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Rouch Column for Sunday, April 13, 2014

Posted: April 13, 2014 - 12:16am

Everybody rested, so here we go as we make the stretch run through the end of the year.

Even though I was sick and lost 10 pounds working The Masters a year ago – which wasn’t a bad thing – I thoroughly enjoyed the week. I mean, how can you not in that setting?

This year, I stayed in the comfy confines of the News-Times office in Evans for the most part, and that was OK, too. It’s been a long year, and to be honest, the spring season is the most draining. Between game coverage and things popping up, there’s little time to catch your breath.

With things winding down, I was even able to take the Friday before the Masters started and travel to Cincinnati to see my nephew David get married.

What has that got to do with anything, I’m sure you’re wondering.

Looking back on the trip, it accented the way technology has changed how we get our sports delivered to us.

Right around Kentucky on Friday night, I stumbled across a New York Knicks-Washington Wizards basketball game on satellite radio. Of course it came in clear as a bell. Back in the day, which extends to 1990, the only way to catch a game like that on the radio would have been to search the AM dial in hopes of finding a staticy broadcast.

I joined a fantasy baseball league this year and the ride back on Sunday really drove home how we can follow our favorite sports or teams. The immediacy of the Internet combined with smartphones and associated apps has everything right at our fingertips. That afternoon, I was on my phone checking stats. Not checking scores, but rather following along virtually pitch-by-pitch to see if my guys could pull out the Week 1 win for me. And no, not while I was driving.

Catching a game on TV is almost as easy.

When I was growing up, you were lucky if your team was the NBC Saturday Game of the Week or the occassional ABC Monday Night Game of the Week. And you waited until Saturday morning to watch This Week In Baseball to hopefully catch some of the highlights of great plays you were able to just read about in the daily paper.

Now of course, if I don’t want to watch the Braves game I can look to the ESPN family of networks, the MLB Channel and WGN among others on a nightly basis to see if my Baltimore Orioles are on. And with the remote control, it’s quite easy to watch multiple events at once. When I was a boy, I was the human remote control as I had bad eyes and sat the closest to the TV. Of course we only had about six channels at most to worry about.

It makes we wonder where technological advances will take us in the next 20 years or so.

In the next few weeks, however, I hope to concentrate on high school baseball as much as I can with region tournaments starting and leading into state competitions.

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