It has long been my mid-July tradition to enjoy two of my favorite activities at once on Wimbledon finals weekend: watching sports on TV and morning drinking. I usually prepare a bowl of fresh strawberries and chill the finest bottle of Champagne $10 will buy and tune into the live coverage of the women's final, mid-morning on Saturday. As the women's final, in recent years, rarely goes beyond two sets, I normally don't consume more than a glass or two, but on Sunday, the traditionally marathon-length men's final allows me to get through the bottle and then conveniently miss church!
I was fortunate enough, through the generosity of a special lady friend, last year, to attend Wimbledon in person, something I'll never forget. SLF has since moved on to deeper-pocketed pastures, so this year's tournament has been bittersweet, and also sad that I haven't been able to see a single match—so how much was I looking forward to this morning's final, featuring my favorite ass-kicker of all time, Venus Williams. Traditionally, regardless of the broadcast of matches throughout the tournament, the men's and women's finals have been network broadcast on this weekend, as they have the universal stature of the Super Bowl, World Series, Indy 500, and Kentucky Derby. So imagine my disappointment to find that the tennis is only available in ESPN—thus, not available.
Believe me, I have looked into what it would cost to have cable TV in my life, and even if it was something I wanted in my life (which I adamantly don't, except for sports broadcasting, as I don't need a thousand channels of garbage) I found that the cost of it would be more than the cost of a second car, which is ridiculous, seeing how I can't afford a first car (I mean one that, like, runs). If you haven't noticed, the money that's being allowed to separate itself from the wealthiest one-tenth or hundredth percent of the fat pigs has drastically reduced in recent years. That means less for us who enjoy baseball, which is also no longer on broadcast TV in my hometown (the Major League team having their own cable channel). When the people finally get around to burning down the government buildings throughout this country, maybe the fat pigs will all gather in a pathetic circle and mutter, “Hmm, maybe we should have kept using TV as the opiate of the masses rather than trying to switch over to the more profitable (for us) opioids as the opiate of the masses.”
As for me, I'm a sports fan, but that means sports on TV. I used to be collage football fan, but then they had to ramp up the greed, with each conference having their own cable network, and broadcasting almost all the bowl games (certainly all the good ones) only on cable. So fuck collage football, I said, and that was the last straw. But there was still collage basketball, and the NCAA Tournament used to be the best sporting event on TV all year, until they switched it to where 75 percent of the games are on cable TV. 25 percent is actually worse than nothing, in this case, so fuck the Final Four, and that was the last straw.
Then there is (was) the NBA, which used to be my favorite. It is now all but unwatchable. No, let me rephrase that, it's unwatchable. I have no interest, and maybe it's not the NBA's fault, because after watching these few great years (Celtics/Lakers, Pistons/Bulls) how can anything match up. But I'd still try to watch the playoffs, until they decided to put all of the playoffs (except for the finals) on cable TV, so I said fuck the NBA, and that was the last straw.
Except, as a (as I said) hopeless, massive sports fan, I still watch nearly anything. Well, I've never been able to get into ice hockey (maybe I should try) and things like bicycle tricks and crashing trucks in the dirt don't count, to me, as sports. But I actually watch NASCAR and golf, though both have gotten increasingly boring (and that means, booooring). And now, half the NASCAR season is on cable TV, so I said fuck NASCAR, and that was the last straw. Which pretty much leaves golf, a sport which currently musters its most excitement from Tiger Woods DUI reports. I have some nostalgia for Monday Night Football, which I'd never miss as a youth, but now since that is on cable (or was, or switched to Thursday Night or Saturday Night football, who can keep up?) and I can pretty much never see the games of teams I want to see anyway, the NFL is just not enough for me. And my favorite two sports, soccer and Formula 1, have never been on TV in this country.
So is that four or five last straws? How many more chances can I give to sports? No more. I'm sad to say it, because I want to be a regular guy, and I like the idea of sports as a live event in which the outcome is not known, but I'm afraid, for me to enjoy sports, it's all about the TV coverage. I must see it happen. I don't even care who wins or loses, I don't give a shit about stats. I like the game, visually (with sound—which is why sports bars playing silent TV with a moronic music soundtrack does not work for me). Sports IS sports on TV, for me. And since it's all now become, like a Lamborghini, a vacation in Hawaii, or dinner at a steakhouse, something I can not afford, it is over. I am officially through with sports, and if ESPN wants to interview me about it, fine, but I don't think they will, because I will say “fuck” on the air.