My late grandfather, Howard Wickett, really enjoyed baseball. He was a Toronto Blue Jays fan and followed them pretty closely. I particularly remember him and most of our family following the team during their great run to the World Series in the early nineties. One thing that stands out in my memory is the discriminating way he watched games.
I remember during our visits in the summer, he would sit in the upstairs TV room with the game on but the sound turned down. Beside him would be a small portable radio tuned to the broadcast of the game. He always preferred the radio commentary over the TV play-by-play. I can't remember exactly why, but I'm pretty it had something to do with "not liking those TV guys".
Looking back on it, watching games this way must have been frustrating. The commentary would have always been slightly out of sync with the picture. I get annoyed when the audio sync is out even slightly while watching video and would lose my mind trying to watch a whole ballgame like that. It speaks to how much my grandfather loved how Tom Cheek called baseball.
As I write this, I'm listening to Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby call the Blue Jays vs Phillies in a Grapefruit league spring training game. I'm not listening to it on the radio though. I'm using my iPhone 4 and the MLB.com At Bat 2012 app. I can choose to listen to either the Toronto or Philadelphia radio broadcast. If I wanted to, I could pay more and watch the game in HD. On my phone.
The options we have in how we enjoy entertainment and media are pretty mind-blowing if you stop and think about it. "The Internet" is always complaining about how media companies don't get it, and while I tend to agree, things have changed an awful lot in a short amount of time. Our house has been cable free for close to a year now and are loving it. Netflix and iTunes provide 90% of what we watch and put us in complete control.
This post doesn't really have a point, other than as a reminder of how quickly the media landscape has changed around us in a short period of time. On the other hand, things are still the same with a lot more change to come.
I do know that my grandfather would have enjoyed sitting on the porch watching the Jays game on an iPad.