Finding the game on TV, but not finding our way to the polls

Did you watch last night’s NFL snoozer between Buffalo and the New York Whatevers?

Jets or Giants, no matter, it’s Don’t Watch TV.

Unless you are a Big Apple person, or you’re related to one of the players or coaches. Or you’re a DirecTV subscriber and didn’t add Showtime to your package so you could enjoy soaking in the brilliance of Billions.

Otherwise, we were all tuned in to Fox for the I-45 Series, wall-to-wall Lone Star baseball that guarantees us a strong rooting interest in the upcoming Fall Classic.

Not you poor DirecTV prisoners. I’ve been one since last summer, when our local Fox channel (KMSS) disappeared in one of those stare-down national subscription rate debates that have become as common as government lockdown scares from Congress.

But with the Ryder Cup approaching a couple of weeks ago, and facing no NBC coverage due to another DirecTV showdown (this one with KTAL’s parent company, Nexstar), I followed the advice of many on Facebook and my technology coach, Mr. Know-It-All Patrick Netherton, and joined YouTube TV.

With apologies to Shreveport’s Timmy B, the Fox Sports college football play-by-play stud, I had depended on social media and ESPN’s SportsCenter to keep me in touch with whatever I couldn’t see on Fox.

I missed last year’s World Series, most of the Saints’ games (not the worst thing ever), The Masked Singer (I’d never made it to a commercial break, not even when I found out Terry Bradshaw took a turn) and Welcome to Flatch, which apparently was barely noticed by anyone and got cancelled faster than it took to unmask disgraceful New York congressman George Santos as a liar.

But what’s a sea of lies among politicians? Fodder for campaign advertising, otherwise taken for granted as business as usual.

It’s a shame when attack ads are considered the most effective messaging in political campaigning. Truth? It’s all perception. We now have “alternative truth” to chew on. That generally means either defaulting back to our core beliefs, or just giving up in disgust to let those who really care decide.

That’s what happened Saturday in our elections. Of 3 million potential voters, about 36 percent took a few minutes to participate in electing local, regional and statewide leaders. That’s two-thirds of us who just punted, and most of that group will gripe at what ensues.

Some good people won. Some good people lost. But when indifference wins, we all lose.

If I had a magic wand, I’d outlaw attack ads. I’d outlaw political ads, period. By signing up as a candidate, you agree to participate in debates and to follow rules in said debates. Just like in pro sports, if you break the rules, there are fines, and that cash is payable to charities like Wounded Warriors and such. No politics there.

That way, we’d have a better chance of an informed electorate, instead of an inflamed one.

My concept has as much chance as my Pittsburgh Pirates do at MLB postseason any time soon.

As to that I-45 Series, Astros-Rangers for the American League pennant? You probably have your favorite. I’m a slight lean to the Rangers for the most arcane reason – former Shreveport sportswriter Evan Grant covers them for the Dallas Morning News, and Evan’s a good human.

He sure was when he was here during the Bush presidency – George H.W. Bush, the dad, not the son who had some ownership in the Rangers from 1989 (when he borrowed $500k to get a share and be the focal point of the ownership group) to 1998 (when he collected $15 million in the franchise sale after admittedly being a show pony for the club, and getting elected governor of Texas).

I have a lot more pals who are heart-and-soul ‘Stros fans, so I’m good either way it goes.

Which is very much like the attitude of most (non) voters in our state. MLB’s results generally don’t move the real-life needle for me or you. But it’s past time to put more thought into electing our leaders than we do on figuring how to watch the games on TV.

Game 1 to the Rangers 2-0, BTW. Now, to my DVR to watch Billions. 

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