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Twitter: It’s better than cable

Go Butler!

I had avoided watching the Butler basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament because I’ve decided I can’t stand to watch sports games when I actually care about the teams. It makes me anxious. (I can’t watch The Amazing Race either because I get worried that the good people will miss their flights and the bad people will win because this is not scripted and evil sometimes wins.) As I confessed last year, I love the Butler Bulldogs, and I still find comfort in the idea that there is a parallel universe somewhere in which Gordon Hayward’s buzzer beater shot from half-court actually landed in the basket, they won the tournament, and someone is producing a movie about it. And I don’t even care about basketball!

So, there I was avoiding the game, which was easy because it was on cable and I do not have cable. My dad was visiting, so we were watching a game between BYU and Gonzaga, which sounds more like a cheese than a university. Alas, CBS had an infographic at the top of the screen that updated with the latest scores and the time left in the other games. So, of course, the Butler game comes up with Butler down a point with one whole minute left in the game. And I was like, “Damn it, Butler! Why must you always do this to me? Why can’t you just demolish your opponent instead of eliminating my need for nail clippers?”

My dad and I watched the timer run down to 8 seconds (actually, I watched through my nail-bitten fingers), and then it held at 8 seconds for awhile, which was driving me crazy because I didn’t care about the cheese college’s game. So, what does a girl without cable do? She gets her Twitter on! People are always clogging up my Twitter stream with stupid talk about basketball, and now I was finally grateful for it! I pulled out my laptop and searched Twitter for the #butler hashtag. Oh, marvel at my ingenuity, me the 21st century girl (without cable).

This was at once both incredibly informative and totally confusing. For instance, in the tweet stream I would see something like this:

@bballFan4Life: YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!
@LiveToLayUp: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

So, something important had obviously just happened, but who was the Butler fan and who was the Pittsburgh fan? Why couldn’t their Twitter names be @ButlerRocks and @Pitts4Evah or something?

Then the clock restarted on the TV and then stopped again at 2 seconds, which is when the Twitterati let me know someone had done something stupid, though I could not determine what. I kept hitting refresh, refresh, refresh, trying to sort out facts from the chatter, and finally figured out that Butler had gotten the upper hand by one point and was good to win the game when—d’oh!—somebody fouled Pittsburgh, which meant they’d get two free throws and might win the game.

This was when I remembered why I DON’T WATCH SPORTS GAMES THAT I CARE ABOUT. I evidently needed to expand that rule to include not searching Twitter for hashtags about sports games I care about.

So, there was more rapid refreshing and I announced to my dad, who was watching over my shoulder, that there would be overtime. Yay, overtime! I hate it at work, but in this basketball game it was a Godsend. Go Bulldogs, you’re the—Oh, wait, what’s this? We’re not in overtime? There was a foul. Huh, what? Do they mean the earlier foul? Someone else couldn’t have possibly fouled with less than 2 seconds left. Did we foul again? Were we doubly stupid? When did this become “we,” anyway? Oh, right, many, many moons ago when I worked a contract job at Butler for two months. Here’s the picture of the cup I stole from IT to prove it:

His career faltering after his book trailer debut, Teddy started panhandling on the streets for cas

Finally after several tweets about overtime, fouls, and the bowel movements of the tweeters in question, I finally figured out that Pittsburgh had fouled Butler (God only knows how), so now Butler had two free throws to break the tie and win the game they really should have won several seconds ago.


I kept clicking the refresh button and again there was the “YESSSSSSSS!!!!” and the “NOOOOOOO!!!!” and I was like, “Yes! No! Yes! No! What the hell happened?!?!?” Finally, FINALLY, enough tweets came through for me to learn that my boys had come through and Butler had finally won, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat that they had just snatched from the jaws of victory, like some sort of metaphorical turducken, all stuffed within each other.

It was a rather odd way to follow a basketball game, as thrilling as it was confusing. I had to wait 20-30 minutes before CBS finally showed the highlights, so I was glad I hadn’t been stuck in a clueless vacuum with only a cold infographic to keep me company. Later I poked around the NCAA site and learned you can watch live streaming video of games, which would have been good to know earlier, but probably would have been choppy and unreliable because of buffering and datastream speeds and all that nonsense. Watching a game in ASCII takes much less bandwidth.

