Corky Carroll

I'm not a sports nut, but I love the Lakers

I am not exactly what you would term a sports nut. I am first and foremost a surfer to the core. Or maybe to the cork, as the case may be. But I do like to watch basketball on television. The Lakers. I am a full tilt rabid purple and gold bleeding fan.

Way back in the mid 1960's I used to do ads for Jantzen swimwear. They had a group of sports dudes from all over the map. Football, baseball, golf, hockey and, of course, basketball. One of the basketball dudes was Jerry West, who was a star for the Lakers at that time. He and I did a lot of work together and got to be pals. One day he called up and asked if I would like to come see a game. I did. And that began my life as a Lakers fan.

I have stuck with those dudes all through the years. Magic Johnson is my all-time hero. I absolutely loved to watch him play. He'd come down the court with that big ol' Cheshire cat smile on his face and all kinds of good things would happen.

That was an amazing team. There were some real down years in there too. Rooting for Vlade and that group even when you knew they had no chance. Chick Hearn was wonderful at calling the games and always made you feel like you knew each team member personally. I miss him.

Then came the Kobe years and hope was restored. The championships with Shaq were fantastic. Then the agony of watching Karl Malone after he got hurt and the team slipping back to the far downs again. But, like with Magic, as long as we kept Kobe good things were bound to happen sooner or later if management could just put it together. And they did and the team is back. I hate to miss a game.

Which brought me to Christmas Day and the big game with Boston. As some of you know I split my time between Orange County and Mainland Mexico. In the winter I am in Mexico more because I hate cold water. So I am at my casa in Mex and I can't get the game on my T.V. I don't get ABC. But I know that there must be a way without having to drive all the way to Ixtapa and finding it on a TV in some bar. I am on a mission.

I figure that the Internet will tell me what to do. You can learn just about anything you want by Google these days. So I do and yes, there is a solution. Satellite T.V. available over the Internet. It's now 30 minutes to game time and I pull out the credit card and enroll. Only $34.95. What a great deal.

By the time I get signed up it's game time. So I turn on the ESPN sports news station to get the updates on the score while I am trying to get the Internet TV working. There are a number of downloads you have to do. Each one takes time. As I am doing all of those the game is going on and it's close. Then there are plug ins and a whole world of stuff that you really need to be a computer geek to figure out.

By the time I get it up and running it's halftime and the Lakers are clinging to a small lead. I log onto the game and wait while it is buffering. And I wait and wait and it buffers and buffers. I realize it's not gonna work. Ahhhhh.

So I hit the help/support link and try to get some help and support. But it won't let me send my message because there are only four topics to choose from and none of them are my problem. And if you try to choose one of them it gives you a solution and still will not let you send a message. Ahhhhhh.

The game is back on and it's close all through the third quarter. Hey, maybe it's because I am on a MAC. So I switch to my wife's PC and do all the downloads and plug ins and the whole thing all over again.

It's late in the 4th quarter and the score is tied. I log onto the game and wait while it buffers. And wait while it still buffers. Two minutes to go and I miss the update because my eyes are on the computer. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

The game is over. The Lakers win. I watch the highlights on ESPN. I am mentally exhausted. The Internet TV never did work. I realize that this was really a lot of effort just to watch a game on TV and I did miss a nice afternoon of surf. But, I am a fan.