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'24' vs. 24-21

Have a mildly humorous story about the end of Sunday night's Patriots-Chargers playoff game, and I'll get to it, but right now I'm still traumatized by last night's episode of '24'. If you watched, you know what I'm talking about; if you recorded it, I won't spoil it here. Still ... wow ... give me a minute here ...

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OK. On Sunday, while the Patriots were driving toward the game-tying touchdown, there were about six minutes left in the game, and it was about quarter to 8. I was sure at that point that the game wasn't going to be over by the time the much-hyped, much-promoted, much-anticipated '24' season premiere began, and as anyone who's seen it knows, you literally cannot miss a second of it. This was a no-brainer: my TV was already set to switch channels at the stroke of 8. Of course, the Patriots do tie the game, then make us wait while they line up for the two-point conversion, then shift all over the place for the entire play clock, and Tom Brady goes through the whole Peyton Manning jump-around hand-signal routine, and they direct-snap it to Kevin Faulk and get the two points. That happened at about 7:56. Oh great.

So, of course, they hadn't even kicked off to San Diego by 7:59. So I blew it off. I also got a text message minutes before that, saying "Damn the game, man. Heidi Time!'' (For those too young to get the Heidi reference, here's what it means.) He was dead-on right. At the first commercial, I checked my cell phone and saw that the Patriots had, in fact, taken the lead, and that the Chargers were driving with a minute left. I quickly put it on auto-refresh. Then they were inside the New England 40 with 20 seconds left, and there had been some sort of Patriots personal foul that had moved the ball downfield. (I still don't know what it was.) Then it was a final. I had no idea what had happened. Just then, '24' came out of commercial. I had no choice but wait an hour and 45 minutes to see how it ended.

And at the first break in the second hour, I get another text: "Did LT meltdown after game?'' Naturally, I still couldn't change and risk missing anything. So when they finally ran the credits and showed previews of the next night, I clicked to ESPN News - and they showed the Bears highlights first. It took a while to get to the Patriots, but finally I got caught up on it all, including LT going off on the Patriots at midfield.

I know this had to have happened with a lot of people. In fact, yesterday after Brian Billick's final press conference, I mentioned it to a few of the media types still hanging around, and they had gone through the same thing. "Good thing the game wasn't on Fox,'' one of them said. You have to figure that if the CBS game hadn't been on the West Coast, Fox would have gotten the late time slot and really would have been driving people crazy by running over.

So that was Sunday. But again, after last night's show, I have to agree with Jack Bauer: I don't think I can do this anymore.

Comments

This is why they invented DVR. It's time for the 21st century.

David, same situation at my house. I even had people over—not for football, but for the “24” premiere! I was joking all afternoon that, if the Patriots/Chargers game was close to the end, I might be missing the start of “24.” I figured the Chargers were going to pull away in the second half making that a moot point, but it didn’t happen and what I feared would happen sure enough did. Needless to say, I didn’t miss a moment of “24” and followed the game’s progress on the laptop sitting next to me.

Every season of “24” produces a continual series of traumas for those of us watching. At some point either last season or the season before, I think I said something similar to what Jack did last night. But, like Jack, you have to soldier on. The show continues to pay off. It’s intense and not afraid to go to the extreme.

As far as watching the show on tape, Tivo, or DVD, that’s just not even an option. It’s got to be real time, just like the show. I’ve convinced several people that you have to watch it as it’s being aired. At my house, we’re juggling two kids and doing it.

I agree. I wanted to watch 24 so bad but I stuck with the game. I figure since A and E repeats it the middle this year, I wait. I elected to go with the game. What Jack did last night shocked me, but you have to look at Tony, Edgar, and Michelle, It wasnt entirley surprising

No such problems on my end thanks to the power of DVR. TiVO would have accomplished the same thing.

David, one word: TiVO! I had my TiVO set to record "24" on one tuner, and I stuck with the game on the other. By the time the game was over around 8:15 and I started "24", I could zip through the first few sets of commercials. I'm a recent TiVO convert and have quickly become a huge fan. I enthusiastically recommend it!

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Have to agree about 24, that one caught me by surprise & seemed unnecessary.

Last year, Fox had the late game when 24 debuted. The postgame show went past 8 p.m., but they put a clock at the bottom of the screen to let everyone know when 24 would start.

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