For the past ten days, I’ve been without a functioning television set. This is not exactly the stuff of deprivation or sacrifice, but it is a tad inconvenient, especially now that the pro and college football seasons are in full swing. Fortunately, help is on the way. The other day, I went to an electronics store and ordered a new TV — a fairly basic and surprisingly affordable widescreen model — which should be delivered and set up by the end of the week.
The TV I ordered represents my first purchase of a brand new model since buying a $99 cheapo set some 20 years ago! Every other TV has been a discard or a used one, including the 15-year-old kaput model that will be carted away soon.
Many moons ago, I didn’t even have a TV. During law school, I went without. I listened to the radio a lot, and I really enjoyed talk radio programs at a time when that genre was more conversational and fun, rather than a stream of political soapboxes. On occasion I’d go to the TV room in the law school dorm to watch a favorite program or two, or maybe one of my friends would have us over to watch something, but that was about it.
Right after law school, I was working as a Legal Aid lawyer and was barely scraping by, so I didn’t have a TV until some benevolent friends gave me an old portable black-and-white set that had been gathering dust. It may seem hard to imagine that I was quite happy with the social and entertainment options in my life at the time without cable or a VCR (these were the pre-DVD and streaming days, folks), but it really was so.
You know what I’ve rediscovered during this brief time? Listening to football games on the radio can be fun, at least when your team wins. On Saturday I was pulling for Navy to beat Temple and for Notre Dame to beat Michigan. Good results there. But my beloved Chicago Bears took it on the chin against Buffalo, and the Patriots fell apart against Miami.
The weekend reminded me of when I was a kid, listening to games on the radio during a time when lots fewer games were televised.
Of course, this time around I also have the Internet, which I periodically accessed on Sunday to follow the fortunes of my two fantasy football teams. (Two wins there, baby!)
So…radio and the Internet. Old meets new.
Practically speaking, listening to games on the radio made it easier to get some work and chores done. I’m not glued to my TV set when it’s working, but even so I realize how easy it is to dump hours into gazing at the screen. I’ll keep that in mind once my new TV arrives and everything is up and running.