Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When you wish....

....upon a star....yeah, no dreams comin' true here.

If you look through my postings, you'll probably notice that we here at Casa Black n' Gold are a little nuts for Pittsburgh sports. DH is a native, and once a 'Burgher, always a 'Burgher. I, though not a native, easily adopted this mindset. Though all of the teams wear black, for the most part, they are thought of as the "good guys" in a western. Back in the early 90's we left the Burgh, and thus left behind the local sports news. It was awful. No sports talk, no newspapers, nothin'. DH was devastated. Then a cable channel that catered to Burgh sports began. Mecca for displaced Pittsburgh fans. About 18 years ago a rinky dink sports talk show was produced by the original channel called Sportsbeat . As time wore on it turned into THE information conduit for all sports information, with an emphasis on Pittsburgh. The hosts changed over the years too, but primarily it was manned by Stan Savran and Guy Junker. Pittsburgh fans all over the country bought their sports tiers and packages just to be able to see Sportsbeat and get Steeler, Pirate, Pitt, Penguin,and even Penn State news. For us, I had to tape it every night for DH to watch. The station itself went through many modifications over the years, and lastly has morphed into a Fox Sports Affiliate. Sometime in the past 18 months, it was purchased by Liberty Media, who sometime in the past month decided that those five hours of Sportsbeat was too much locally produced regional programming - never mind that it was watched all over the country; never mind that the ratings didn't flag. They decided that broadcasting poker and the Top 32 Yo Yo Tricks was more cost effective. They had already, unceremoniously kicked Guy Junker off a few years ago. So after 18 years it was announced last week that Sportsbeat would be no more and last night was the final show.

OK, you're all thinkin' I've really gone round the bend. Why does this matter? Our country may be slowly imploding. We have nuts in other countries trying to figure out how to kill and maim our citizens. I have a friend who will soon be deployed (for the second time in two years) to Afghanistan. But all I can try and tell you is that it has something to do with the water/air/implanted microchip that you acquire living in Pittsburgh. There--it is a way of life. Where else can a gnome with a voice like a rusty gate be a beloved broadcaster. Where else will THOUSANDS of fans travel to sit in the hot sun and watch big men run around seemingly aimlessly. (And yes, we'll be there. I'll take pictures.) So this came as a blow. I didn't see the show, I taped it for my DH, but I had just gotten home from yoga, when Stan Savran (who is remaining with the station), did his final commentary, and I literally couldn't hold back my tears, and apparently neither could he. He said that he had to pre-tape his remarks because he was afraid he'd be too emotional.

Folks, I don't know this man from a cake of soap, but he has come into my home every night for 18 years, and shared a bit of what we still consider home.

Now, of course, I'm wondering how to find out about FCC licensing and how to complain that FSN isn't supporting the local community. (There is always some public comment period when a license is to be renewed.) It's not like there isn't enough evidence. I'm working up to ripping 'em a new one.

1 comment:

Bezzie said...

I feel for you. We're not that diehard (well I'm not...and hubby's NOT quite there yet) but we're big about our CSU college football. ONE game a year on TV. It blows. And it's all about TV monopolies and the big business of sports programming. It's a disgusting racket the more you peer behind the curtain.