For those of our readers who pay attention to the bylines of these posts, you’ll have noticed that my usually frequent contributions have dropped off considerably this season. Josh has had to manage most of the work, with occasional contributions from Tim. It’s not that I hate having a team in the top 10, it’s that I moved to China in August, and for reasons unknown college basketball has yet to take off here in the Middle Kingdom. Although I can catch an NBA game maybe once a week on their all-sports network (which will involve either the Rockets, Lakers, or Cavaliers approximately 100% of the time), the chances of seeing any NCAA action in this country is nil. Thus I had yet to actually witness a single game this year — I’d never seen any of Wes Johnson’s heroics, never seen Andy Rautins in his new leadership role, never seen the new and improved gravity-defying Kris Joseph — and since I can’t see any of the action live it’s made me hesitant to record my opinions in this blog. Without witnessing events with my own eyes, I haven’t felt qualified to make comments. And without the energizing effects of watching games live with my homeboys, I’ve felt a little disconnected from the amazing reality of what’s been happening with SU this year. In other words, my situation was grim.
Until now. Yesterday night I was the recipient of The Greatest, Although Slightly Belated, Christmas Present of All Time. Thanks to the best Kansas-loving girlfriend to ever exist, I am now a proud member of something called Europe.ESPN360.com, which despite its name is a game-changer for life here in China. That’s right, I now have internet access to all Syracuse games shown on ESPN for the rest of the season. Hallelujah!
Granted, this is a mixed blessing. Almost every game for the rest of the year is either on at 8AM on a weekday morning or 3AM early Sunday or Monday mornings. So it’s not exactly a sure thing that I’ll be catching every game. There’s also the matter of the quality of the video feed, or lack thereof. Every minute or so the already somewhat choppy feed simply freezes for a second or two. This can be a serious bitch if a 3-ball is in the air at the time. And the image itself leaves a bit to be desired — it’s not exactly rolling with 2010 level high res HD. I think the whole game is shown using pretty much one pixel. It’s sort of like watching a live reenactment of the actual game using old-school Nintendo graphics. But hey, it’s live! And one, overworked, glorious pixel is all I need. Also I’m on holiday for the next six weeks between semesters, so I’ve got a decent shot at catching the big games, despite their god-awful tip times.
So yes, last night at 3AM I was formally introduced for the first time to Wes Johnson, Brandon Triche, and the rest of the 2009-2010 Orange. And I made it to the final buzzer at 5AM, enthusiastically soaking in every moment of what the rest of you probably thought was a lackluster game against USF. Sure, objectively speaking it was a dull game. But to me it was a work of art; an oasis in a desert for a guy who’s been dying of NCAA thirst for almost 3 months. And now I’m back on the blog with a vengeance!
Maybe next time I’ll even talk about the game a little bit.