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My addiction has few boundaries thanks to technology

Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010, at 3:09 PM

Anyone who knows me personally can attest to my love of our National Pastime.

They can tell you that while others are discussing the latest free agent trends in the NBA or what the upcoming football season holds in store, there will be old Rick sitting and basking in the sheer joy of the latest baseball game.

It's an addiction that goes back to the days of my youth -- specifically the summer -- when the days were filled with multiple games of wiffle ball in the yard, listening to a game on the radio and then ducking into the house to catch one on the tube.

However, it was a limited spectrum of being able to follow teams and games. As most of you know I'm a die-hard Chicago White Sox fan and have been since I was about 10 years old.

Don't ask me why, I guess some things are just destined to be the way they are, especially since my late Father and Mother had little or no desire to watch a game, let alone follow a team.

So I was pretty much left to my own devices to find a team and somewhere along the line I became a Sox fan.

It's also an addiction that has been fueled in recent years by the advent of the Internet, satellite radio and the iPod as well as cable/satellite television.

And further enhanced by the creation of HDTV, home theater systems and headphones. All of which when combined together can make a baseball junkies passion all that more encompassing -- or shall I dare say even more encasing?

I'll give you an example, when I was a kid the best you could hope for was to get a game on the radio or on one of the three channels that were available on television.

It meant long nights of scanning and listening intently to find a game on the west coast late at night after the local team had finished.

It meant there was likely only one game in a non-baseball city to watch. And it was usually on Saturday's Game of the Week broadcast.

Now fast forward to today's high-tech world of the Internet and beyond.

Thank goodness for satellite radio. It allows an old baseball junkie to fill his diamond action-starved senses with any game that's going on at one time.

It means I no longer have to sift and sort through the static to find a Sox game. Now all I have to do to find the right channel and there it is for all the fans to hear.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg when I sometimes partake in what I classify as baseball junkie overload.

You know that moment when you can follow as many as five games at one time.

How do you do this, you ask? Well ye of little faith I will explain.

First you take your television and find a game on it, then you turn on your satellite radio system and find a second game on it.

That would probably be enough for most ordinary men, but alas the old junkie is just that and suddenly realizes he needs more.

Next comes the computer. Thanks to the service now provided by Major League Baseball you can watch any out of market game from any team.

That allows a third game.

Still not enough for the junkie, he needs to have his thirst for the sounds and sights of the grandest game of all even more quenched. Even more injected with all that goes with the game.

That brings us to the iPod (or in some cases the iPhone) and the app from MLB that allows you to -- oh man I salivate at just the thought -- either watch or listen to another game.

If the junkies sensory overload hasn't reached it's peak yet, there's still another option or two left.

You can find a local game on the over the air radio and tune it in, leaving your baseball loving mind in full and complete withdrawal from the rest of the world.

And in an area such as ours, dare I say two more games on two different local radios? Okay, theoretically you could add three more games to the mix (Cubs, Cardinals, Reds), but likely one of them might be on the television unless of course it's a national broadcast.

While to some this might be a daunting, even ridiculous set of circumstances to comprehend, let alone be able to tell you what's happening in each game.

But let me tell you as one who has done this on more than an experimental basis, it is definitely possible.

Then when you throw in the addition of a 60-inch HDTV to further enhance the situation and the satellite radio game being on a surround sound system, well I just quiver at the high I get.

Perhaps there's only one moral to this story and perhaps it's just a lesson in taking things to the extreme.

But keep this in mind, there are a lot worse things that technology has given us the ability to do. And when sports junkies (not just baseball junkies) are partaking in overload of their favorite sports, which is possible with all the same technology that I've mentioned here today, keep in mind that they're not running the streets, trying to impose their will on others.

Rick is a sports writer with the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached via E-mail at rcurl@gcdailyworld.com or by telephone at (812) 947-4487.

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Rick you know I share your enthusiasm for the game. Whereas I'm a Cubs fan and have been all my life. I know where you are coming from. I grew up on Sandburg, Dunston, Grace and the Hawk.... And I know what got you on the White Sox... And I don't blame you.. If I would have got to watch Shoeless Joe play in person like you did I would have probably been a white sox fan too... :)


-- Posted by Bigballer on Thu, Jul 1, 2010, at 10:06 AM

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