Monday, January 14, 2013

Conflicts from hell

I really wanted to watch the Mich/Ohio State men's basketball game. After all, then #2 Michigan was in Columbus to tangle with their arch-enemy Buckeyes, then ranked about #15.

Just the day before, #1 Duke had lost to North Carolina State. At 16-0, and the last undefeated major college team in the nation, UM was primed to assume the throne, if they could only dispatch the Buckeyes. Turned out it was a helluva game.

But I didn't see any of it. Actually, I forgot all about it and didn't find out that OSU had knocked off the Wolverines until much later. Why can be summed up in two words.....

NFL playoffs.

Don't get me wrong. I love big time college hoops, men's and women's both, but let's be honest. Over the course of their regular seasons, the rankings will ebb and flow. Every week somebody goes up and somebody goes down. They don't really rev up in popularity until March Madness, when the NCAA playoff tournament kicks in. By then, the NFL Super Bowl is a distant memory.

Thing is, the NFL has been the gorilla in the room of sports for a very long time. No other American sport comes remotely close to approaching the overall fan interest and/or revenue the NFL routinely generates every year. Sure, the Super Bowl itself draws billions of viewers world-wide, but that's just one game. For an NFL junkie like yours truly, the best weekends of the year happen during the playoffs which lead up to the "blessed event". That's when there are two such playoff games on Saturday, and another two on Sunday.

Nothing else matters. Significant others can go find something else to do. A dog or cat just ran away? Big deal. They'll come back or they won't. A child or grandchild just got kidnapped by a bunch of guys in ski-masks? Hey, that's up to the cops to figure out. Nothing I can do about it. I've got games to watch. It's the NFL playoffs -- dammit. Then again, if one's house spontaneously combusted for some odd reason, that could POSSIBLY give a true NFL fan cause to consider implementing Plan B. Depends if the TV was still working or not.

(Note. Lest anyone think I am a callous, insensitive beast with the conscience of a piranha, due to the previous paragraph, be assured that is not the case. I would move heaven, earth, and Chris Christie to rescue one of my beloved doggies. Hmm. This levity thing isn't working out so well. Nevermind.)

But watching a college hoops game on such a weekend, even one like Mich/OSU, isn't even on our radar. That raises a few other questions.....

Who are the idiots that scheduled that game? Whether or not they knew at the time the UM/OSU hoops matchup would be such a good one -- they surely had to know they'd be bumping heads with the mighty NFL during it's playoff season, especially on a Sunday afternoon. Good luck with the TV ratings. After that NFL game was over and another one followed it, yours truly finally remembered the basketball game had already happened, so I tuned into ESPN's quickie update channel. It even took THEM a while to get around to announcing the outcome in Columbus. It seemed to be little more than a minor footnote. Like it or not, gorillas rule.

One more question....  Why couldn't the college hoop schedule makers have merely pushed the UM/OSU game back one day? It's now Monday, the day after, and nothing much else is going on. It could have been played in prime time and drawn a huge TV audience.

I really would have liked to have watched it. But we all have our priorities.

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