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Day # 150 – The Top 10 ‘Greatest’ Broken Media Bans

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Well, if one thing’s for sure, going by the last couple of days, I’m not alone in lamenting lost sporting viewing moments due to a vast array of broken media bans. From radio and tv stuff ups, to the human factor, negligence, stupidity, or just plain bad luck, there are many stories to be shared.

I you missed Part 1, it’s here, but for now, here are the ‘Top’ 10 of all time. Forgive any repetition from that first posting, but they are stories worth telling.

10.  Essendon vs Carlton, Friday Night Football

‘Oh, you don’t know the result … I won’t say anything … GOOD game… GO BLUES!’

I admit that we’re starting out slowly at number 10, but it epitomises what is wrong with people when they realise they are in a powerful position. A group of people together to watch a hotly anticipated and contested game, only for one idiot to ruin it.

Mistake – Answering phone

Lesson – All phones off during game time

9.  NFL SuperBowl

Start of a radio news telecast on the night of the SuperBowl

Presenter (in a very disappointed tone): ‘Ben Graham’s hope of becoming the first Australian to win a SuperBowl…’

(Radio switched off as I repeatedly headbutt the car dashboard for my own stupidity in forgetting to shut off radio before heading to a friend’s to watch the game).

Ok, so maybe the headbutting part is an exaggeration, but the extent of my stupidity is not. Why would I keep the radio on, you ask? There’s no good answer to that. There was fatigue after a long day and they were talking about other news beforehand. Still, poor excuse; bad form; ruined night, and season…

Mistake – Not turning car radio off 10 hours earlier when arriving at work

Lesson – Radio broadcasts are evil and must be avoided at all costs

8.  NBA Conference Finals, Game 6

Watching a delayed telecast of Game 6 of a hotly contested NBA Conference Finals series, sitting at 3 games to 2. On one of the ad breaks, ESPN put up an ad for Game 7. Um, I wonder if the team on 3 wins won the game and closed out the series 4-2. Guess not…

Mistake – Watching the delayed telecast instead of recording the earlier version

Lesson – Simply taking your money isn’t good enough for pay tv …

7.  Essendon – Geelong Final

At a wedding after the MC gave game scores (during which I shamelessly covered my ears and hummed/’la la lahhhed’ to myself).

Me to groom: Congratulations, mate! This has been an awesome day!

Groom: How shattered are you about the Bombers!?

If you’re in a public situation like a wedding, work event, whatever, the odds are stacked against you that you can come out of it unscathed. Even if you’re willing to throw pride to the wind, sometimes you just can’t get by.

Mistake – Talking to someone at a wedding instead of sitting safely at my table all night

Lesson – Demand an end to September weddings

6.  1995 NBA Finals, Game 1

Ok, now we’re starting to get into some of the meatier tragedies.

Scene – camping trip for the weekend on the opening day of the NBA Finals … tents, camping grounds, relative silence, uncomfortable bed; you get the picture.

Problem – some teenage clowns in the tiny 2-man tent next to mine bring out some puny little portable tv and proceed to watch the game. I’m talking 80 centimetres from my head; there was no way I was going to avoid the outcome.

Of course, the classic game ended with 4 successive missed free throws by Nick Anderson from Orlando (he was never the same afterwards) and Houston springing from nowhere to grab Game 1 in Orlando on a Hakeem Olajuwon putback.

Mistake – Camping

Lesson – Do not camp

5.  2006 NBA Finals

This one doesn’t pertain to me, but I feel his pain. Having missed the last 4 games of the series due to work and successfully taping all 4 games without knowing the outcome, my friend, let’s call him ‘Mookie’, decided (stupidly) to watch the games with some youth group kids and offered to pick one of them up. Ok, I should be more sympathetic, but you can see where this is going.

Sure enough, the brother of his friend blurts out,

‘Oh, so you’re gonna to watch the Heat win the championship.’

