People who evaluate the viability of a commute to work often error in only considering the distance. They’ll decide 10 miles is doable, 15 or 20 is not. But anybody who has commuted much at all knows it’s not that simple because an uninterrupted 15 or 20 mile drive is way better than a 10 mile one in stop-and-go traffic. Because the constant changing of speed and monitoring of space is mentally exhausting.
Which brings me to college basketball’s March Madness, one of our country’s greatest sporting events.
I watch a fair amount of television sports, but because I’m impatient, about two-thirds of that viewing is shortly after the event is over so that I can fast forward through the endless commercial breaks. Not just that, sometimes I watch basketball games and golf tournaments in “2x” speed, which is a fair bit faster than real time. I also fast forward through field goals and free throws, deducing the outcome of them from the score change. Given my advanced remote control skills, I can watch a 40 minute college basketball game in about. . . 40 minutes.
Which brings me to Saturday’s West Regional in Portland, Oregon where I watched UCLA turn up the defensive intensity against St. Mary’s in person and advance to the Sweet Sixteen Friday in Philadelphia.* It was WEIRD watching the game in very real time because of the incessant breaks in the action.
Like driving in stop-and-go traffic, the game is played in twelvish two to four minute segments. That’s because each team gets a certain number of timeouts and then there are pre-planned “television timeouts”. To add insult to injury, now soul crushing video replays of especially close officiating calls make the spectating an even greater test of patience.
How is any team supposed to sustain any momentum? And how are fans expected to stay tuned in through the millions of mind numbing commercials?
It’s enough to make someone want to watch soccer.
*I watched some other team beat some other team too.