Enhancing The Experience: Following the Cavs on the Web

There is something a little exotic and a little maddening about being basically forced to follow the Cavaliers online rather than seeing their games, or hearing them. And yes, I am sure that I could subscribe to some site and see the games live, but unfortunately that is not in the household budget at present. Late at night I can get a pretty good signal on the radio, but unfortunately most of the games are over by then, and, as the mountains between "me and you" are unlikely to move, the radio is also an option in which I would need to get a subscription to "hear the games."

So there I am, perched before my monitor, trying to follow the game and stay in the good graces of the Mrs. at the same time. The game starts (usually much later than its announced start time -- ever notice that?), and immediately I have to decide which site to follow the game on. Added to that is a frantic wish to be accurate for our regional site and its updates -- not always an easy thing, especially when the time between quarters seems to fly when you want to post some relevant stats between quarters.

Yahoo is good, but Yahoo sometimes has the annoying tendency to go "back in time", as it were. The simplest way to describe this is to give an example: it will say "5:32 left in the quarter, Cavs up 53-45, Mo Williams just drilled a three" (paraphrasing, of course, it does not actually say such a thing, but for the sake of my example...). The next "update" will have "5:41 left in the quarter, Cavs up 50-45"...so I sit there wondering how an "update" could go back in time by nine seconds. And of course, the doubt exists as to whether Mo did, in fact, drill the three, or if it was waved off. Then it will "update" again and show the first part of the example again, before moving ahead and "catching up", as it were.

Confusing? You bet it is...especially when I am trying like crazy to feel a "part of" the game.

Being a part of the game, for the past few years, was seeing the Cavs so often that I felt like I was back in Ohio. But now that luxury has been taken away. Yes, I did get to see the second half of the Philadelphia win, once I found out that it was on my local cable here, but the truth is that the pickings will be slim this year.

Yahoo, as I said, is pretty good, and would be better if they could get the little glitch worked out that I mentioned -- a glitch that also affects Browns' and Indians' updates. The basic box score and "recent plays" are streamlined and easy to follow.

NBA.com is a fantastic site, with more than one option for watching a game. You can settle for the basics and just see the score, or you can click and see a simulated court where all of the shots, both made or missed, are graphically displayed. The site also has video highlights available and updated shooting percentages, etc. to follow during the game itself. When there is a score, it is "highlighted", so that it is clear to see.

Snazzy technology for an elderly sort such as myself. And sure there are drawbacks...when Mo made that three, was he in more traffic than is found on the Shoreway at 5 p.m.? Or was he left alone and jacked the shot up as the clock was running down? Did he have his foot on the line? And if he missed the three -- was he fouled? Did he start to lose the ball going up?

But all in all...snazzy technology is there to be availed of.

I am not sure of other sites, such as ESPN.com or AOL Sports, but I will be exploring those sites as well -- that is, if ESPN does not implode over the stress of four Miami losses in nine games (he said with an evil chuckle).

If you find yourself unable to see the Cavs or listen to them, but have access to a computer, you could do a whole lot worse than following the games online. For all the frustrations, it sure does beat the days when you had to stay up to watch the 11:00 p.m. news to see who won, or wait until the morning Plain Dealer, or, worse yet -- for the West Coast games -- wait for the Press in the afternoons (yes, that really dates me and you ask yourself "Why not just get the score from the radio in the morning?"...literary license, I guess you could call it, especially since I used to often not know "who won" until sometime the next day, and from a newspaper).

Can I live without a constant, 100% accurate and instantaneous update and still feel like a part of the Cavs' experience? Yes, I can, I could and I have...but the technology out there now, the sites one can turn to to know what is happening in a game, almost in real time (even without the particulars of what made a play happen)...all of it is simply wonderful and amazing.

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