Blackout. To any sports fan, it is the most painful word in the dictionary. It generates anger, frustration, disappointment, and horror from deep inside. We become less nice people. Some of us throw things, while others prefer to go the hunger strike route. And then there are a few brave souls who will contemplate the unthinkable – yep, giving up beer. Too drastic for me, but I see where they are coming from. Television blackouts stink. If you live in LA in 2014, you know this fact firsthand.
Only 1/3 of LA is graced by the video presence of the Dodgers. The tyrant known as Time Warner Cable is holding the team hostage from all other providers. Smart. Why not do this with the highest payroll team in the sport? It’s the ultimate leverage for Time Warner. If you want to see the mighty Dodgers, you have to buy Time Warner’s programming. It makes smart business sense, but is it good for baseball? And sports in general? The jury’s still out. But like any good sports writer, this is where I insert a brilliant cliché. Let’s go with… gamechanger.
Anyhow, what’s the best method of coping with this awful tragedy (not that there’s such thing as a not awful tragedy)? I’ll name a few ways:
Watch the Dodgers Whenever They Are On National TV
I know it isn’t nearly as convenient as having every game at your disposal, so you can watch them on your time, but it is something. They are on Sunday and Monday Night baseball quite a bit, as well as MLB Network on random days. Then there’s Fox Sports 1. FS1 shows games just about every Saturday. Being that they are based in LA, I’m hoping for a west coast bias (so, the opposite of ESPN). They’ve already shown 1 or 2. Stay tuned, I’m positive there will be many more. Hell, if they are willing to show them against the terrible D’backs (a couple Saturdays ago), then they will show them against anyone.
Go To Dodgers Stadium
Yes, getting there and leaving there is a huge hassle. Yes, the fans can be raucous and smelly. But if you plan things right, it can be a fun and surprisingly affordable experience. Single game tickets can be inexpensive (if you look at the right places), and there’s a free bus that drops you off right at the stadium. Plus, it’s free if you show the driver your game ticket. And admit it, aside from the arduous process of getting to Dodgers Stadium, there’s nothing like sitting down, and enjoying a live game. But alas, there’s another option I would strongly recommend…
Listen To The Radio Again
It’s an old medium, but it’s been around for a reason. Remember the 20s? You don’t. But essentially, radio was our big screen TV. Only we relied on our brains to fabricate the images we heard on radio, rather than having the luxury of a 50 inch tv to do this for us electronically. And this also caused us to use our imagination, which isn’t a bad thing. So why not relate to our grandparents a little and hit the AM/FM button on our dashboard. What?! I only use my AUX though!!….. JUST DO IT, OKAY?! Give it a go, and you may enjoy it! There’s still nothing like listening to a broadcast of your favorite team with spectacular broadcasting. Trust me. Fortunately, the Dodgers are no exception. With legendary announcers Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday, the games are delivered with an unparalleled professional style unseen by most 21st century broadcasters. In other words, no yelling or whining, or blatant cheerleading. I tune into AM 570 anytime a game’s on while I’m in the car, because these guys are amazingly listenable. Simply put, they know the game, and they know how to call it. I recommend checking them out.
Blackouts, control them. Don’t let them control you.