This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

What $3.99 Will Buy and How to Keep Everyone Happy After You Bought it.

Today's \Games
What will  $3.99 Buy ?  Lunch at a fast food restaurant perhaps. In most cases it won't buy a movie, very much gas, a paperback book or even a magazine. This year however $3.99 will buy viewing rights on your computer, I pad, or Android to  the 63 games  remaining  NCAA Basket Tournament games. The four "play in" games have all ready been played. That leaves 16 games today, 16 Tomorrow, 8 on Saturday, 8 on Sunday, 4 next Thursday, 4 next Friday, 2 next Saturday, 2 next Sunday, and on April  Fools weekend March 31st through April 2, the 3 games of the final four. To order your games go
In addition to the game you will get up to minute stats, comments from other viewers on line and more. Like a button which delivers only a radio portion of the game. Great for when you really can't watch or want hear legendary announcers like Bill Frieder (Michigan and Arizona State) or John Thompson  Jr.(Georgetown). TV broadcasts skip a lot of steps because you can see the game. Radio is more detailed in order to build theater of the mind.

If you don't have a computer, I pad, or Android, But do  have cable or satellite TV you can see all of the games for free on Television. The TV provider and today's schedule is listed above which is also  part of your  $3.99  on line package. Michigan State, Michigan, and the University of Detroit make up three of tomorrow's sixteen games. The games will be shown on CBS stations, TBS,TNT, and Tru TV.The last three are Turner Television stations and not all cable provider or packages offer Tru TV which has caused a last minute scramble of excited fans who must see each and every game.

The way this writer looks at it for the price of  one halfway decent ticket to the three games of the Final Four you can  buy a portable computer or I pad and lug it around while doing chores for the wife. Then when the tournament is over you could keep the I pad or what ever. Of course the Mrs. always prefers you do the chores without buying anything.

There is also a group of technologically advanced people who will be watching the tournament on a mobile device like a blackberry or a smart phone. How that that works I have absolutely no idea. My wife and I have the last cell phones in America that only behave  like wireless telephones. In my day we would have called them stupid phones.Today we realize that such communication tools are technologically challenged.

Also to be considered  is the fact that a three week, non stop, glut of college basketball may not be in keeping with the finest in family or generational  values.

My father spent a life time in commercial television. His last words to me delivered virtually on his death bed were "Whatever you do don't get hooked on watching sports on television. The owners keep increasing the rights fees and the networks despite every indication to the contrary believe they can pay for it with advertising. Well they can't. The day of Pay Television particularly  in sports is coming. So take  a walk. Read a book.Play with  the dog. Go shopping with the wife. Don't be a slave of sports on Television."

I have always hoped my father would come back. At least for a weekend but not in the fall. Then I would have to explain ESPN to him. It was around in his time but in those days ESPN offered Ball State vs  Temple while the  free of charge, over the air networks had the Big Ten Game of the week. Now it is the reverse. He would call  ESPN pay television and I would say that it wasn't very costly and it came in a package with a lot of other viewing options. Dad would then multiply the monthly cost by  twelve and whistle. Then would come the lists. What did I watch on Network TV ?. Sixty Minutes, the evening news,The Good Wife and The River. all of which cost me nothing more than the electricity. What did I watch on Cable ? Uh,,,  ESPN and The Walking Dead. "The what ?" he'd ask. Zombies take over Atlanta, I would mumble. Silence would follow and  I would ponder  if a further explanation was necessary. Sometimes  he'd just guess "something like Boris Karloff ?" and I'd nod. When we were finished it the results would be tabulated and it would be revealed, that because I never watched Animal Planet, The Gospel Hour, or the Home Shopping Network,  ESPN which I said was so inexpensive actually cost 97% OF MY NOT SO CHEAP cable bill which on annual basis ran close to 4 figures. "So what happened to walking the dog ?" he'd ask. Even my wife joining the conversation late would agree the dog needed a walk.

In 2008 two years after my father passed away, in a moment of sheer and utter madness, I ordered the Direct TV All game tournament package for $69. I renewed the package in 2009 but in 2010  Directv decided two of my receivers from the late 1980's were legacy models  and no longer accessible to their sophisticated 2010 sports signals. So  I cancelled the package. Then in an amazing feat of coordination and split second timing I managed  to tape all 64 games on satellite radio. I then transferred the games to my car radio which has a hard disk. The games are still on the disk. Every now and then when nothing else of interest is available I turn it on and revisit the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament. It's surprising how much you forgot if you haven't tuned in a while.  In 2011 I tried the same with TV but was not as successful and as my wife correctly predicted ,"Your never going watch any of those games again"

Now it is March 2012.
To my father I concede that $3.99 is  pay television. It works out to slightly more than ten cents a game. Of course if I live to be 100 and assuming no price increases my total investment would go into the hundreds of dollars and could assuming a longevity  of 125, exceed  $300 .The current  figure is however one I can live with. The Agreement between The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the CBS Television Network, and Turner Television runs through  until 2024. My participation in it is subject to annual renewal  Thus it is adaptable to the both future plans of myself,  The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the CBS Television Network, and Turner Television.. By the way the start times are staggered so I will be watching at least a portion of each and every game. Promise.

 For my wife, thank you for inviting me to be your guest. You remember that day I loaded up four college football games from ESPN 3 on your new Apple and  Aunt Sophie came by and needed help lugging veggies from the farmers market inside ? Then you wanted show her pix or something and nothing on your keyboard or computer screen, including the four games I put there, were working.  Meaning the computer  crashed. While Aunt Sophie cooled her heels in the hallway you told me between clenched teeth to fix it. I did by turning the computer off  and then on. Later after Aunt Sophie had mercifully left, you said you didn't want college football games jammed on your computer. I said that I would then  have to buy my own computer since my 2001and my 2005  dial up models were as slow as molasses in January.
I remember you giving me a very even look and uttering in measured tones the immortal words "Then be my guest." The next day I bought a HP 17" screen portable computer with enough power and pizzaz to fly to China, which prompted nothing but pleasant and complimentary comments from you. Thank you. For the mad month of March I have put in my computer all the Paint, Wallpaper, and Fabric samples you wanted me to look at.  They can be accessed  by button called "the boss button." Hopefully they are from upcoming projects and not something we have already done that I have not noticed. In the next 18 days whenever there are basketball  games, I will be on my hands and knees scrubbing floors while  pushing my computer forward with my nose. Honest.

 For The family dog: My wife says you sleep because you are bored. Therefore I will strive  to be more sensitive to your need for outdoor romps chasing squirrels and rabbits. In addition I will be tolerant of your need to plop right down where I wish to clean  or saunter in with muddy paws and pickers. When Alma Mater wins you know from past experience that you will be well taken care of. When Alma Mater loses a bonus walk to clear the air and put life back in proper prospective will also be included.. At any rate for the next 18 days you and I will be on the same level seeing eye to eye. You may find that strange. Perhaps it is. Someday I will explain it to you. It's a long story.

Now let the games begin !

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