Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Win You Didn't See

I can say with almost complete metaphysical certitude that almost everyone reading this post missed seeing Michigan State clinch a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. Why? Because CBS cut away from MSU-Southern Cal at the death to go to the Missouri-Marquette finish.

Now, if you were watching online, at a bar or you bought the March Madness package on DirecTV, this wasn't an issue. But many Spartan fans are in a tizzy over missing those last few seconds. I mean, it wasn't altogether likely that USC would pull five points out of their jacksies with just more than 10 seconds left, but it's certainly not impossible.

That hopefully won't be an issue with the next game, as the tip-off of MSU-Kansas (Friday at 9:37 p.m. ET) is a full 20 minutes before the game after it, Gonzaga-North Carolina, begins.

It reminds me, though, about the Heidi Game. I'm referring, of course, to the 1968 AFL Championship between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders where NBC cut out with just over a minute to play and the Jets up three to go to a regularly-scheduled broadcast of the movie Heidi. The Raiders came back to win, a classic ending that no one in the eastern or central time zones saw. Now, in order to avoid another Heidi Game, networks typically stick with the sporting event until it's over. But obviously there are still kinks to work out.

The solution, however, is simple: If you've got a game that's still reasonably close and right at the end, you can't cut away from it to go to another game that's reasonably close and right at the end.

So here's hoping MSU blows KU out of the water and so the good folks at CBS have plenty of time for Gonzaga-UNC, 60 Minutes, or whatever they please.

1 comment:

  1. So, even if you have Direct TV March Madness (as I do), you may still have missed the end. This is because whatever game is being shown in your market, you have to watch on your local channel. That channel most likely switched away when CBS national switched away. If CBS switches the game totally, Direct TV turns on your dedicated channel so you can watch your game, but it takes about a minute. So, Direct TV did not turn on the MSU channel in time, and we still missed it.