I’m a fan of NCAA women’s basketball. The women play the game with more finesse and more strategically than do the men. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been watching the really unpredictable journey to the NCAA championship.
It’s been a tremendous year. Who would have thought Duke and Tennessee and Georgia Tech and LSU and other favored big name schools would have been knocked out of the competition early? On any given day ....
It’s not surprising that every chance I get I plop myself on the sofa, and using talent that comes only to dedicated masculine followers of the game clicked the buttons on the clicker in the precise required sequence without looking to bring the competition into my living room in bright color.
It was a great game.Three point shooting kept the underdog in the game. Up and down the court they flew. The referees were apparently following the adage that if there’s no blood there’s no foul. Back and forth the score board reflected the ups and downs of the game, one team winning for a few minutes then trailing until a quick rally brought them back into contention if not the lead. What a game!
Then it happened. The screen went blank. A little box blue in color popped up. I was informed by the little blue box my system was trying to acquire a signal. What? Were we under attack? Had Al Qaeda somehow knocked out the satellite? Acquiring signal? The signal was fine. The game was neck-and-neck with only five minutes to go? Acquiring signal?
I leaned my head back against the sofa, smacked my forehead with my hand and uttered a few well chosen words in New Testament Greek. Acquiring signal? Wait. The screen was now once again filled with a picture. But the channel had changed. I was now watching the satellite company’s propaganda channel. I deftly punched in the numbers for the game’s channel. Another box popped up informing me if I wanted to watch this channel I had to upgrade. What? I tried another channel. Same message. Eventually I tried twenty or so channels. Apparently the only channel I could watch without upgrading was the propaganda channel.
I called the company, listened to the computer voice message that required me to either speak or say a number. I did and did and did. Finally Sharon, a real live person, talked me through some fancy maneuvers with my clicker and the system began operating as programmed.
I thanked Sharon. I hung up the phone. I clicked in the channel numbers to return to the game. The game was over.
I contemplated my frustration. I thought how wonderful it was to have more channels than I have money. And yet after what I’d just gone through I wondered. Back when I was a boy we didn’t have that many channels. But we didn’t have these kind of problems. Back then things were simple.
And then I had a flashback. I was twelve. My Dad was yelling at me. “Too far,” he yelled. “You went too far.” I tried again, reversing my direction. “Hold it; hold it,” he shouted. I did. “No, that’s not it,” I heard him exclaim in a frustrated voice directed my way. “Try it again.”
I did. From an uncomfortable squat on the roof I twisted the TV antenna again and continued to do so until the picture came back.