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…