Monday, March 22, 2010

NCAA Tournament FAIL

     I apologize for the lack of new material here over the past weekend, but I was out of town and wasn't near the Internet, and quite frankly I can't really trust my current batch of Unpaid Interns to make up something to post other than an article about forced slave labor or a plea for the authorities to come release them from their shackles, so there was nothing.  Sorry about that.  But that's okay, because you probably wouldn't have wanted to be around me anyway, Company, since the NCAA Tournament and CBS pretty much invaded every nook and cranny of my being this weekend, and they totally messed with my head the whole time while doing it.
     Yeah, that's right.  We are talking about the NCAA Tournament today.  Brad talked about this over at Gotta Keem 'Em Bloggerated the other day, and we are going to do the same here.  First of all, let me go on record as saying that the NCAA Division One Men's Basketball Tournament is my favorite sporting event, every year.  I love everything about it - most of the time - and I always look forward to it.  In fact, back in the day, I used to take the entire first weekend off and my buddies would come to visit and we would just sit and be guys and play video games and watch the tournament.  It was fantastic; a real guys weekend.  No girls allowed, not that they wouldn't have wanted to join in because most of the girls I knew back then didn't care and plus sometimes we wouldn't shower for a couple of days at a time.
     Anyway, this year has been totally different.  First of all, I didn't find a tournament pool to enter.  I filled out a bracket and made a friendly bet with Mike-a-licious in front of God and everyone on the Big Dave and Company Podcast, but I couldn't find a pool.  So I was forced to create one and forced to force all the Unpaid Interns to enter it, but since they are unpaid I had to kick in their entry fees, so I am really just playing to get my own money back and to not lose it.  And in fact, some of them are beating me pretty handidly as of right now.
     That's the other problem.  My tournament bracket is currently in shambles.  If it were a person, it would have to be institutionalized and probably placed in a padded room for its own protection.  That's how crazy it has gotten to be.  That being said, most everyone's is like that this year.  High seeds have been falling like trees on a cable network logging show, and the Sweet Sixteen looks like your solidly lower-middle-class high school valedictorian's list of colleges that he is going to visit.  Cornell.  Northern Iowa.  Baylor.  Mt. Mary's College.  Univeristy of Washington.  West Virginia University.  Butler. Kansas State. Xavier. Oh, and Michigan State, Ohio State, Kentucky and Syracuse.  Let's not forget them. But still, upsets have been rife this season and anyone seems to be able to beat everyone, no matter which conference they come from or what sort of résumé they boast.  It is turning out into one of the most exciting and watchable and unbelieveable tournaments in memory.  And I haven't been able to see any of it.
     See, the tournament is on CBS.  The Columbia Broadcast System, which claims it is America's most watched network and which most of the rest of us think is a network for old folks, always broadcasts the tournament, which is fine, but is not available to me where I live.  I can't pick it up on the antenna that serves my wing of the Worldwide Headquarters, and I don't have cable or satellite hooked up yet.  So fine.  As such I missed the first couple of days of rounds.  I thought that this would be no big deal because I was going out of town.  See how sneaky I am?
     Yeah, turns out that CBS and the Tournament are even sneakier.  First on Friday, I tried to watch during my fantasy baseball draft but the draft took most of my attention.  Second, on Saturday I was busy going from here to there to the other place and didn't get to watch.  LAME!  Then Saturday night I made my way to my mom's farm and was ready.  They have comfy couch.  They have a giant TV.  They have satellite.  But wait.  There is a catch.  A big one.  No local channels.  They made the conscious decision to not subscribe the local channels on their satellite package because they weren't from the market that they wanted.  Like, they are right between market A and market B, and they want the market A stations but they get the market B stations.  So they said no thanks.  And their antenna wasn't strong enough to pick up any CBS from anywhere.  Oh, and no Internet there either so I couldn't stream the games on my computer even.
      Oh yeah, CBS Sports, on their website, allows you to stream to your computer any of the games that they are showing, so like if you don't like the one that they are giving you, you can choose a different one.  This is super cool, and it's super popular because CBS has this nasty tendency to continue to pump into your television games that are blowouts just because it thinks you will care, as opposed to games that are close and exciting.  So lots of people go stream games off their computers.  Millions of people.  Do you realize what kind of strain that puts on the resources of the CBS Sports website?  It's nuts.  So when you try to have your fantasy baseball draft on a tournament night, the website just can't handle the whole package and your fantasy baseball draft gets all messed up.  Great.  Fantastic.  Thanks CBS.  Thanks NCAA.
     So that's the long and short of my troubles with the NCAA Tournament.  It has been elusive to me all weekend long, yet it has managed to frustrate me at every turn.  This is turning into the lost year of the Tournament in my life, which is a shame because it's been such a fantastic version.  Oh well.  Next year I will be ready.  Next year it's on like Donkey Kong baby!

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