(Where does the law stand on this if my friend reacts violently? Sure enough, with a female judge, you’re stuffed, but sports fans need some protection on this…)

[Mookie – If it makes you feel any better, they are the weakest champions in our time, and all you would have seen was Dwayne Wade parade to the free throw line in the poorest refereed series e-ver while Mark Cuban had conniptions. Ok, the second part was fun to watch…]

Mistake – Involving others in your media ban

Lesson – Do not play with kids

4.  Boston – LA Lakers, 2008 NBA Finals, critical Game 4


It pains me to be the antagonist in number 4, but I am guilty as charged. Emotionally fraught after my Lakers blew an 119 point lead at home, to go down 3-1 in the series (we were toast after that and were smashed 4-2), I sent a one word text to a friend … who hadn’t yet watched the game. It wasn’t hard for him to figure it out from there…

Mistake – Having a phone when angrier than I have ever been

Lesson – Never text when angry or during a big night out

3.  Boston – LA Lakers, 2008 NBA Finals, Game 1

Text message from a friend soon after the game concluded –

‘Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!’

At this stage, I wasn’t quite sure of the protocol of being technologically available during big games. I was damn well sure afterwards.

Mistake – leaving phone on during the day

Lesson – Knicks fans suck

2. 2000 Western Conference Finals, Lakers – Blazers, Game 7

‘I won’t say anything … but you’ll en-joy it!’

There’s something special about a Game 7 that you just can’t describe. There’s a lot of meaningless basketball games; I mean, they play 82 games before even getting to the playoffs. Game 7 takes the intensity and the pressure to a whole new realm.

In 2000, Phil Jackson (genius) had taken my previously underachieving Lakers to the brink of a title, and with Kobe and Shaq, a 3-1 lead against Scottie Pippen’s Portland. Blowing games 5 and 6 and falling in a 15 point hole heading into the 4th quarter of Game 7 wasn’t just ominous, it was heart wrenching.

Which is why the above quote was and is so painful.

Because I knew that the record comeback was coming.

Mistake – none

Lesson – Women hate men

Number 1.  1994 NBA Finals, Rockets – Knicks, Game 7

‘I see the NBA title has headed to Texas…’

(The other memorable part of this series – the OJ car chase occurred at the exact same time as Game 6. More useless trivia for you…)

This was my first ever Finals Game 7, and it would be 11 years before I got another. I will always remember lying down waiting for a mate to finish a band practice and being blindsided by another friend who blurted out the result.

You wait seasons upon seasons for something amazing to happen, and for once, something does … and someone decided to share it with you.

Mistake – Being in a public place when a popular result was known

Lesson – No matter what you do, even if you tick all the right boxes, there’s still a chance you’ll be screwed.

I think there’s something in this for all of us…


About petek8

Pete Evans has just finished going 12 months without watching any sport. The journey stemmed from a sense that the balance was out-of-whack with my time and my priorities. Everything seemed to revolve around creating enough time and space to fit in the last game, games, recap shows or space to surf the net for the latest numbers and analysis. The cycle never ends - one season leads into another, seasons overlap if you follow various sports and the media's insatiable appetite for a new 'story' means that even the greatest of achievements aren't heralded for more than 3 days. So I stepped away from the machine for awhile and intentionally engaging with the journey by writing about it.

14 responses »

  1. Ahhh… Number One goes to… well it wouldn’t be right of me to spoil it for everyone on the topic of Media Ban’s so I won’t go any further… I am so glad that my effort from SuperBowl XLIV (2010) must have ranked 11 or higher when I had managed to fully comprehend the protocol of the Media Ban for an ENTIRE day… only to turn on my Mobile Phone during the dying minutes of the 4th Qtr (recorded ‘live from earlier that day) when the result was still in the balance, and inform my viewing audience of an SMS received by the Master of Breaching Media Bans… OOPS! Gladly the result didn’t change in the ensuing minutes and I was chastised, but not stoned to death for my indiscretion… I may never understand the gravity of the Media Ban… Watch it live or live at your peril!

    • Yes, Mr Wilson, that was almost a SuperBowl disaster! ‘Watch it or live at your peril’ – I see your point, but how many days a year can I get off work to watch American sport?! I say 10…

    • Silly, silly stuff from Wilson. My media ban break that night pales against your effort. I was unaware you were watching a replay of the game (Pete, lesson- let me know you are watching a game and I’ll leave my phone alone), your effort was criminal.
      1. You chose to read an sms while on media ban. and
      2. You knew the 5 other people in the room were also on media bans, yet you still chose to read the sms out alout, thus deliberately spoiling all other media bans in the one act. (Lesson – you cant save media bans against another’s stupidity).

