Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Slant Pattern Flips Through the Channels

By Kevin Beane

I always bulk up on as many sports channels as I can when signing up for a TV provider, so I have a ton. What will I find if I flip through them on a random late December Tuesday afternoon? Let's find out in this experimental edition of the Slant Pattern.

NBA TV — Showing a re-run of the Bucks/Celtics Christmas matchup. It was a great game, but if you missed it and are watching it for that reason, I regret to inform you you've been spoiled, as NBA TV is showing this under their "Marquee Matchup" banner, where they describe the game, including the winner, in their graphics. Maybe don't do that on games less than week old?

MLB Network — They, too, are showing a classic game, but this one a bit more classic-er in age: Game 5 of the 2003 ALCS, won by the Red Sox in 14 innings. That's the year they came back from 3-0 down to the Yankees to win the series 4-3. It seems that year FOX used a scoreboard-type font for the team names. It looks nice, they should've stuck to it.

NFL Network — OMG, everyone is showing an old game (in this case, yesterday's MNF Saints/Dolphins scrap).

NHL Network — I'm not sure what I expected in this little gambit, but NHL Network is showing something worse than a re-ran game: re-run commentary from last night (their "NHL Tonight" show).

Altitude — This is a Coloradan regional sports network, and they are showing a boxing match from 2018 between Jean Pascal and Dmitry Bivol. This is actually better than the other re-runs, because it's from 2018 and only boxing hardcores are going to have any idea who won (and I only do because I'm pretty sure Bivol is currently undefeated).

Bally Sports Detroit — College Hockey featuring Providence vs. Bowling Green. Is this a re-run? I don't know, so I'm going to generously assume "no!" This is also showing up on many other Bally Sports regional networks. UPDATE: It's part of a tournament that they just showed the schedule for, demonstrating that it is indeed live! Huzzah!

Bally Sports Great Lakes — They are showing "Drennan Live," as in longtime Cleveland sports pundit Bruce Drennan, familiar to me with my Ohio roots. I was expecting a lot more of this type of thing — you know, sports talk — than the re-run games I have been getting.

Bally Sports New Orleans — Also, Providence/Bowling Green, but we learn that Providence has scored an early goal. They also win the uniform matchup, hands down. (Bowling Green's sweaters merely say "BOWLING GREEN" in block letters, while Providence's includes this guy.)

Bally Sports Wisconsin — WPT poker action. When I'm flipping channels and come across poker, I usually stop and watch for awhile. But I am a consummate professional and must press on.

Bein Sports USA — They are showing a program about the 2006 World Cup Final using strange animation that utilizes photos from the match.

CBS Sports Network — Rodeo! I admit to not giving a lick about rodeo, but in addition to expecting more sports talk I was also expecting more niche sports like this. My mom was into rodeo a bit. I asked her once if she had favorite riders. She explained she knows more about, and roots for, different bulls instead.

NXT LVL Sports — This used to be known as Eleven Sports, and boy howdy, do they show a lot of niche stuff. And now is no exception: the U.S. Open of straight pool. I actually follow pool a little bit (specifically, I'm referring to the Mosconi Cup, which is like the Ryder Cup for pool. I try to catch that every year), and I recognize the names of both competitors. But unlike the Mosconi Cup, the players have to rack the balls themselves. Shameful! This is U.S. Open!

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