Friday, July 20, 2007

P.M. Update: Potter Fans vs. Sports Fans

P.M. UPDATE: Harry Potter Mania! I nearly forgot to mention Harry Potter coming out tonight at midnight. It's not a sports story -- it's only the dominant pop-culture story of the month, however -- but there is a sports analogy:

It's all one big race to read the thing before you inevitably hear what happens through media, friends, whatever. In this way, it's like TiVo'ing a sports event, then trying to watch it without finding out what happened. If you've ever tried doing it, it's freaking hard. A story:

Once, when I worked at ESPN.com in Seattle in 1996, I worked on a Saturday -- helping to manage the college football desk that day, if I recall -- but I was taping the Northwestern-Wisconsin football game. I didn't want to know the result... and I was working in a sports newsroom! My co-workers tortured me, but didn't spoil it. (Them: "Oh, it's an AMAZING ending!" Me: "SHUT UP! SHUT UP!")

Here's the trick: I wasn't able to watch the game tape until Monday, and I managed to avoid hearing the score -- again, working in the newsroom at ESPN.com -- not just all day and evening on Saturday, but throughout my full-day shift on Sunday. When I finally popped in the tape on Monday, I was delighted to experience a thrilling Northwestern win.

It remains one of my greatest accomplishments as a fan.

Commenters: Any of you ever avoid a score to not have your own postponed viewing ruined? What lengths did you go to?

-- D.S.

24 comments:

Sheldiz said...

There's a fantastic episode of SportsNight about this very topic.

Big D said...

My philosphy on this is simple - if it means that much to me as a fan, I make the time to watch it happen live. Or at least (now with the power of the web) try to follow along online through a video or audio stream, live blog, something.

I've got plenty of friends however that get very, very pissed if I talk about tape delayed events, like overseas golf, or the WSOP.

Justin said...

This year:

Passover dinner at the GF's. Got home and watched OSU/Florida Bball Championship. I watched the whole game at midnight (fast forwarded through commercials).

GF's grandmother passed away. Went over for shiva call. Got home and turned on TV. For some reason game didn't start from beginning. I got the Cavs/Pistons Game 5 as LBJ hit a sick fadeaway shot with 35 sec left in the first overtime to put Cavs up 4.

Mike said...

a northwestern game? really dan? there wasn't a florida game on or anything? i'm shocked.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Sheldiz beat me to it. It's episode 18 "The Sword of Orion" which I just watched the other day on the DVD. Imagine how hard it is to not figure out the score when you are anchoring the show.

There is also an episode of How I Met Your Mother entitled "Monday Night Football" where the 5 characters try to not find out the Super Bowl score till 24 hours later when they can watch it on Monday night because a funeral takes place during the game that they have to go to and they have to go to work the next day. It is episode 14 of season 2.

Here's a short clip of the episode...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaYMDN1uOuA

jhawkjjm said...

Scrubs also had an epsidoe where Dr. Cox wanted to watch the Kobe-Shaq Lakers-Heat game. That one ended as he sat down to watch the tape of the game, which was overwritten by Kelso giving him the final score right at the beginning.

I remember that Sports Night episode, that was a good show. Too bad it didn't last.

GuyInTheCorner said...

jhawkjim-

That's "My Hypocritical Oath", episode 15 of season 4 where the Janitor is determined to ruin the game because Dr. Cox ruined the ending of The Sixth Sense for him.

Sheldiz said...

i'm still sad that SportsNight got cancelled and its been like 10 years.

good thing i have it on DVD. :)

Jibblescribbits said...

2 stories

I worked in a restaurant (not a sports restaurant's), and had to work the afternoon-evening of the Super-Bowl (Giants-Ravens). I had interaction with hundreds of people throughout the day, and greeted every table that day as "Hi I'll be your server this evening, please don't tell me the score of the game because I am taping it at home"

I made it through the entire shift without finding out the winner, then walked through the college dorms looking at the ground with headphones on to make sure I didn't hear it. I got to my dorm room and people, who had watched the game were there, but knew I was taping it, so they didn't say anything.

