It’s March 15, 2007, the first day of the NCAA Division I National Tournament, also known as March Madness. At 3:00 pm, I just got back from the bank making our daily deposit, it’s cloudy and cool outside so now I’m sitting at my desk and I’m watching basketball!
That’s right. I’m on the internet watching games live and for free! Does it get any better?
I love technology. The information age of the internet, cable, satellite, high-speed and DSL make so many things in life an experience.
It has always been a chore to try to keep track of all the games on the first two days f the NCAA tournament because sixteen games must be played on both Thursday and Friday. CBS determined a long time ago that the best format would be to play those sixteen games in four sessions of four games each. The network’s answer to people wanting to watch all the games was to stagger the start of each game by a few minutes so they could broadcast the end of each game, especially if there was an upset brewing. They could also broadcast exciting games in favor of blowouts.
Now on the two most exciting days of the most exciting month in sports, you can watch every game in progress, and at the same time. Two years ago you could have only watched one game at a time on CBS and maybe listened to another. Now you can choose not only to keep track of all four games, but how you keep track them.
For instance, satellite providers now offer a channel on which you can view all four games in progress on the same screen. You can then choose which game’s audio you listen to. Cable countered this offer with one of its own. Charter Communications, a leading cable provider, offers complete coverage of the tournament with their “On Demand” feature.
This seems to leave those of you who work during the day still wondering what’s going on. Heaven forbid you have to wait four hours for the evening news to check your bracket. Well, thanks to the internet, that’s no longer the case, either.
Every major website that covers sports has a live scoreboard. The scores refresh every 15 or 30 seconds. Most places also offer live box scores so you can track your favorite players.
CBS has used the internet this year to top them all. CBS is streaming all of their live coverage on their website. You can watch any game, at any time, for free! All you have to do is register a login name and password. You see the same coverage and advertisements and hear the same announcers.
I can only imagine what my grandpa would think about this. Take a moment to imagine your grandpa, in his grandpa voice, telling you his in my day story about listening to games on the radio and what a big deal TV was, even when it was black and white. He might have also mentioned, “What a shame it would be if you had to wait to read tomorrow’s paper to find out what happened.”
I think about those stories and am very thankful for the blessings of information and technology we have today. And why, because I can watch four basketball games all at the same time.