Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why Does the Comcast Network Exist?

I don't mean Comcast Sportsnet. We know why that exists: It plays Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games. No, I'm talking about the Comcast Network, aka the channel formerly known as CN8. Why the hell does this channel exist?

Last night, Temple took on La Salle in a Big 5, A-10 battle. The Owls won 71-67 in what I can only assume was a very good game, but I can't know for sure. Why? Because for some reason, a game between two teams from Philadelphia that just so happen to be conference rivals, played in Philadelphia, wasn't on TV in Philadelphia, so I didn't get to see a single second of it.

It wasn't on any of the ESPN channels. It wasn't on any DirecTV channels. But most importantly, it wasn't even on the Comcast Network. No, instead, the Comcast Network was airing the juicy match-up between James Madison and William & Mary. What? Why? Isn't this exactly what the Comcast Network is in existence for, to air games like Temple-La Salle?

Evidently not, because this isn't the first time this has happened. Last year, Temple and Xavier were both undefeated in Atlantic 10 play in January and clashed in a huge game. Yet it wasn't on television, not even the Comcast Network. Nope, just like last night, instead of airing a Philadelphia team that is one of the best in its conference (and last night two Philly teams), the Comcast Network was broadcasting, you guessed it, another James Madison game.

Please, for the love of god, someone explain this ridiculous fucking nonsense to me. Why on earth would the Comcast Network, a Philadelphia station, play games for a school in Virginia over games from schools in Philadelphia? It just makes no goddamn sense. None whatsoever. And it's infuriating. For starters, every Big 5 game should be televised in Philadelphia, period. That only makes sense. And the Comcast Network is the perfect outlet for that when Big 5 games or any other big games for Philadelphia schools aren't on national television. Yet the Comcast Network hasn't figured that out. It's a completely worthless channel unless the Sixers and Flyers, or Phillies and one of those teams, are playing at the same time, which isn't often. I hate the Comcast Network. It's awful. Just awful. I live in Philadelphia and couldn't even watch a game between Temple and La Salle taking place in my own city. No one gives a shit about James Madison. No one. Someone needs to answer for this. I'm so incredibly pissed about it.

The Comcast Network sucks so hard.

As incredibly angry as I was at the fact that the Temple-La Salle game wasn't on, there still was plenty of basketball to watch. Villanova hosted Marquette on ESPNU, the Sixers were taking on the Nets in what clearly had to be the most anticipated game in the NBA last night, and UConn-Syracuse occupied ESPN.

I began by having Nova-Marquette on the bigger TV with the sound on and UConn-Cuse on the smaller TV muted until the Sixers tipped off. Right away, I knew something was strange with the ESPNU announcing team. When the voice first came on, it sounded odd to me, someone I've never heard. Then I saw it was Charlie Neal, who looked about 8,000 years old.

Let me tell you, it didn't take long to recognize that he is senile. For starters, it sounded like he didn't know who any of the players were at all. He was slow on calling the action, on pretty much everything, and straining to figure out who was who. He also kept pronouncing Antonio Pena as Antonio Peeenya, which as incredibly annoying. Then he mixed up a Marquette player and a Nova player. He also said that Maalik Wayns was at the line and made the first free throw when Corey Fisher very clearly was the one who was bumped, fouled and at the stripe. And he horribly mispronounced the names of the Flyers in attendance, calling Dan Carcillo Dan Car-Cee-Lo, (yeah, like the Fuck You guy) and butchering JVR's name by combining it with Giroux — James van (pause) Giroux dyk. Wow.

He also called the Eastern Conference the Eastern Division. However, he did get Larry Brown's name correct, with Brown in attendance as well. Good job.

It got so bad that I actually decided it was a better idea to listen to Marc Zumoff and Eric Snow. Yeah, that bad.

For Nova, the 75-70 win was a nice bounceback victory against a tough Marquette team, though it wasn't easy. Mouphtaou Yarou was an absolute beast early and sustained it throughout, putting up a game-high 18 points, but Corey Stokes continued to struggle mightily in the first half. He was so awful again in the first 20 minutes that I texted silver fox that he stinks now. Still, Nova had a 9-point halftime lead thanks to incredible defense and the strong play of Yarou. The development of Mouph has been fun to watch, and if he can keep getting better, he gives Nova an intimidating player inside that they have typically lacked under Jay Wright.

In the second half though, Stokes went off. He scored 10 straight points, and finished with 14. It's still worrisome that he shot only 5-13 on the night and all the sudden has become an erratic shooter, but it was nice to see him come around.

What wasn't nice was the devolution of Nova's defense. In the first half, they gave up just 6 points in the paint. Then damn near every other defensive possession in the second half, Marquette was getting a dunk or layup. The defense was horrible. That resulted in a big lead turning into a tight contest down the stretch. Luckily, Corey Fisher did what he's known to do, controlling the game with 17 points and 6 assists, and Antonio Pena added a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, including hitting 8 of 9 free throws, several in the closing minutes to ice the game.

The good was definitely Yarou, Fisher, Pena and Stokes' second half, and the fact that Nova made 29 of 33 free throws. The bad news is that Stokes still struggled mightily in the first half, the defense was a joke in the second half and they had 12 turnovers to just 13 assists. But any win in the Big East is a good one, especially one that stopped a mini skid.

Syracuse also stopped its Big East skid, beating UConn 66-58 thanks once again to Mr. Double-Double Rick Jackson. The Philly product had 13 and 13, owning the glass like he has all season. He's fifth in the country in rebounding, averaging 11.5 a night.

As for the Sixers, they led from start to finish and beat an inferior team. There really wasn't much excitement, especially with Philadelphia building a 19-point lead in the 3rd quarter. However, the Sixers did manage to let the Nets back in it, as they have so many times this year, but not enough to make it close. Jody Meeks had his best game in months, scoring 15 points, and I learned that he is incredibly fast. Lou Williams led all scorers with 26 points off the bench. Brand added a double-double with 15-10. Iggy added 16 more.

But the story of the night was none other than the most promising reason to watch the Sixers, Jrue Holiday. Jrue recorded his first of what we hope is many career triple doubles, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists (to just 1 turnover).

It sure is a pleasure watching Holiday mature before our very eyes.

I would have liked to have watched Khalif Wyatt and Aaric Murray continue their maturation as well, but I couldn't. From the sound of it, Wyatt, who scored a team-high 18 points for Temple and continued his strong play in 2011, went off, helping the Owls to a 61-47 lead. Then Murray, who scored a game-high 22 points to go along with 8 boards and 2 blocks, led a furious charge back to make it a tight game. Lavoy Allen actually decided to show up too, putting up 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks, which was nice.

It also would have been nice to see it, but I couldn't. Because the Comcast Network is worthless.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, ang-ry. If you're such a big, Big 5 fan, why not GO to the Temple/LaSalle game? Any college hoops game is 10x better in person anyway?

    (By the way, in this rare case, its not Comcast you should be angry at... its the A10 and their dreadful media deal they signed with CBS, which will not allow Comcast the rights to broadcast A10 games.)