Knute Berger would be more than welcome in my home, but the Crosscut.com star columnist, if he looked around a little, might not feel welcome. It would have something to do with my place having become something of a museum of TV sets. Berger pointedly has eschewed television, having written more than once about his principled decision to refuse to abide the all-digital broadcasting of the post-over-the-air era.
Mossback would find no fewer than six working TV sets in my home, with one each in the den, office, guest room, kitchen, family room, and bedroom. Seldom are any two playing at once and none can be seen from the living room. Often all of them are dark.
The only valid explanation for having so many sets is that they’ve accumulated for various reasons and several are too heavy to move or too small to notice. I kept waiting for one of the larger of the appliances to die so that I could justify updating to high-def. I’ve come to realize, though, that seldom-used TV sets are basically immortal and thus will outlive me. I finally broke down and bought a 42-inch plasma for the family room. It’s about the only set ever used now.
The possibility exists that this could end later today. As I write this the morning of Aug. 15, it just so happens that a rare alignment looms. Later this Saturday, at roughly the same times, every major-league Seattle men’s sports team will play in locally televised games. I could simultaneously light up just about every set in the house and wander room to room observing the fortunes of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders (with — who knows? — perhaps my oldest set picking up a phantom broadcast of some bygone Sonics game beaming back through the ether).
The more promising scenario would be to secure a seat at a multi-screen sports bar, perhaps to view a cable pickup of the Seattle Storm game in Atlanta at 4 p.m., followed by:
- The Hawks preseason opener from San Diego (KING) at 7 p.m.
- The M’s third home attempt to beat the Yankees, most storied team in the annals of pro sports (FSN) at 7:10 p.m.
- The Sounders FC at Los Angeles to face David Beckham and his Galaxy mates at 8 p.m. (KONG), to be rebroadcast at 10:30 on FSN.
The scheduling conflict is certain to challenge discerning sports fans in the region. None, however, is likely to disagree about the must-see sports TV airing at 6 p.m. on ESPN. At that hour the diminutive team from Mercer Island can be seen against an Oregon outfit in what promises to be the final outing before M.I. moves along to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the Little League World Series. The game actually could be over by the time the big guys show up on screen. Because of the so-called 10-run-advantage “mercy rule,” Little League games can end early.
In any case, Herr Berger, if you’re in the neighborhood, you’re welcome to drop in and see what a digital-TV broadcast (or several) looks like. I’ll let the dogs and the neighbors know since we have a long-standing commitment to be away until late at a place where, alas, there isn’t any television.
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