One of my colleagues, Normal Angular Momentum, posted this on FaceScroll:
“Your All-Access Pass to the SEC is on Ch. 611
August 7, 2014
Beginning August 14, get all the Southeastern Conference coverage you can handle with the SEC Network. Available with the CHOICE™ package or above, it’s just what you need to feel right back on campus. You’ll get the best in SEC football, men and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and so much more. Plus, you’ll get studio shows and original programming that you can’t find anywhere else.
Get all this starting August 14:
• The top football rivalries. With 45 live, exclusive SEC games all season long, you’ll see all 14 SEC teams play on the SEC Network.
• SEC hardwood action. Watch your favorite schools battle it out as they fight towards the tourney in March.
• Live in-studio programming. Catch historic games from yesteryear on SEC Rewind or get the SEC news of the day on SEC Now.”
The part that screamed into my consciousness was “it’s just what you need to feel right back on campus.”
I am not a fanatic of spectator sports. I am not opposed to those who are so long as they are not evangelistic. If you lecture me on not watching televised athletics or tell me I am evil for not doing so, then be prepared to have your coffee sweetened with phenolpthalein. As Mr. Jefferson said (approximately) ‘If you don’t burden me with your beliefs I won’t trouble you with mine.’ But I have very good evidence that sports fanatics and christianists believe that the golden rule doesn’t apply to them harassing those who believe differently than they.
I have nothing against engaging in sports and athletics. I go to gym four days a week and walk the other three. I did a bit of sports as an undergraduate, but nothing that drew a crowd. Like fencing and target shooting and walking. But I find watching sports and athletics, even what I participate in, more boring than sitting in a medicalist waiting area.
This goes back to my undergraduate days. I attended home, American football games because all but the most dedicated of loner does. My memories of games are: interminable wait for game to begin; abysmally dull progress of game mixed with distracting hollaring and an atmosphere almost saturated with ethanol; the hideous difficulty of herding drunks back to dorm before they get collected by the campus constabulary and sent home in disgrace; infantile celebrations/wakes in memory of the day’s game characterized by much noise, endangerment, and ritual regurgitation.
Of all that happened on campus, football Saturdays were the ultimate in bad.
The ultimate in good was: knowledgeable, engaging professors; thrilling lectures; learning; reading; successfully doing problems; reading new textbooks. Learning new stuff. Campus in summer term, less so in spring term; not so in fall term.
There were parts of fall term that were good. Professor George Toffel lecturing in his Monday morning nursing organic course to a class of hungover, dehydrated, possibly pregnant coeds and using horrible jokes to try to rouse any reaction. Calculus class at 0800 every morning. The brief savoring of what was new in the dorm cafeteria but rapidly got bad. Learning the trajectories between classrooms and dorm. Rain. Leaves.
But I doubt that’s going to be on that channel. And the part about being back on campus is corporate prevarication. But that’s OK. Because that campus isn’t there any more.