My roommate, (who BTW puts Shanoff-style bandwagondom to shame. In a 3 year span his favorite teams were the Broncos, then Raiders, then UCLA, then USC) who happens to have lived near Baltimore, asked who I want to win. I said "The giants, but I don't really care that much" and he just laughed at me, reveling the winner of the game.

I felt like I knew what justifiable homicide meant at that point.

CycleDan said...

I read the first 5 Harry Potter books aloud to my son. (first to both sons.) Since my little guy read the 6th by himself, I finished reading it while he was in sleep away camp so we could discuss it when he came home.

My kids thought it was so funny that nobody spoiled the ending for me. I guess 41 year olds run in different circles and don't discuss Harry Potter too much.

We have the new one on order from Amazon. My older son will read it by Monday to make sure nobody spoils it. I was never a real fast reader but my older son can rip though a 600 page Stephen King book in a couple of nights. Harry Potter is easily an evening read for him. For me it is at least 4 evenings. Then again, I have to watch my Tour de France coverage.

CycleDan said...

I ruined part of a recent Tour stage for a cycling buddy who wanted to watch the evening coverage. I assumed everyone followed it online and knew the outcome.

Brian in Oxford said...

My daughter is going to read my copy of book 7 while on a trip to maine from connecticut. 6 hours each way.

I will have to CRAM to finish it first (I'm normally like a 2-chapter-a-night person) if I have any shot of her not giving it away on me....

(And of course, it's a birthday present from my wife, so I won't be able to start right away tomorrow, I have to wait for the delivery early next week...)

nooch said...

not sports...but i sat down to watch tv and found sixth sense on, not knowing anything and wanting to see it bad, so i watched it without checking how long it had been on. I sat there and got the full last 15 minutes of the movie...dammit!

washeed-neutwon said...

uh ditto to justin. to the first part exactly.

the worst ever was i tivoed a colts game and my om heard somethign and she started to talk and my bro told her to shut the fuck up/

Will said...

I used to have to avoid my TdF results till I got home. Then I got a Palm Pilot for work and its been a dream ever since. I get the live text updates on a regular basis.

Sheldiz said...

i did that once with a ravens game b/c i'm a moron. i didn't change the channel before i set the DVR, so when i got home and turned the TV on, it was the last 2 minutes of the game i was recording.

i never made that mistake again.

GuyInTheCorner said...

For those who live under a rock, the report is that the ref in question is Tim Donaghy. So I bring you a Sports Guy quote from this years playoffs...

Congratulations to Greg Willard, Tim Donaghy and Eddie F. Rush for giving us the most atrociously officiated game of the playoffs so far: Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series. Bennett Salvatore, Tom Washington and Violet Palmer must have been outraged that they weren't involved in this mess. Good golly. Most of the calls favored the Spurs, but I don't even think the refs were biased -- they were so incompetent that there was no rhyme or reason to anything that was happening. Other than the latest call in NBA history (a shooting foul for Ginobili whistled three seconds after the play, when everyone was already running in the other direction), my favorite moment happened near the end, when the game was already over and they called a cheap bump on Bruce Bowen against Nash, so the cameras caught Mike D'Antoni (the most entertaining coach in the league if he's not getting calls) screaming sarcastically, "Why start now? Why bother?" What a travesty. Not since the cocaine era from 1978-1986 has the league faced a bigger ongoing issue than crappy officiating.

ToddTheJackass said...

Good find there Guy.

Don't have a good sports story, in that everytime I've tried taping a game, etc., I end up having the ending spoiled by someone anyway. I do have certain superstitions about looking up results of sporting events, but that's different I suppose.

As for Harry Potter 7, I'll get to read it after my Girlfriend finishes it. She finished the last one in under 24 hours while it took me about a week, but I knew something was up once she started crying at the end of the last one. Sort of tipped me off into knowing what happened...

