Athens, GA (Sept 12, 2008) - Men of the baby boom generation may as well go ahead and admit it. Whenever you watch Something for Joey or Brian's Song, you cry. OK, at least I do when watching Something for Joey. It gets me every time. Sorry of that is too much information. But hey, Cubs fans cry every year, and until the Red Sox won a World Series their fans cried every year too. A Lot of us cried when W started going downhill fast. But imagine it taking a grown man crying to get a television station to give in and show a football game of interest to a region?
According to a blog posting by Ken Schott of the Daily Gazette of Schenectady, NY, that is what it took for the management of WRGB-TV to reverse an absolutely stupid decision to broadcast the Colts-Vikings instead of the Bills-Jaguars this Sunday. Schott reports that the WRGB sent him this email:
"Fred Lass, CBS6's chief engineer and huge Bills fan, who was born and raised in Niagara Falls, was in my office late yesterday crying. I and CBS cannot stand to see a grown man cry. So, CBS6 is going to carry the Bills game on Sunday 9/14 instead of the Indianapolis game. Please thank CBS for agreeing to make this last-minute change, and if you see Fred on Sunday, high-five him."
It should not have come to this. Growing up in upstate New York, smack dab in the middle of the Southern Tier, there were certain truisms in sports. We were lost in a purgatory of professional and college sports. By default, you were a Syracuse University basketball fan. You had to choose between a love of the Giants or the Jets, and between the Yankees and the Mets, carefully to balance your fandom with your friendships. Buffalo never really fit into our picture. But it did, and still does for people who live along the I-90 corridor further upstate. For a station manager in that region to choose the Colts-Vikings over the Bills-Jaguars, one has to wonder what they were thinking? If the name of the game is ratings, go with the "local" team. It should be a no-brainer. As one person commented in reponse to Schott's posting:
I know there are also plenty of NY Jet fans in our neck of the woods ... and when both teams are playing at the same time and are having good years, it can be a tough decision to figure which game should be aired.
But in a situation where CBS has the double-header on a given Sunday, the Jets are playing at 4:15 p.m. .. why in THEE hell would you not choose the Buffalo game for the 1 p.m. slot? Why screw Buffalo fans for no good reason? Especially when the team is off to such a nice start?
Amen! And see guys? Real me can and do cry, and sometimes it works. Maybe I should try that with my wife and kids sometime. It might go something like this:
"Honey, I am so stressed out (sob, sob). It would mean so much to me if I could just watch this ONE game (wailing now). I am so homesick at times, just the chance to see my hometown team that I never get to see (grabbing a big pile of tissues). Just undertand how much it means to me. I don't mean to be so emotional, but I am feeling so vulnerable right now (hug her and cry in her shoulder)."
Oh who am I kidding, that will never work. Maybe I should try it with MY boss sometime.
Ken Schott: WRGB changes mind, will show Bills-Jaguars