I wasn't able to listen to the UT-UCLA game. It being a Monday night - or really early, early, early Tuesday morning here on a week day. I tired enough as it is - and at work, you know they like me to work.
But on Saturday, I was able to tune in to the Vols on Internet radio.
And I guess like any Tennessee fan, I wasn't really thinking about that game. I was thinking about the next game. Will this be enough against Florida? Ehhhh....unlikely.
University of Alabama Birmingham was there to be our punching bag, but instead we just slapped 'em around a little. Sure a win's good, it's better than a mark in the L column.
I never thought the Vols would lose, but I was unsure about one thing. The new Internet listening service.
Last year, there was radio broadcast from UTSports.com -owned by the University, but this year it's on another site - the All Access College Sports Broadband Channel. Probably something to do with the gajillion dollar communications deal UT signed this year. The site is not great. Sure it looks slick, but it's hard to navigate, it has weird disappearing menus and you can't just click on a game to listen, you have to tick a teeny-tiny unintuitive box to add it to your "play list". My playlist? Whatever, I just want to listen to the game. Worst of all, occasionally I'd get a voiceover saying "The event you have selected is not yet broadcast, please check your playlist..." or some such rubbish. And I'd have to go and reload the game - listening to the mandatory ad before I could return to game coverage.
There also doesn't appear to be any way to turn off the game tracker, which means that even though I can listen to old games which is very useful when the games are on too late for me, there doesn't appear to be any way to avoid the score. I like to listen to the games as if live. A big old final score kinda ruins it for me. I've complained about this directly.
Finally, I'd like to grumble about the Vol Network feed itself. The way it works is advertising is sold by the Vol Network - that's fine. I actually kinda like hearing those ads. In East Tennessee, problems with termites? Lookie, lookie, lookie her comes Cookie - Cooks pest control. And go to Food City for that limited edition Tennessee ice cream that Mayfield Dairy makes. Show your Volunteer spirit by recyling! And so on...
But when it cuts to the slots that local affiliates have sold...there's no sound. There's just an eery, ominous silence that brings a panic to my chest and makes me think that the broadcast has cut out. I'd actually rather listen to some ads - maybe some international company like Gillette or Coke or the International Herald Tribune could buy across all Internet broadcast NCAA sports - I guess the legalities would be too difficult. Or maybe it could be non-stop repeating choruses of Rocky Top or warnings about parking restrictions at UT or snippets from Chemistry 101 lectures or anything - really anything.
Anyway, rant over - Go Vols, next week I suspect I'll have more to complain about than 30 seconds of dead air.