Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why buy The Gravel when The Gibberish is free?

Today was the best day of the year. Aside, of course, from my 1st wedding anniversary that I celebrated last weekend with my lovely wife. Who is watching from across the bed at the moment, pretending to read a book but instead secretly reading every word of this. Love you, honey.

Yes, this second-best day of the year is SEASON TICKET ARRIVAL DAY. And it was better this year than ever. Just yesterday I called the Razorback Ticket Office to verify my tickets and check to see if my request for seat improvements was met. It was. Upper West Side! So long, sun... now the only thing I can blame a headache on during games with late afternoon kicks is... a hangover. Natalie, the girl at the Ticket Office, told me that tickets were printed and would be mailed out early next week.

Then today, the very next day, my wife tells me the tickets arrived. Bam! Just like that. No checking the mailbox with mounting anticipation. No pangs of worry creeping into the back of my mind. No thoughts of setting up a camera to record on a 12-hour loop the inaction on my front porch. None of that. Just the tickets. Today! If that anniversary breakfast at Cracker Barrel wasn't so freaking kickass last week... just kidding, babe. The grits put last week over the top.

So, anyway, included in the ticket envelope this year was a pamphlet...or a flyer. What do you call a one page, one-sided marketing insert anyway? Whatever it was, it was for a product/service called Live Sports Radio. For $20, you can purchase a doohickey like the one featured at the top of this post. Throw it in your ear, and you can hear the radio broadcast from your home team in and around the stadium, whether your team is at home or you are following them into enemy territory. The earpiece works for one season, after which it functions only as a regular FM Scan radio, forcing you to buy another new earpiece the following year.

The major selling point for this Live Sports Radio is that there is no delay between the action on the field and the action in your ear. Traditional radio headsets catching FM waves from normal radio towers experience a delay of a few seconds between what is going on in the game and what is being described in your head. Because Live Sports Radio "re-broadcasts instantly" the radio production from a "special transmitter" designed solely for those earpieces, eliminating delay.

If you breezed through the past couple of paragraphs the way that I would, I'll summarize here. They want you to pay. $20. To hear Chuck Barrett. Faster.


It dawned on me that the idea behind this really isn't a bad one at all. In fact, it's pretty damned genius. If only our radio broadcast team wasn't Really, who is going to pony up a Jackson to listen to Chuck and Keith? Paul Eells was worth $20. With Chuck, you could reverse the monetary equation and I'd be iffy. Are there people who really feel like they need the insight of those two? I have a program. A working brain. A smartphone for stats. I'm good.

And so it goes for Arkansas. Another great product unable to realize its full potential due to shitty implementation. See: D.J. Williams under Houston Nutt. Gus Malzahn. Jannero Pargo. David Bazzel's Root Hog cheer. I'd like to feel sorry for these Live Sports Radio guys, but they should have done their homework.

At the University of Arkansas, we don't make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you'd buy. If they were better.

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