The 2022 Orange Bowl

“Maybe there’s a bowl game on.” I said out loud so J, the controller of the TV’s controller, would check.

At the time we were watching an episode of Blue Bloods and I’d just said, “I’m reminded why I never liked this program. It’s too dramatic. Actually, it’s melodramatic.” I guess I need to tell you why I said this.

Jamie had been shot. “The bullet got under his vest,” according to his brother Danny. The wounded Reagan was rushed to the hospital. The family gathers, all except Frank because he’s on recon with his priest buddy. The hospital scene is intense. The doctor announces the bullet is close to the spine and Jamie could become paralyzed when he attempts to remove it during surgery. The family is desperate as is normal. Danny leaves and goes hunting for the shooter. He’s successful. The doctor removes the bullet. There’s no paralysis. Jamie’s discharged, well, not that quick but in screen time only a few minutes. As Eddie (not the black tornado Eddie from yesterday’s post), Jamie’s wife, wheels him out of the hospital they’re met by a huge crowd of hospital personnel, police officers, and family members. Big Frank, in his three piece suit (another pet peeve) is standing front and center. He immediately salutes Jamie, who stands and returns the salute. The clapping begins and continues and continues. Too melodramatic. Just one reason I don’t like Blue Bloods.

J announces the results of his Google search: The Orange Bowl starts at 7:00; Tennessee vs. Clemson. It’s now 6:57. We wait.

I grab my iPad and open Kindle and read. At 7:00, J checks Hulu and learns the game starts at 7:10. We wait more. I read more.

The Cheez-It Bowl, Clemson vs. Iowa State. What’s going on? We watch for several minutes, voicing questions such as, “Where’s Tennessee?” and “I thought you said it was the Orange Bowl?” Why is Clemson playing Iowa State?

Finally, I do some investigating. Somehow, J selected a rerun, last year’s Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando. He maneuvers Hulu and gets us to this year’s Orange Bowl.

Sure enough, it’s Clemson vs. Tennessee.

Shortly after we start watching, Tennessee scores a touchdown. After their kickoff to Clemson I begin to notice something’s strange. Why all the background noise? The fans are yelling. The bands are playing. Loudly. I barely hear an announcer calling the game. It’s like being at a high school football game, actually present in the stands, too close to the cheering section. Noisy, stressful. “Where’s the commentators?” I ask. Even the visual angles of the game, the players, seemed off. I think this was an ESPN production. What happened? Are all future football games going to be like this?

I decide to check Twitter. I fully agree with Brian Cassady
@bcassady28, “Trying to watch the 2022
@OrangeBowl and hate the production quality. This Skycast camera is terrible. No announcers. Hard to follow the action. The PA announcer is boring. If this is the new way to watch the bowl games, it’s awful.”

After a few more plays I have my own announcement. “I’m going to bed. You guys can sit up as long as you want.” I take my nightly medications, brush my teeth, rub my chest with Vick’s, and head to bed. I’ll read until my little white sleeping pill closes my eyes.

I hate Blue Bloods. But, I love college football games, watching from my lazy boy, listening to great commentators, virtually oblivious to the stressful noise from the melodramatic bands and fans, which is nearly as bad as watching Tom Selleck’s facial expressions.

Author: Richard L. Fricks

Former CPA, attorney, and lifelong wanderer. I'm now a full-time skeptic and part-time novelist. The rest of my time I spend biking, gardening, meditating, photographing, reading, writing, and encouraging others to adopt The Pencil Driven Life.

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