I’m So With It.

There’s a Tom Petty song that was released back (I guess by this point it qualifies as way back) in 1987 called “Think About Me.” In the song, the protagonist bemoans the success of someone who used his material goods to steal a woman away: “Your boyfriend got a big red car/Got a compact disc, got a VCR.”

Obviously, twenty years later, owning a compact disc player and a video cassette recorder are not that impressive. CDs are going the way of vinyl as more and more music consumers download music. And VCRs? With DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and DVRs, VCRs are most often used simply for their clocks.

(Where am I going with this and what does it have to do with sports? Stay tuned. I promise I’ll get to that.)

Well, I consider myself to be a fairly in-touch person when it comes to technology. I don’t know how I lived without my satellite radio and my TiVo; these items to me are as essential as refrigerators and air conditioners and probably more so. But until recently I was prepared to let the whole MP3 thing pass me by. But recently I broke down and bought an iPod, partially thanks to my winnings from being a genius at the March Madness predictions. Again, how did I live without this little thing?

And like my experiences with satellite radio and TiVo, I bought an iPod ostensibly for one purpose and found that it can assist greatly in my love of sports. (See, I told you I’d get to this.)

I honestly bought a satellite radio so I could hear Howard Stern. To be honest, I use it only for music and for sports. Have to run an errand but want to stay in touch with the Spurs/Suns game? Oh, it’s not on local radio? No problem. Satellite radio. Same with the NFL and March Madness. Oh, and Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption are there during my drive home.

And I don’t know how I watched football before TiVo. Dog has to go out? No worries about missing a play. Pause and pick up the game after you pick up after the dog. Better yet, just plan on TiVoing it and you can score points at home by watching the game later on Sunday in less time. (And no, it’s not sacrilegious for someone who works at a TV station to say that — in fact, I see more commercial content by watching a game on TiVo that I do watching it live and flipping around or leaving the room during commercials. Not to mention that I stop and watch lots of commercials/promos that I haven’t seen before or that I like. It’s like any other type of communication; if companies want consumers to pay attention to their commercial messages, they have to make them entertaining or otherwise interesting.)

Which brings me to my iPod — for the first few weeks, I used it for music. But I became more curious about podcasts, and specifically about sports podcasts. So I tried it out. Ingenious. I can listen to a day’s worth of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in about 35 minutes. Why did I select Mike & Mike first? Because all good things come in twos. Like Mike & Mike, Bob & Doug, Hall & Oates, The Smothers Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, The Godfather I and II, and the Coors Light twins.
The downside to waiting to listen to a radio show’s podcast? Well, it’s sorta brutal to hear eight minutes of Kentucky Derby preview after the running of the Kentucky Derby, especially when you care more about Kentucky Fried Chicken than you do about the Kentucky Derby.

Not to mention that it’s hard to find the time for all of the extra information/entertainment now available thanks to the convenience of satellite radio, TiVo, iPods, and podcasts. But it’s better than going back to the days when VCRs and CD players were status symbols.

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