May 2, 2008

(Part 2 of a two-part post)

Last Thursday – I don’t remember the team the Sox were playing – Cleveland? Anyways, the Sox were losing and I put my glass of Bolla Chianti down and grabbed the flicker. The MLB “Extra Innings” channels are up in the 700 series, so I lazily began working my way down towards my intended destination of 359 (the Fox Business Channel), planning a brief stop along the way at 370 (EWTN) to see what was going on in the Roman Catholic universe.

So there I am, flicking…flicking… and all of a sudden, I’m watching the damned Red Sox game on 623. “That’s strange…”, I say to no one in particular (after all, Tracey’s still at work, Cosmo the rabbit is in the next room vegging out, and the other rabbits Marble Junior and Half-Pint are in the rabbit room/office down the hall doing likewise), “I shouldn’t be getting this game.” I flick up a channel, and there’s the same 623 number again, but this time with the “Not a subscriber to this channel” screen I had gotten that first time I checked to see if the NESN games were still blacked out as they were when I had Dish Network.

I reach for my glass of wine, take a sip, another sip, then sit up straight. I flick down, the channel shows 623 and the Red Sox game. I flick up, the channel shows 623 and the “not a subscriber” message. Down. Up. Down. Up. The same thing. “Well this is freakin’ weird”, I think to myself. I make a mental note to check what happens the following night when the Sox play Tampa Bay.

The next night, it’s game on, and I’m ready with the flicker. And the same thing happens – I punch in 623, and I get the “not a subscriber” screen. I flick up one channel, and it’s 623 and the damned Red Sox are playing – not well, but playing still. And it was then I began to realize just what had been going on. I walked down the hall, past the rabbits, and go into the spare bedroom where we have DirecTV but on a regular (i.e., non-HD) box (the TV there is our ancient-but-still-working-fine Sony). I turn on the TV, punch in 623…

..and there are the Sox, playing in living color.

“Son of a bitch!”, I say to no one in particular, “I just blew $170 bucks!”

(It was then I was reminded of that great scene in “The Sting” where Robert Shaw discovers that the horse he had just placed $500K on to win was actually going to finish second. He ambles up to the window and starts shouting to the teller, “There’s been a mistake. I want my money back!”)

You see, it was then I realized just how much of an idiot I am, for three – no, four – absolute truths all of a sudden became apparent to me:

1. For those with HD receivers, there are two NESN 623 channels, one in HD (available when one orders DirecTV’s HD package – which I don’t have), one not. If you have a HD receiver and punch in 623, you’re automatically directed to the HD channel; if you don’t, you just go to the single non-HD channel provided.

2. Unlike with Dish Network, NESN’s Red Sox games are NOT blacked out on DirecTV. Don’t ask me why this is so or was so, it just is… Or was.

3. That first time I checked to see if the Sox games were blacked out on NESN, I got the NESN HD channel; that message saying I wasn’t a subscriber meant just that – I wasn’t a DirecTV HD package subscriber. It never occurred to me there might have been two NESN channels with the same channel number.

4. I had wasted $170 on a sports package I never needed in the first place.

Ah yes, The Great White Shank truly is an idiot. Or maybe I’m being too hard on myself. After all, how was I – or anyone, for that matter, supposed to know there were two NESN channel 623s? How does that make sense?

In the meanwhile, I don’t really consider myself out $170 – after all, I’ve paid for the privilege of being able to really enjoy those Tampa Bay Rays or Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts. Sigh.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:27 | Comments (0)
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