road trips with mom and dad trying to get us to talk about familial things and the next possible time we’d all be together. The game, for whatever reason, was blacked out on our devices (iPhone). Nevertheless, mom showed off her tech-savvy by repeatedly asking Siri “what the score of the Ohio State game was.” When Siri told us it was 42-41 tOSU, we figured she hadn’t updated the extra point.

Mom asked again.

Then we took to the interwebs to find out that Ballsy Hoke had gone for it and failed. Holy shit grandpa was going to be excited. But when we arrived, before nary a salutation was exchanged, grandma informed us not to say a word to grandpa about the game. That she’d taken him to a lunch with their friends and he had recorded the game.

And so mum was the word. We left for a late lunch and returned just as Michigan was driving to their DVR’d score and decision.




Because when you’re 87, went to school there and tell your grandsons wildly inappropriate tales of your time in a tOSU frat house, and the only text message you’ve ever sent reads:

Congrats to me  I  am texting you for first time I see asu 6 pt favorite r u surprised. Love RSVP granpa

Then you damn well do as you please.

I got all the flavor and spice of last night’s game. I missed perhaps some of the glorious immediacy of sport but there’s a reason athletic events are keeping us from a la carte television and the cable companies in a monopoly. The people demand live sports. And “live” pertains to everything from television to twitter to push notifications to the guy next to you at the group dinner you couldn’t get out of.

I’m going to tell you the score – or you’ll tell me – and we can laugh about the situation we’re in and how much we love or hate a given team or the very situation we’ve found ourselves in. We paid for the DVR to recreate reality but reality is inescapable.

Embrace this.

And don’t tell my grandpa the Buckeyes score.

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