Sunday, July 15, 2007

Story Time: I Hate Tape Delay Edition

Alright, time to take you all back in time to the 2002 CCHA Championship between Michigan and Michigan State. The Spartans were #4 in the country and had gone 1-0-2 against the Wolverines in the 3 previous meetings that season.

For whatever reason, we neglected to make the trip down to Joe Louis for the game, and instead I invited about a dozen friends to come over and watch the game in my dorm room in West Quad (Rumsey, what?!) on my 13" TV/VCR combo (score!).

Fox Sports decided to show the game on tape delay. So I tried my darnedest to avoid finding out the final score of the game. I turned off AIM for the first time in months/years, I didn't go online. About 15 minutes before faceoff, the phone rang. I pick it up, and--without even saying hello--the voice on the other end says, "I CAN'T BELIEVE WE BEAT RYAN MILLER!!!"


If you want a mix of emotion, that's a pretty good one. Elation that we knocked off Sparty for the CCHA crown. Incredulousness that my idiot friend actually thought that I wouldn't be watching the game on FSN. Anger that I had what was no doubt sure to be an exciting game stripped away from me.

Five minutes or so later, another friend called to see if I had heard. I was kind of speechless.

Then people started showing up. I had to pretend I didn't already know what happened, in an effort to not spoil the game for anyone else. That meant cheering on goals like we had won the Stanley Cup. Cursing penalties and opposing goals. And I'm not especially a good actor.

So there we all sat. Cheering the Wolverines on as Jed Ortmeyer scored early in the third period to put us ahead for good. Biting our nails as MSU made their final run late in regulation. Erupting as the final horn sounded.

After we were done hugging and high-fiving, my friend Chris spoke, "Yeah, so I already knew what happened. I just didn't want to spoil it." I replied, "Yeah, I did too." From the back corner of the room, "Yeah, we did too." Other hands started going up.

It turned out that my friend Matt was the only person in the room that had no idea about the outcome. The other 10-11 of us had heard in some way, shape, or in my case, multiple forms.

And that, my friends, is yet another example of why I hate tape delay.

Sidenote about my friend Matt. Back during the Ryan Miller era, he was once heard talking in his sleep, simply muttering, "Fuck State, all they got is a goalie." So, so true.

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