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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Monday, December 20, 2004

NYT: They Get Letters

Digging into Digger and ESPN. Merrill's sentiment is a little over the top, but essentially accurate.

As a longtime college basketball fan, I've experienced many enjoyable doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden. When they are televised by ESPN, however, they are pure torture for a fan in attendance.

A prime example was the recent Jimmy V Classic. The first game started at 7:10 p.m., and the second one mercifully concluded at 11:50. Eighty minutes of basketball should not take 4 hours 40 minutes.

As the games dragged on because of the many commercial breaks, I was forced to listen to hideous blaring music. At the same time, I was continually "entertained" by ridiculous contests: out-of-shape men shooting for airline tickets, youngsters in oversize sneakers and shorts attempting to win gift certificates, etc.

Adding to my misery was a 30-minute break between games. This allowed ESPN to return to its studio so that the likes of Dick Vitale, Digger Phelps and Mike Jarvis could drone on and on and on. They make it sound as if the fate of the free world depends on which college basketball team is No. 1. Oh, how I yearn for the old days at the Garden. Not only did I return home before dawn, but my ticket price didn't have an added facility surcharge of $4.50.

Merrill Smith
Hawthorne, N.J.