Here’s a more linear, less confusing wrap-up of the game if all the Twitter recapping left you puzzled. (I hear ya’!)

Go #butler!

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Merry • March 23, 2011 at 3:20 am

Geez, woman, what are you doing up this late? Only West Coast insomniacs should be insomniyakking at this hour.

I gathered early on in my reading that your post had something to do with that mysterious concept known as ‘sports,’ but I’m glad you went further and explained it was basketball. Me, I was picturing a game between butlers, e.g. Jeeves vs. Bunter, and the mind boggled at trying to determine which one would win.


Dan - Fit Coach • March 23, 2011 at 4:54 am

Of course we can get live social interactions on Twitter but they are obscure and sometimes miss leading because Twitter gives platform to self updates/thoughts…Next time try for basketball live score update websites like: LiveScore.com & Yahoo Sports for tension free updates ;)


LisaM • March 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

Although a Hoosier, I am in no way a b’ball fan. However, I’m glad I read far enough into your post to be rewarded with this nugget – “Butler had finally won, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat that they had just snatched from the jaws of victory, like some sort of metaphorical turducken, all stuffed within each other.” That’s some fine turn of phrase PQ!


Sarah • March 23, 2011 at 8:58 am

That is funny because i also don’t have cable. I follow the fighting illini and those pittsburgh panthers you laid the smack down on. So I find myself ‘watching’ the game via the espn app on my smart phone. and man, when it is updating and the time isn’t changing and i don’t really know what is going on it kills me. so i totally feel the pain


Debby • March 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I don’t have cable either, so I’ve been watching the cable station games on my laptop. I would love to watch the women’s NCAA tournament games, but you can do that only if your ISP is a cable company. Alas, mine is not. Damn the cable overlords! Damn them!


Caroline • March 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Ha ha! Yep, those Twitter feeds can be ridiculously confusing sometimes. I’m a sad Pitt fan, myself – found out how the game turned out via Sportscenter instead of a live internet feed. I tried using those during the World Cup last summer, and they can be a big pain in the butt! :S


Pam • March 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

GREAT and funny story about trying to figure out the outcome of the BB game on twitter! I too am not a BB fan (being from Nebraska, as in University of…we’ve never had much to cheer about in the form of BB), but I did see the end of that Pitt/Butler game on TV. We have a slight investment in that game in Nebraska–Steve Pederson is the AD at Pitt, he spent several wildly unsuccessful (esp. in football-the only sport that really counts in Nebraska–we expect to be bad in BB), and thus unpopular years here at Nebraska as AD, so we always root against him. Secondly our old NU BB coach, Barry Collier, is now back at Butler as AD, so we root FOR him. Because even though he never was successful as a BB coach at Nebraska, we just think he’s a nice guy, unlike Steverino who was a bit of an eogmaniac. I will continue to root for Butler, maybe they can equate last year’s success in the NCAA. But I have to admit, I probably won’t watch many of the games, and not because I care too much!
Also wanted to let you know I joined the half-assed club this week. I hit 163.4 lbs., which is less than half my starting weight of 328, and less than 4 lbs. to my ultimate goal of 160. You gave me much inspiration on my weight loss journey, both through your blog and your book. THANKS!


tony • March 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I’m so glad you wrote this post! I love football but it’s very hard for me to watch my team! My husband doesn’t understand that, and considers me something of a a fair weather fan, which I’m not!


Coco • March 28, 2011 at 6:55 am

Craziness! I just learned that my Dad’s wife’s brother went to Butler!


Robin K • March 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I was at the NCAA finals last year when Butler did so well and almost made it, except for that last second shot! That was a heartbreaker! It was an unbelievably thrilling game live, and the two friends I was with were shocked at my sudden passion for them. I went to IU not Butler, but there was something about a small school team near my own alma mater that caught my heart. I kept joking I caught Bulldog Fever that night, and I was the loudest female in my row. Well, I’m cheering them on once again in the Final Four, though I have no association with Butler whats-so-ever. Hey, love that mug you…ummm…grabbed! Go Bulldogs!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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