It’s nice that in these divisive times all of humanity can agree that cable/internet/phone providers are useless, without exception. There must be something in the tech-communication business model that compels these companies to combine horrible phone/internet service with confusing (and always escalating) pricing and outright incompetent customer service. OR they are all horribly run and succeed due only to the fact that they are all equally incompetent, like governments. I’ve always been of the belief that all of the choices are bad so just hate the one you’re with (in my case AT&T cable) and accept this as one of the side effects of technology.
That changed a few weeks ago, when a small difference between Spectrum Cable and AT&T cost me the joy of watching the NBA playoffs.
Like everyone who runs a sports podcast, I live in an apartment. This means I’m surrounded by other people, or as Sartre would say; HELL. It turns out that several of my neighbors are big sports fans, which is actually great for the small talk that makes up the entirety of my relationships with these people.
Unlike me though, my neighbors are all Spectrum subscribers. I made this discovery the night (or more specifically the moment) that Damian Lillard put away the Oklahoma Thunder with THIS DAGGER.
Watching Lillard cross half court, I held my breath. As the clock ran down and Dame moseyed his way to his spot I tensed for the inevitable shot. With the clock at two seconds, a fraction before Lillard started to rise for his shot, the difference between MY cable and THEIR cable became crystal clear.
Screams of amazement rang out simultaneously from several open windows in the courtyard. The unmistakable sound of incredulity that only happens when someone has done something so ballsy you can’t even believe they tried it.
Of course in that frozen moment of time I hadn’t even seen him TAKE the shot yet.
It was like sitting down to Avengers Endgame after watching all of the Marvel Movies, only to have someone sit next to you and say (SPOILER ALERT FOR IDIOTS WHO HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET AND STILL PLAN TO) “Iron man dies to save everyone”.
Spoilers are bad. Sports spoilers are unforgivable. There is nothing in the world that will keep people off of their phones more than the fear of finding out a score. Networks pay billions of dollars for live sports because they are the only appointment watching left. So to make that appointment and sit through the whole thing, only to have it ruined at the end was damn shitty. And if you have been watching the NBA playoffs you know what the next chapter of this story is. If you don’t, please enjoy. (start at 40 seconds).
Now just imagine watching that shot, and just before the ball initially hits the rim you hear the outcome. That’s two of the most iconic shots of this century, ruined for all time.
You know what they say, fool me once… (you know- so I don’t have to write the whole thing, although this explanation is longer). So I’m not going to put myself in that position anymore. It’s already a bad investment to watch the first three quarters of an NBA game, but when you know that the better the ending the better the pain, it just isn’t worth it. Tragically, depriving myself of my precious live sports isn’t even the worst part of this story. That would be having to admit anything positive about Spectrum Cable, something I thought was impossible.