All I know is if the guy in the hot dog eating contest was right, that dude's tires are getting slashed.

Big D said...

Actually, to provide a good story for the discussion, I'll pass this along:

This past season's AFC Title Game, Pats/Colts. Two of my buddies & I were in Vegas, but they booked their return flights like 2 months in advance and ended up in the air for the entire game. They told me not to text them anything, that they'd watch the highlights when they landed back at Logan.

Then they got on the plane, and the pilot gave them running updates... right up until the Colts got back within one score. Then the updates mysteriously stopped.

I got to watch the whole game while still in Vegas, and it killed me to not be able to comiserate with them.

Todd said...

Snow Bowl, Pats/Raiders AFC Divisional Playoff. As a huge Pats fan, I was thrilled to see them back in the playoffs but had to call a basketball game for my college radio station that same night. So I had to take off my headset during studio updates and halftime, duck through the TVs in the gym, ask my buddy to call me when the game ended so I could stop the tape and start watching (pre-tivo days). I avoided the score the entire team, had no idea who win, but knowing when the game ended and how long it ran, I had a good idea the Brady tuck play was going to be overturned (game had too much time left NOT to go to overtime). Still, a tremendous accomplishment and an awesome night watching it until 3 AM and having the Pats come out on top

bird said...

In 1980, I had just gotten my first VCR, and the Florida-Georgia football game (aka "the world's largest outdoor cocktail party") was to be played the next weekend. I had to work that day, so I carefully set the timer, went to work, and announced to one and all that "I DON'T WANT TO KNOW THE SCORE!!" I went home from work and watched the game, and for those too young to remember or for those non-Gator or non-Bulldog fans, that was the game where Lindsay Scott of the Bulldogs caught a desperation pass and ran over 80 yards for the game-winning touchdown! To this day, I will not record any live University of Florida athletic events (not even national championship games!) for fear of jinxing my beloved Gators!

Andy R said...

Been taping a lot of Cubs games this summer due to work and since no one I work with likes sports or the Cubs, I never have a problem avoiding the score.

Lance A Boyle said...

I once taped a Peach Bowl game that NC State was playing in (yes, back when we still played in bowl games). I was staying at my brother's house for the holiday and he forced me to go to a very lame party instead of watching the game. But he promised to tape the game for me and wouldn't let his daughter (my niece) ruin it for me.

I got up at 6:00 AM, rewound the tape labelled "NCSU Peach Bowl", and discovered a New Kids on the Block concert on the tape! Outraged, I dragged my niece out of bed, only to find out that she had put that in as a joke. She took out the tape and popped in another and said "Here's the real one." A good joke. But, unfortunately, when she popped in the real tape, she had forgotten to rewind it and the VCR went into "auto-play" mode. The final score immediately popped onto the screen.

Another time, friends dragged me out to the golf course when I wanted to watch NCSU play #1 FSU. Since it was a really nice day and we were doomed to get demolished playing AT FSU, I didn't mind too much. I arrived home later that afternoon, ready to watch the game. When I walked in the door, I noticed that there were 10 messages on my answering machine. Without even thinking, I hit "Play" and was bombarded with messages like "Oh, my gosh! I can't believe you beat them!" and "What an incredible game!" and "You're probably out somewhere watching the game on a big screen! I'm so glad you beat them!"

watzalt said...

I had a basketball game at the same time as the 2002 49ers/Giants game. I taped the game which was still on when I got home. I got my girlfriend to make sure it was over before stopping the tape. I began watching it and told her she couldn't answer the phone in case it was a friend calling about the game and their conversation would give something away.

The 49ers were down quite a bit and I thought it was over when she answered the phone. I thought her conversation confirmed that they would lose. I ripped into her and she went to bed leaving me to enjoy the 49ers comeback and win and the whole crazy ending. Feeling better I crawled into bed after the game and appologized for my blow up.