  2. 2011 Preliminary Final between Collingwood and Hawthorn. Note – every Friday night game is delayed in Perth. Grrrr. Avoided radio. Turned phone off. Sat in bedroom alone with wife watching a girly show on Foxtel. All bases are covered. Can’t possibly find out the result.

    Hawthorn are leading by 17 points at three quarter time, then Chris Dawes and Leon Davis kick quick goals for the Pies. The deficit is only four points and the MCG is going wild.

    Wife walks into room and asks “good game?” Yes, I reply. Really close. “I know.” she says. “I was just on Facebook and someone had posted ‘so close’ but I don’t know who wins”. SO CLOSE. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Only a Hawthorn fan would write that. A Collingwood fan would be devastated and angry that they’d stuffed up a season. I now know that Collingwood win.

    Lesson: Take phones away from other people in the house too, even if they know absolutely nothing about football.

    2002 Brownlow Medal. Again, major delay in Perth. Two hours behind. Two hour delay.

    At the half way point of the count, the leaderboard reads:

    14 Michael Voss
    12 Shane Crawford
    11 Andrew McLeod, Travis Johnstone
    8 Simon Black, Nathan Buckley
    7 Adem Yze, Ben Cousins
    6 Josh Francou, Luke Darcy.

    Phone rings. It’s a private number. That means it’s work. I have to answer. I know it has every chance of killing my night, but I still have to answer. I plan to answer aggressively.

    Me: “If this is someone ringing to tell me the winner of the Brownlow Medal, don’t even utter a word, just hang up now because I’ll be really angry.”

    Caller (yep from work – oh yeah, I’m an AFL journo): “But, I need help. I need a phone number because I’ve been going through The White Pages and can’t find it.”

    Me (really angry now): Go to my desk. There’s a red contact book there. Look it up. If I have the number you want, it’s in there!

    Next round of votes: Simon Black 3.

    There’s only one reason that person was calling. They want to know where Simon Black’s parents live because he’s won the Brownlow Medal. They want to speak to them. They want a photo. It’s stock standard. Ben Cousins is still in the hunt, but everyone knows where his parents live. His dad won a Sandover Medal.

    Simon Black’s parents live in Qld. They moved years ago. That’s why they don’t exist in The White Pages.

    Lesson: Non sports writers shouldn’t be allowed to write anything about sport if it means ruining the night for the sports writer who is home watching it “Live”

    • Mate! Both of those are horrendous. It must kill you getting everything on multiple hour delays. I wonder how many regular season AFL games have been killed for you via text. Over 20? Surely. 50??!

      PS How the hell did you remember that leaderboard? Please tell me you had to google that…

      • C’Mon Pete… This is Craig O we are talking about… a Sport’s Journalist knows EVERYTHING! Just like you and addition, subtraction, multiplication and prime numbers divisible by the square root of the power of 10…! (I know that last part makes ABSOLUTELY no sense) He would have rattled of Brownlow stats like that as a Party Trick! No need to Google stats like that for a man of his ilk!

  3. #7 Demanding or wishing an end to September weddings… now includes early October. Hey, I’ve just thought of a new blog for next year: watching sport but inviting others to give you the results first 😉 Actually, it might just work to extend the awareness in some.

  4. San An v. Cleveland were the worst NBA Finals I’ve ever seen. Very very tough call on the Heat in 2006. Certainly lucky in points but the Mavs still had 2 home games they should have won had they been good enough.

    If i had to re-write your top 10 from a personal perspective, your effort to me in game 4 of the 08 Finals would probably be #1 you bast$%d !!! 🙂

    I’ll email you a few more.



    • We should watch those ’06 Finals again in June. We will be appalled at the quality of the reffing and the D-Wade love which just clambered out of their pores… Name me a weaker champion since ’87.

  5. You just cant talk sport these days at the risk of upsetting someone, unless it’s a week after the event – and then it’s boring news anyway. If you’re on a ban, let people know – and then avoid everyone!

    • It’s true, ‘Muddy One’ (hehe), that it’s hard to throw topics out there without ruining some-thing for some-one. It’s why I inserted the ‘grace’ paragraph in part 1 – you can’t really blame people too much for wanting to talk to you about something you’re into. They’re making an effort, which normally, is appreciated!

  6. Not happy, was eagerly awaiting this blog to see who made the top 10. Unfortunately Sammy C sms’d me the result before I’d got home to see it. Oh well…


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