Changing channels

If you’re like me, and God help you if you are, you often feel the need to walk into a random bar or restaurant, sit down for a drink and a meal, and watch whatever sporting event happens to be on television.

There are, however, pitfalls to such activities, which I am about to explain.

As most of you probably know, it’s not uncommon to walk into a bar/restaurant and find their television sets tuned to one of the many channels ESPN has to offer.  It soothes the soul and distracts us from the everyday grind.

At times, however, ESPN will not grace the big screen, leaving sports fans like me dumbfounded, as if our security blanket had suddenly been snatched from our grasp.  How dare they?  What are we supposed to do now?  Why are they showing Golden Girls reruns and how do we politely ask the bartender to get Blanche off the screen?  (It frightened me that I actually knew one of the character’s names was Blanche without having to look it up.)

This is where things can get complicated.

Let’s say you run into an employee who is either ornery, new to the establishment, doesn’t know how to work a remote control, or worse yet… all of the above.  It’s important to remain patient during these times, as difficult as that might seem.  Walk them through the process.  Suggest the channel of the sporting event you want to watch or offer to change the channel yourself, which will probably save some time and frustration.  Never reciprocate the ornery.  Remember, the person you just asked to change that channel is the same one bringing you your food.  Always wise to keep them on your good side.

There may also be the occasional language barrier.  Let’s say, for example, you stroll into a Mexican or Japanese place, or the ethnic cuisine of your choosing.  In that case, it may take even longer to get the desired effect, which again is simply putting a baseball game on the television in front of you.

Technology has made things worse.  Sure, we get two thousand channels on a whim, but we can have three or more different cable systems on the same block.  Fios, Brighthouse, DirecTV.  It’s enough to make the seasoned bar-hopper carry a cable guide in his back pocket, based upon which establishments he frequents.

I was dining at a brand new, Mexican joint this weekend, against my better judgment, trying to watch the US Open and hoping the fajitas they were about to serve me were somewhat edible.  I told the bartender, who spoke broken English at best, that the tournament was on NBC.  Remember when there were only THREE channels to choose from, Telemundo not being one of them?  Apparently, she didn’t.  NBC was as foreign to her as the timely service she failed to provide.

Anyway, finding the channel on DirecTV took about twenty minutes, along with the assistance of the entire work staff.  Good thing they had cold beer and tasty nachos.

I guess the moral of the story here, as always, is to be patient and polite.  There’s nothing you can’t go an extra few minutes without seeing.  And if there is, you might want to just stay at home and save yourself the heartburn.

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29 Replies to “Changing channels”

  1. Pingback: Changing channels - BallHyped, Other Sports | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. You know that you’re getting older when you recall dining out and NOT being distracted by a TV on the wall. If watching a sporting event while eating in a resptaurant is important, then the food & service probably isn’t. Save your $$$ and eat at home and watch what you want.

  3. Now when I go out with the guys I’ve always got my Kindle Fire at my side . That “sucker” comes in useful if we’re in a bar and I need to catch up or watch some sports’ related news .

    Man oh man , watched the game last night and wheels on the Thunder’s bus have not only gone flat but they’re now beginning to fall off .

    As for LBJ we should crown him to paraphrase Dennis Green .

    Where’s A Lawyer When You Need One ? Well , A Competent One At Least !

  4. Chris

    Look we live in Florida and the cotton top geriatrics get to relive their youth as such , in watching reruns of The Golden Girls . Get with the program buddy . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

  5. Your poll should as such have included the Olympics (sports) …….. specifically …. track & field , boxing and basketball.

    I was going to head back to the UK but the cost is prohibitive and god damn extortionate in terms of the airline ticket prices .

    Skyped with family members who expected me to come over for the games but that’s not happening at all .

    2013 however , I’ll be heading there …. will also take in France , Italy & Morocco .

  6. It figures you would remember the name of the most promiscuous of the Golden Girls.
    I’ve recognized two things about myself that made me realize I’m getting old.
    One is that when I dine out I prefer not to watch television and the second is that I know that Blanche was easy.

  7. Al…

    It’s getting close to crowning time. That it is.

    And ironically, all I’m hearing is how the Heat are getting all the calls in this series.

  8. Al…

    Now that’d be something. My uncle and cousins were living in Atlanta for the Olympics and got to see a whole bunch of events the year it was there.

    They still talk about the experience to this day.

  9. Aer…

    If I’m out, at a bar or restaurant, by myself, which is often the case, I find my attention drifting towards the babysitter, that is, the television.

    Just can’t help myself.

  10. And there it is!

    Rocky Top once again provides us with incentive numero uno to frequent said establishments flying solo.

    Although, in Lake City, everyone already knows his name and reputation so he’s shot.

  11. Dub…

    One of my favorite Lifetime movies ever was entitled “Internet Porn Ruined My Marriage.”

    There’s a touching scene in the movie where the wife, whose husband has just dumped her for the comforts of his laptop, is crying her eyes out to her best friend, telling her how her man is no longer interested in her.

    If I’m that friend, I’m like, dude. Throw on some lingerie, get in there with your hubby and watch some porn. Hey, I’m no sex therapist, I just play one on the web. Dr. Chump, first session free.

    I need to find that movie again, DVR it, and save it to never erase status like that NBA Dream Team special I just recorded, just to cheer me up when I’m feeling down.

