“Playing Through”

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

I don’t think it would come as a surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I watch golf. I particularly like to watch the British Open. You might ask – “Why?”

For one thing, it starts early in the morning and ends early in the afternoon. There is still time left in the day. I don’t have to tell my wife that “it will be over soon” around the dinner hour, which is when professional golf tournaments here in America usually finish.

And… I have TiVo! This means that even though the British Open comes on at 1:30 AM on Thursday and Friday and 7:00AM on the weekend, I do not have to get up at an ungodly hour, keep the volume down, and find a quiet spot to enjoy it.

Instead, I just set my TiVo to record the action and watch it when I am good and ready. I know I will eventually catch up because I can fast-forward through the commercials – I mean how many times can I sit through a Ricky Fowler Rocket Mortgage commercial? Another huge TiVo advantage!

And then… along comes this break in the action called “Playing Through”. Some marketing genius, and I do applaud their creativity, (PS: Marketing people read this before it goes out to you so a little sucking up here can’t hurt), decided that in order to keep the viewers watching the action (my wife thinks, for golf, this is a term that never should be used), the screen would be split so that the commercial is on, but, so too, is the golf tournament. In other words, golf is still on WHILE the commercials are on. You know what that means? No fast-forward!!

The British Open is a five-hour event! By bypassing the commercials, I can get it done in about 3 ½ hours. Not now! I have to stay with the commercial. Tiger is hitting and Jordan is putting so I have to put up with that inane Rocket Mortgage commercial again! It’s just not right.

Advertisers did it with the Indianapolis 500 (another 4-hour marathon). That’s the only auto race I watch and I certainly can’t fast-forward through a split screen during an auto race. There might be an accident.

Those same marketing people (I’m done with the niceties) are also going to do it with NFL football. Football doesn’t have continuous action during the commercials, but something interesting might happen while I sit through another beer commercial? I don’t know, so I will stay with it, I guess. So, instead of watching an NFL game that I recorded in two hours (I also skip halftime), it may now take me 3 ½. By the way, my wife doesn’t care for football either.

If this is going to be the norm now, especially with sporting events which take a lengthy period of time, then may I suggest to the “creative” marketing people that they start selling ads to not only the brewers, but also marriage counselors and, dare I say, divorce lawyers. Drinking more beer, learning how to appease your wife, or even worse, talking divorce, may necessitate someone in the house looking for a new one. If so, I would call Rocket Mortgage, I guess. Now where’s that commercial when we need it?

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

1. Saquon Barkley is signed. This weekend he put his name on a four-year deal for $31.2 million and it is guaranteed. He received $15 million up front. He reportedly wants to live off of his endorsement deals and invest all of his NFL money for the future. Smart!

2. The Atlanta Braves and the Phillies are both looking for bullpen help. The Orioles, it is reported, are looking to trade reliever Zach Britton. The Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, and Astros are also interested. The Phils missed out on Manny Machado. Might they be more aggressive this time around?

3. This week, Chase Utley will play in Philadelphia for the final time since he is retiring at the end of the year. I’m sure he will retire as a Phillie and be inducted into their Hall of Fame. Although, there is an outside chance the Dodgers and the Phillies may meet again in the playoffs.

4. Penn State students bought 21,000 season tickets in less than 50 minutes. After a Big Ten title in 2016 and two consecutive 11-win seasons, excitement continues to rise in State College.

5. Thanks to the Blue Mountain League for their cooperation in bringing you the Game of the Week. Good luck to all the playoff teams. Get out to watch some games; it’s really good baseball. It’s almost time for the shoulder pads.

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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