The most over-televised sport in America

During a very cold Saturday morning not long ago, I decided to check my paper to see what was on the good old tube for the day. I was kind of in the mood to watch a sporting event, so I grabbed my newspaper television guide and turned to the listings. Perhaps there was a good college basketball game that I could enjoy to help relieve my boredom. Well sure enough, a game was on and not just one. There were about 20 games listed at various times throughout the day. Great! I could be a couch potato today and just watch college hoops from 11am to 11pm; 12 hours of college hoops!! Unfortunately, I have a life so I just watched one game!

For those of you who are college basketball junkies, the madness starts around the second week in November. When you start seeing my pal Dick Vitale on television, you know it is time for the season to begin and the onslaught of televised games. A typical cable subscriber, like myself, can watch about 50 games a week from November to March.. I can watch games from all over the country on just about any day. I often wonder why there are so many televised games. Are the sports channels just trying to fill in open slots with those games? There are definitely some games that I am very interested in watching, but to tell you the truth, I could really care less about watching more than 80 percent of the games. Most college fans are only interested in seeing games from their conferences. I live in Big Ten country so naturally I am interested in watching games from that conference. But do I really care about watching some PAC 10 game at 10pm on a Thursday night? Probably not!

I can certainly understand the pain of those non-basketball sports fans. Some of my hockey playing buddies always complain about the lack of hockey on television and they definitely have a point. I think other sports get shafted as well. Volleyball has huge participation numbers in this country yet there are only a handful of games to watch. What about some of those other Olympic sports like track and field and swimming? You very seldom see those sporting events being televised unless it is an Olympic year. There is no question that ratings play a big role in what a network covers, but is it really necessary to have so many college hoops games on? I cannot imagine that some of those games get very high ratings at all. A better alternative, for those stations with a time slot to fill, is to run specials about certain athletes and coaches. I find those programs to be far more interesting than just another meaningless game.

The only time that I can even come remotely close to watching multiple college basketball games is during the NCCA tournament. Outside of the big tourney, I have a hard time watching more than a few games a week. It is just too much ball to digest. And let’s not forget about all those NBA games as well. Some hoops fans, like myself, also enjoy going to our local high school to watch our teams play. Sometimes, there comes a point when you just have too much of a good thing and college basketball definitely fits into that category. There are just too many games on television. In some ways, having the wide choices of games is a good thing, but sometimes a sports fan has to experience the thrills that viewing other sports can bring. In a few weeks, the college basketball season will end and many hoops fans will need to undergo counseling for college basketball withdrawal. I hope those fans will wake up and get reacquainted with life outside of the college basketball world; at least until November!

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