The ESPN360 experience: A personal report card
I watched my first online college basketball game last night -- Maryland's 85-66 rout of Virginia -- which was streamed live on ESPN360.
Let's start with this: the picture-quality is not great. It's not as grainy as the NASA video of man's first walk on the moon. But it's not exactly a high-def experience, either.
More like something in-between, a tad on the blurry side, like what it must be to watch a game when you're having a migraine or just finished huffing paint.
(Unfortunately, the picture-quality was good enough that we could see Greivis Vasquez's new 'do, some kind of upswept-in-the-middle thing that made him look like, I don't know, Rooster Head or something.)
The game announcers were also a little shaky, especially analyst Dwight Freeman, who was introduced as the former coach of Norfolk State.
At one point, referring to the voluble Vasquez, Freeman noted that "these European players" always play with a lot of enthusiasm.
Play-by-play guy Quint Kessenich quickly pointed out that Vasquez hails from Caracas, Venezuela.
"That's not in Europe," Kessenich pointed out helpfully. Then he took another playful jab at his partner by noting he probably wasn't very good in geography when he was in school.
The other thing is, you can't really get as comfortable as you'd like watching a game on your computer -- unless you're watching on a laptop and can sprawl on a couch somewhere. I was watching it on my home PC, which meant spending two hours at a desk and in an office chair.
Maybe I should have swilled a few beers to get through the whole thing. But it was Monday night, a little early in the week for that sort of thing.
But all in all, it wasn't a terrible experience. And it was better than not watching the game at all. (It wasn't broadcast on TV since it was a make-up of the game snowed-out last week.)
And Maryland certainly looked impressive, getting it's transition game going and drubbing the Cavaliers behind the 30-point effort of Vasquez.
Vasquez -- isn't he the European guy? I heard that somewhere...