A Minute By Minute Night

About three or four nights a year, you get the Perfect Sports TV Viewing Night Storm, and last Thursday, was one of those nights:
- White Sox/Texas (yes, I actually do tune into Sox game stills even though it is in no way enjoyable).
- Bears/Browns - BRADY!
- Cubs/Brewers - PRINCE!
- LSU/Mississippi State - Five First Round Draft Picks waiting to Happen!
- USA/Maradona, I mean Argentina - Has anyone's stock risen more this summer than Kobe? Seriously... have you seen him for the US over the last two weeks?
- Fox Soccer Channel - Easily the greatest TV station ever.

So with all this on the slate, I went to work:

6:59pm – As we put the final touches on a gin gimlet (Tanqueray) and the Stones singing about death (“You can’t Always Get What You Want” which we didn’t even know was about death until like two years ago) – we’re starting with college football where Sylvester Croom is being show speaking yesterday to the Mississippi State faithful. Quick, name either:
a) A Mississippi State faithful
b) A famous Mississippi State alum

7:04 – Whoa! Miss Mississippi is introducing the MSU team on ESPN in a sweet southern drawl and giving her analysis of the team. Does ABC have Miss America this year? And now James Carville who is clearly reading off of cards, gives us the LSU team! This is almost as cool as when the players introducing themselves on Monday Night Football… THE Ohio State University. I’m praying for someone form CUA to make the NFL and say THE Catholic University of America.

7:11 – Famous MSU alums: John Grisham, MSNBC’s chief meteorologist Sean McLaughlin, the dude who founded the never heard of Pizza Inn, and roughly 183 professional baseball and football players. Once again, you’ve gotta love the SEC, academics be damned (save Vandy).

7:13 – What, no MLS game? Brewers already up 1-0 on the Cubs in the top of the first… it looks like Ted Lilly is going to make this a long night on the North Side… so sad. Wait, the US Open is on TV too? Is another more underrated than tennis – Sharapova! – I mean, it’s one of those things that just sort of sucks you in. Matches seem like they take forever, but they actually move really quickly. Tennis is the anti-golf.

7:17 – Seriously, there aren’t enough TV buttons… I just remember the Bears game and feel like I should watch this because in a half hour it’s pointless to check it out. But there’s a Necaxa/Chiapas Mexican Football match to be watched also!

7:19 – The WNBA playoffs are on ESPN Classic. Does this shatter the Unintentional Comedy Scale? And apparently I don’t have the Big Ten channel. When does that launch? Oh today?

7:22 – I just realized that even though we’re only 6 minutes into the Bears/Browns game, Grossman is on the bench. And wouldn’t you know it, Griese pulls a SexCannon on third down saying, “Fuck it, I’m going deep.”

7:28 – This Bears/Browns game couldn’t be more unexciting. Wouldn’t the NFL be 100 times more exciting if play was continues and only punt returns?

7:32 – So I’m not getting the Big Ten Network even though I’m paying for the Sports Extra package on Comcast. Hey Comcast, you suck… so much. I understand (and don’t agree) with your argument that consumers shouldn’t be forced to receive the BigTen Network and if they want it they should pay extra, but guess what I am paying extra alreay. So why can’t I get it?

7:40 – Switched over to the Sox game, and Thome just killed an offering from Millwood, and it’s 1-0 White Sox. Holy shit he killed that one and that is Jim Thome’s 495th career home run.

8:10 – Some time while starting dinner, Sammy Sosa hits a home run and in classic Hawk call ensues, “There’s a drive deep. Stay in here. [A good five seconds of silence] And it’s a 1-1 ball game.” Meanwhile, as Sosa is rounding the bases, the Texas PA is blaring “The Natural” theme music. As if I needed to dislike the Rangers and Texas even more.

