Attention, sports TV networks: Please air vintage games
We probably need to start with a disclaimer. Let’s go with this:
None of what follows is important, in the traditional sense of “important.” This is not an issue that will save lives. This is not a subject that will get us back in the office any sooner, or in the ballpark, or on an airplane. This is important in the sense that not long ago, debating whether the Astros should be drawn-and-quartered or tarred-and-feathered for their high crimes and misdemeanors seemed “important.” But now …
OK. Now that that’s out of the way …
This begins as many things in 2020 do: on Twitter. Actually, the true origins lie in a more specific place, in the more specific time of spring, 2020, specifically inside the skull of a man spending another dull morning pondering the daily commute from his living room to his kitchen. That would be me. And from this fertile mixture emerged this observation:
“An unimportant observation: why is it so hard for sports networks to realize that when it comes to re-broadcasting games, older is almost always better? I can’t be alone in preferring to re-watch games that took place 30 and 40 years ago as opposed to two months ago, can I?”
Then I returned to my daily internal, infernal debate: “Cheers” reruns or “M*A*S*H?”
Except a funny thing happened. Some Tweets, like some jokes, die in a pit of indifference. And others … well, let’s just say it was hard to keep up. It was hard to keep count. Perhaps it was the 87th replay of David Wright’s farewell game on SNY that did it, or another thrilling Yankees thrashing of the Twins from 2019 on YES, or the 2015 Home Run Derby that exactly nobody was yearning to see on MLB Network or (God help us) a replay of a 2020 Knicks game on MSG that almost nobody wanted to see the first time around …
But let’s just put it this way: I had company.
“If I see the David Wright game again I’ll throw a brick through my television,” said @chalulu23.
“A midseason game from 2019 is NOT classic!” said @RkFast2.
“Hell yeah! I want to watch a game with Winfield and Mattingly,” said @MarcNYY618.
“I would even watch Anthony Young (RIP) go for the consecutive-loss record at this point!” said @Fantomah18.
On and on and on. Many others simply said: “You are not alone.”
Rare is the time I’ve ever posited an opinion and received almost unanimous backing. A few young whippersnappers OK-Boomered me, as expected. A professional sports gambler, gone loopy at the reality of nothing to gamble on, explained, “I don’t like to see old things, it hatches up old memories” and then, in a poignant coda, offered the hashtag #SidBream.
And look: the networks will offer up a lot of reasons why they program as they do. The simplest one is the most frustrating one: until the ’70s, most games weren’t kept. They were erased. They were lost. Much as you might want to see the Tom Seaver Imperfect Game, there is no known copy of that Channel 9 telecast (believe me, I’ve asked).
Source : Mike Vaccaro Link