Though Newfoundlanders love their home, they do complain about it an awful lot; be it the weather, the lack of a Taco Bell, or all the moose that keep terrorizing drivers. If there is one thing that Newfoundlanders don’t complain enough about though, it is how terrible a place this is to be a fan of professional sports, at least for those of us who have to go to work in the morning.
I like sports. I particularly like sports in the playoffs, when every game is crucially important and the entire season is on the line. The problem is, the better the series, the worse a place Newfoundland, which is in a time zone an hour and a half later than EST, becomes to watch the game. The NHL semifinals have been fantastic so far, particularly the Western Conference, where pretty much every Blackhawks and the Ducks game has gone into overtime. I haven’t watched a full game yet.
If the games were blowouts, I could actually watch the game and get to bed by a reasonable hour. But because these teams are so evenly matched, there is better than even chance that the game well end up in overtime, and you never know if the game will end a couple minutes into the first overtime, as it did the other night, or go to triple overtime as it did a few games ago. There is nothing worse than investing several hours in a game and then having to go to be before it ended, only to find out the next morning that a highlight reel game winner. Though basketball does not have long overtimes, the last 3 minutes of close game can take a half hour to play, since NBA teams have 40 timeouts per half and teams save them until the end. Though I’m not much of a fan of the NBA, from time to time I’ll turn on a game in the fourth quarter with the intentions of watching the last few minutes of a close game, only to end up watching 30 free though attempts until 1am.
I once met a sports fan from Philadelphia who had worked all over the US and was living in Nashville at the time. I remember how he raved about how the Central time zone was the best place for a sports fan. On the west coast everything comes on too early, often times before people get home from work. On the east coast of the US things came on a little bit too late. He couldn’t believe it when I told him that I live in a place that’s an hour and a half ahead of EST.
I grew up a hockey fan, but in recent years with work and kids I’ve found myself increasingly watching football. The simple reason is that most games are shown on Sunday afternoons. I can actually watch the end of a game without having to wake up like a zombie at 6am the next morning. All of this makes the decision by the provincial government to experiment with double daylight savings time back in 1988 all the more unfathomable. Was Brian Peckford’s cabinet entirely devoid of hockey fans? If we could do something as absurd as turning our clocks ahead 2 hours, why can’t we try holding off on adjusting to daylight savings time until after the Stanley Cup Finals?