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I Could Watch This Sort of Thing All Day - De File — LiveJournal
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I Could Watch This Sort of Thing All Day
When I watch college basketball from the 1970s or early 1980s, the absence of the shot clock is the most prominent feature of the game -- as opposed to the fashion -- and that of the three-point line a close second. I think most observers would agree with me. But I'm also struck by the innocence of its televisual presentation:
It's striking how little effort is made to create drama through interruption of the game's flow. The concluding seconds of this 1976 NCAA tournament contest are a great example. It goes by so quickly, before the gravity of the situation even has time to register. As college basketball became a big-money sport, the length of time needed to complete a game increased even as the use of the shot clock was said to speed up play. I suppose that seeming paradox would make a good place to commence an ideological analysis of the sport's transformation. Sports that the majority of the American public -- or at least the corporate types who speak for that public -- deems boring to watch, such as soccer, are sports in which the divergence between game time and real time is smaller.

That college basketball turned from a sport in which twenty minutes took thirty minutes to play into a sport in which twenty minutes takes forty-five minutes to play speaks volumes about the role television has played in its development. As a side note, its interesting to see the changes in broadcasting between this 1976 tourney contest and the famous 1979 final between Michigan State and Indiana, where, although the feel of the game itself had changed little, the announcers had definitely learned to hype it more effectively, for better or worse.

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shelbylarsen From: shelbylarsen Date: March 6th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i think one of the elements of the sports + tv experience that has changed the most for me has been the availability of replay. i love it, esp since i miss the obvious, big moments so often.

plus, it officially started being used in 1986, which was a year for many great things... ya know, like me.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 7th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ha! That's my high-school graduation year. Why do you say that replay started in 1986? I remember them having it when I first started watching sports, around 1974. Maybe you mean something different.
shelbylarsen From: shelbylarsen Date: March 7th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
ok... i'm semi-off... i think instant replay was officially adopted to the nfl in 1986... but was first introduced in canada in 1955... in my 2 minutes of online research there are iffy factoids about when it entered basketball... but to tell the truth, it's just one of the random facts that i remember from a book someone gave me for my birthday a few years ago... the Remember When series... and there is one for each year that notes gas prices... college tuition... important events... etc.
anyway... i just remember something about instant replay being included in 'my' book...
shelbylarsen From: shelbylarsen Date: March 7th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i do agree tho that sports of yesterday do have an ancient, and i like your term, innocent feeling about them... they just feel so... naked... raw... it's cute.
4 comments or Leave a comment