Can I have my $4.99 back?
Last year, knee surgery sidelined me for the opener against Rhode Island. I did make the trip to the Runway, and wrote a running diary of the game for the blog. It worked out well, and I had a lot of fun with it, so I figured I’d try the running diary again. But that idea was sidetracked. You see, I ordered the game on the Internet and spent 90 minutes waiting for the video feed to link up. Nice job, ACC Select. I'll be awaiting my $4.99 refund.
So the running diary was scrapped, but here’s a few observations from a Saturday away from the football field:
- ACC Select, the independently operated website which streams some of the league's sporting events, really screwed the pooch on Saturday. The website airs mostly minor sports like field hockey, soccer and cross country. At the moment, this is the only football game on tap for the season. Apparently, the site wasn't prepared for the wave of UConn fans who were accessing today's game. The site's server crashed, and it took an hour and a half to get things straightened out. I missed the entire first half. There were no problems collecting the $4.99 fee, of course.
- The bigger mystery was why no Connecticut stations made a move to pick up the game. I find it hard to believe that Channel 8, which has the TV package this year, couldn't make a deal to air the game. Fine, the game wasn't part of their package and the ACC had the rights. But where there's money to be made, deals can be worked out.
- Once the broadcast got linked up, it was still frustrating. The program director never quite figured out the instant replays, and most were cued up after the play was finished if at all. There were also too many times the camera showed the sidelines while the game was happening on the field. Things like that happen, but if you're charging people for the service, it's inexcusable.
- I was hoping to listen to the UConn broadcast team of Joe D'Ambrosio and Wayne Norman while watching the internet video feed. But the video was on a longer delay than the WTIC audio, so it was impossible. I did listen to Joe D and Wayne for the first half, and appreciated them even more after hearing the Duke broadcast team -- we'll call them Grampy and Little Earl -- for the internet feed. The "color" man for Duke, Grampy, subscribed to the annoying broadcast trend of being little more than a glorified cheerleader. He whooped it up when UConn committed penalties or Duke made nice plays, and groaned on everything that went against the Blue Devils. Grampy even complained that the referees were a Big East crew, and suggested they were biased with their calls. Please. I'd be a bit more shocked, but this happens quite a bit with home broadcasts in college and in the NFL. Joe D and Wayne are objective and professional in their approach, which is how it should be everywhere.
- Feeling a little better about Tyler Lorenzen? I truly didn't know what to expect from the lefty transfer, even after watching plenty of spring and preseason practices. He missed the spring game, and we weren't allowed to see any of the team's intrasquad scrimmages. There's no substitute for game action. Lorenzen looks like he'll be an excellent field general.
- Got to be happy with the defensive effort as well. Sounded like there were some jitters early, but they settled down and really stifled the Dookies. Lutrus will be a very nice player. Cody Brown might hit double-digit sacks.
- Special teams. Yikes.
- The official game stats list the following true freshman as having played: Kijuan Dabney, Marcus Campbell, Aaron Bagsby, Anthony Sherman and Greg Lloyd Jr. No mention of Jasper Howard, but I'm positive I saw No. 16 out there today. Someone missed him.
- How about Appalachian State!!!!! I've talked about this with friends before, but a lot of Division I-AA teams would be very competitive in I-A conferences. Appalachian State is probably the best of the I-AA bunch (they are two-time defending champs, after all) and they went blow-for-blow with what was expected to be a national championship contender. Just in the Northeast, there are teams like New Hampshire, Delaware, UMass and Villanova who could easily give anyone in the country a pretty good fight.
- Ian Kennedy>>>>>>Mike Mussina.
- Here's a stat I should probably keep to myself. In three years on the beat, UConn is now 3-0 in games I haven't covered for the Register. Leigh Torbin may include that in next week's game notes. UConn fans are already asking I be removed from the beat.
- No baby today. Have a feeling it will be this week. Anyone want to start a pool?