  12. The Golden Girls ………. now you have TNT giving us a Dalla redux . What the hell will be next ?

    I’d love to be in the UK for the Olympics but the cost of living now in Britain is stifling . Gas at over $8 a gallon in some parts of the country.

    In the East End of London , several areas were torn down to build several of the venues to be used for Olympic Games .

    Did Green ever get a patent for that term ” crown their a$$ ” ?

    Oh by the way I hear the Justice Dept is now hiring . Any chance you’ve an interest there ?

    The Wheels On The Bus Go Round & Round ______________ Round & Round ….

    So the Bobcats have a new coach ? Mike Dunlap ? Ah well , another Jordanesque malaprop ! Kwame Brown all is not necessarily forgiven . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

  13. So Hall of Fame players Reggie Jackson and Johnny Bench believe that Clemens should be an inductee in the Hall of Fame ? .

    That obviously doesn’t bring joy to the ear of ,a href=””> Pete Rose now does it ?

    USA Today

    Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench: Let Clemens into Hall of Fame

    By Bob Nightengale , USA Today

    Reggie Jackson, who believes baseball turned its back for years to rampant steroid use, told USA TODAY Sports that Roger Clemens deserves to join him in the Hall of Fame in 2013, a sentiment echoed by Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench.

    Jackson and Bench, who have been critical about the possible induction of steroid users into the Hall of Fame, said that Clemens’ acquittal on all charges of lying to Congress in denying use of performance-enhancing drugs should open the door to the game’s Cooperstown, N.Y. shrine.

    “Here’s a guy who took his principles that he believed in, and exposed himself to that kind of ridicule, to prove he was right,” Jackson told USA TODAY Sports in a telephone interview. “He was proven through the legal system that he was correct. If you can beat Congress and federal judges, buddy, you must have had a pretty strong case.


    Click on link to read in full.

    Did Jackson have the temerity to juse the word “princilple” and Clemens in the same sentence ? WTF ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

  14. TV tips for bars and restaurants:

    It is nice to have several TVs glowing around the bar…. howevah… DON’T leave them all on the same channel! I don’t need to see Stephen A on 16 screens at one time!

    Make sure no one is watching that nascar race before some newbie makes the bartender turn the TV to Storage Wars!

    If you cater to a sports oriented crowd, for the love of all that is holy… have a TV channel list, instructions on how to change the channels, and, maybe even a priority list for the barkeeps. Let them know that The Masters gets the nod over NC State’s spring football game! That the Olympics are to remain on screen even during reruns of Burn Notice! And, the NFL takes precedence over ANY other sporting event!

  15. Joe Maddon obviously believes in the use of Pine tar ! Joel Peralta doesn’t have a skin condition does he ? Vitiligo or psoriasis ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    I say let Maddon and Davey Johnson square off in a ring to settle things .

  16. Al…

    I’m actually surprised it took them this long to re-do Dallas. I mean, they’ve already redone everything else and that show was ridiculously popular back in the day. I’m happy to say I’ve still never watched one episode, although Victoria Principal did have her moments. Heck, I didn’t even realize Larry Hagman was still alive.

    I don’t know Dunlap but he might be a good hire for the ‘Cats. Young coaches are starting to make a name for themselves in the league and since they don’t have any talent on that roster anyway, why not let him grow with the team?

  17. Al…

    Players have other players’ backs. Coaches have other coaches’ backs. Generally speaking.

    Sure Maddon and Davey Johnson have had their recent, pine tar spat but in the grand scheme of things, those guys all stick together, which means it’s no surprise at all to me that Reggie and Bench think Clemens should be in the Hall.

    It would actually be MORE surprising to me if they said he shouldn’t.

    Again, stay tuned for my Clemens piece… forthcoming.

  18. Han the Man…

    16 Stephen A’s. My stomach just rumbled.

    And well said, sir. There is definitely a sports pecking order when it comes to what to watch.

    My old maitre d would ask me to put on the Lightning game while NFL Playoffs were going on, requests that were always fun to ridicule him for.

  19. I enjoyed your article Triple SC!  I am all for Tvs in restaurants and the Oasis in St. Augustine has wall to wall Tvs on all different sport channels- a dream come true! But these tubes can be a hindrance for sure because I was on a GNO at our local Mexican Restaurant last year and sat facing the tv specifically because it had ESPN on.  Then the heavens opened wide and there was the Boston Red Sox game (which I only have 90 more days to go until I’m there). It seemed like a perfect night of enjoying margaritas with my girlfriends and watching baseball- until Boston began to lose so badly in the first inning. I got so MAD that I just LEFT without ordering dinner and with my friends laughing at me. This was no laughing matter and I had to get out of there to watch the misery unfold in the comfort of my own home. It didn’t help that I had Boston’s pitching staff on my fantasy league that night so it was a double punch to the gut. Yes and yes- they still tease me about it and I’m still invited to our GNOs- ha ha!  So let me ask you this Triple SC- has this happened to you before?

  20. Dee Dee…

    Unless it’s the Gators, I try not to let sporting events ruin my demeanor.

    And speaking of Gators and Mexican, remind me to tell you the night a date and I ran into Urban Meyer at a Mexican joint in Gainesville.

    An embarrassing tale for the ages.

  21. I’m not sure, Jed, but weren’t they really all hot in their own right?

    God, I couldn’t even joke about that without making my stomach turn.

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