8:14 – Let’s just say this night isn’t going to plan. I think focusing on the two baseball games is hurting… let’s try LSU/MSU and the US Open. And more booze. Surprisingly, it’s only 10-0 LSU in the second and it’s raining in Mississippi! What was I thinking going to the Cubs game and their boring ass announcers (Len Kasper and World Series Manager Bob Brenly).

8:35 – As I start eating dinner, I flip over to the Sox game after LSU scores a TD on the final play of the first half. I apparently just missed a four error inning by the White Sox – and Hawk isn’t pissed or dead.

8:39 - Hawk is talking about a three error inning he once had – apparently he made three errors and then forgot to cover the first base on top if it, all in the same inning. DJ tells him that he’s never seen that. Hawk then shoots back, “When you make three errors in an inning, you’re mind goes places.” And hasn’t said a word since – a good minute has passed – I picture Hawk making the ‘cut throat’ jester to DJ right now since DJ just gave his nervous laugh. The inning ends and Hawk has sit not said a word to DJ. See there is a silver lining to the Sox sucking.

8:44 – Hawk speaks! Hawk is speaking as if he’s some sort of baseball elder in this really forced, calm, wise voice – musing on the finer points of pitching and bad luck.

8:47 – It’s officially NFL season, my first Peyton Manning commercial! It’s that one where he audible to me to order the NFL Season Ticket. But as you know, I can’t since I have Comcast! No matter, it’s good to get that Peyton commercial out of the way – he really does give hope to squares everywhere doesn’t he?

8:49 – The Shins and Snoop Dogg are playing a show together? What? BTW, only during a Cubs game on WGN would such information be broad casted. Cubs games on WGN… well just watch one some time to fully understand the Three Hour Infomercial that it is. Oh yeah, if things don’t pick up, I might pop in the Netflix DVD I got today and then come back for KOBE and USA vs Maradona, I mean, Argentina.

8:52 – I’ll say this, WGN knows their audience – senior citizens and people from downstate Illinois and Iowa. After showing the Batman camera crew (yes, Chicago is Gotham) we had this gem: “I thought I saw the Batmobile in the parking lot tonight. I just thought one of the players went a little overboard, but I guess I was off,” Bob Brenly.

8:55 – YES! It’s the Gillette commercial with Thierry Henry! The coolest man alive! But who okayed that commercial for US audiences? Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Henry? Was Shane Warne not available?

9:02 – Why hasn’t the media and bloggers made more noise about the awesomeness that is the tennis shot tracker thingie where players can challenge the official ruling by going to that shot tracker thingie (which is like the coolest thing in sports) and then the get the call right. Why can’t we do that with all sports? I mean, if we can track where a 100 mph tennis ball lands, why do NFL officials spend two minutes figuring out if a ball hit the ground or not? Why does every baseball fan have to suffer from the consistently smaller strike zones that the Red Sox and Yankees get?

9:06 – What does it mean when more blacks are in the crowd at a US Open tennis match than a Red Sox game at Fenway? Rhetorical Question #289,922,188 – is there such a thing as a black Red Sox fan? Is Red Sox Nation a White Only thing?

9:15 – Blake is in a battle in Queens against some French guy named Santoro. But I’m going to but on the Constant Gardener.

12:12 – Well the Constant Gardener makes you think twice about spending any time what’s so ever watching sports… who cares about sports while the situation in Sudan continues? A situation were thousands are being killed and the West is slow to react (and I fully realize that the movie wasn’t really focused on Sudan, but I don’t feel like going into the whole exploitation of Africa by pharmaceutical companies). Anyway, the US is up 22 on Argentina in the second half.

12:19 – As Walton talks about how great it is to see a soccer game in Argentina (warning to all gringos who take Walton’s advice, don’t go to a game). Anyway, Walton drops Maradona’s name! And with that, we’re going to call it a night. We’ve got to finish packing as it is (Watch out Jersey shore, I’m comin’!) and it’s getting late. And this post… well like any solid night of drinking, it was a good idea at the time.

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