Are You Sirius?

Like roughly three million other people, I recently bought a Sirius satellite radio tuner. This purchase really made no sense at all, since whenever I am in my car my son is usually with me and the radio or CD player can’t be audible because he is demanding that I tell him a story. (My propensity for waving my arms wildly to try to make my lame tales more interesting has resulted in several confused looks from fellow drivers, many of whom seem to think that I am directing obscene gestures their way.)

And I also didn’t buy Sirius for Howard Stern. I will be listening to the channels devoted to Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, and The Rolling Stones far more than I will listen to Stern and Baba Booey engaging in what can now be profanity-laced arguments.

No, a big reason I went satellite was for sports. Too many times I have been driving either between Madison and Minneapolis (my hometown) or Madison and Milwaukee (my wife’s hometown) and become frustrated because I lost the signal of the game I was trying to listen to. The coast-to-coast coverage of satellite radio eliminates that problem.

But satellite does present a series of new problems: It’s basically an embarrassment of sports riches. Although Sirius doesn’t have baseball (going with the inferior XM being another in the long list of bad decisions by MLB), it does have literally every other sport on the planet, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, college football and basketball, and even English soccer.

If you’re like me, this could be more a reason to not subscribe than to subscribe. When I invest in something, I want to get my full return out of it. That’s why I have stacks of DVDs at home that I haven’t watched: I can’t settle for just watching the movie, I have to listen to the commentary tracks, watch the documentaries, page through the photo galleries, everything. Usually I decide to watch ESPN rather than undertake such a time-consuming task. I could see the same thing happening with satellite radio: The fact that I’m paying $12.95 a month but won’t be able to juggle making breakfast with listening to the Manchester City at Manchester United soccer game or that I’ll fall asleep while trying to catch the play-by-play of the late-starting Capitals/Mighty Ducks hockey game may finally just become too frustrating for me to deal with.

Then I might go back to struggling to keep those signals coming in on that old-fashioned
terrestrial radio. Or better yet, turn the radio off entirely and tell my son some more of those stories. Let’s see — Clifford the Big Red Dog and Baba Booey were at the park . . .


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