Sunday, June 11, 2006

Digital DH

That our world is a dizzying dichotomy of ages old tradition ambling along the super speedway of information technology was highlighted for me last night in a series of phone calls from #2 son. His first call at about 6:30 was on my cell phone, to remind me that the Ole Miss Rebels' baseball game against the Miami Hurricanes was on ESPN2. Ole Miss is hosting a Super Regional for the second year in a row; beating Miami 2 out of 3 will send the Rebels to Omaha for the College World Series for the first time since 1972.

#2 lives in Grenada, Mississippi, about an hour south of the kudzu-clad hills surrounding Ole Miss. He told me that he was watching the rocking overflow crowd at the game via his wide screen plasma and lamented not driving up to participate first hand. I lamented back that ESPN2 had "regionalized" its Super Regional coverage and I was only able to see Alabama's game against North Carolina. He began giving me pitch by pitch coverage, interspersed with the repeated color commentary that he should have driven up to join the party. I finally got off the phone with him and accessed a site on the web that would give me a near-real time graphic and stats of the Ole Miss--Miami game.

After a early inning lead, Ole Miss fell behind 9 to 3 by the middle of the game and I let out my traditional Rebel loss sigh, turned off my laptop, and went outside to water my garden. My cell phone rang again, and #2 announced breathlessly that the Rebels had tied the game at 9 with a six-run two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. I scrambled back to the computer cave and fired up the laptop to stare at graphics depicting the game and a slow scroll of digital play by play. If you think baseball is maddeningly, excruciatingly, hypo-energetically slow, try following a game digitally. I could feel the synaptic connections in my brain-housing group rusting.

The final score was 11-9 Ole Miss, and as I gloatingly reported that fact to my long-suffering bride she gently reminded me that, "You know that they are going to let you down." This is what passes for encouragement in our home.

I am convinced that I am a jinx for my Rebels. I think that they have won maybe ten percent of all the games I have either been to or followed on radio, TV, or computer. Ten years ago, I was one of the first wave in Hawaii that plunked down the cash for a cable internet connection. In those days I was able to get a radio broadcast of Ole Miss football games for free over the net. One game, against SMU, had my Rebels down by 5 or 6 touchdowns at the half and I grumpily turned off the connection and went out and sulked on my lanaii overlooking my private beach on the north shore of Oahu (I kid thee not). Next morning, as I looked to see just how bad the final score had been, I was shocked to see that Ole Miss had staged a miraculous comeback to win the game. Had I been listening, I'm sure SMU would have won going away.

Game two against the Hurricanes this afternoon--I won't be watching. I'll wait for the call from #2.
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