Friday, March 21, 2008

Watching basketball from abroad

The last book read, the last song sung, Caroline called good night and it was time for me. I could hear C's music box lamb playing his tunes to her as I clicked onto CBS sportsline and got in the queue to watch the games.

Basketball games, that is - the NCAA tournament and March madness. I went to school at basketball universities and, while I learned a lot about music and English, bball fandom seeped into my pores. My brother, a senior at Davidson and a sports writer for the team, typically keeps me updated when I get out of the loop with sports. This year though, with UNC a number 1 seed, Vanderbilt a 4th seed, and Davidson running into the NCAA championship with the longest winning streak in the country, he doesn’t have to send me reminders about what's happening in the sporting world. I've got that covered.

I keep up with sports online through blogs (like my brother's) and NYT coverage. Watching the games though I thought would be impossible - U.S. sports events don’t make it to the German kids' channels we get on TV, and ESPN online charges for most live games. Then yesterday I found out that CBS is airing the tournament live online for free. Here’s the link.

It isn't television, and when you get online you do have to wait for bandwidth to open up, but for free it's a great deal. When I watched Kentucky play Marquette last night, I started out 45,986 in line. Five minutes later, I was 52nd in line and thirty seconds more I was in, watching Marquette close down Kentucky (despite some beautiful three pointers from UK’s side).

Last night I kept the games on until I went to bed, listening as I worked. Because the sound of sports announcers talking basketball is just about as homie for me as Caroline’s lamb playing its lullabies.

Go Davidson!! Davidson vs. Gonzaga, 5:25 pm Central European Time.

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