As we near the end of 2018 and I reflect on the highlights of my year, I feel very fortunate. I traveled to Thailand and Vietnam, moved into my own place, and stood up in my first wedding. However, by and far my biggest accomplishment this year was ending my contract with Xfinity. No longer will I be burning nearly $150 a month just so I can watch ESPN. Ending that contract, which took three separate phone calls, a stop at the Xfinity store, saying “no” roughly 20,000 times, and slaughtering a sacrificial lamb, was a memorable day and I picked up a rebound TV service provider faster than Vince Vaughan swooped in on Jennifer Aniston after Brad Pitt left her for Tomb Raider herself.
My provider of choice? YouTube TV. This new TV content viewing delivery device was only $35 a month (which was split with Kentucky fan Shan), or in other words, cost less than two shots of Jameson in River North. I repeat; my monthly television bill is less expensive than the two shots of Irish whiskey you purchased at Hubbard Inn last weekend. Not only that, but YouTube TV provided me with sports channels Xfinity deprived me from for years. I now have NBATV. Do you know what that means? I now have the opportunity or better put, the privilege, to watch the Memphis Grizzlies play the Phoenix Suns on a Tuesday at 10:30 pm. Would I ever want to watch this? Most likely no, but the fact that I have the option to witness DeAndre Ayton dunk on Omri Casspi from my couch is rather comforting.
Like all good things though, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I mean, the grass that is YouTube TV is pretty dam green, but there are a few brown patches scattered about, one of which is that every blue moon, one of our local sports teams games are not available. I learned this the hard way, as I came home super excited to watch the Chicago Bears first pre-season game back in August (after a NFL and NBA deprived summer, things get weird) only to find out that YouTube TV blacked out pre-season games due to some contract agreements. After demanding that YouTube TV provide me with the option to watch the game, they quickly re-assured me that all Chicago Bears regular season games would be available. This was a good answer, as I would have immediately dropped them and gone running back to Xfinity faster than Ross runs back to Rachel.
So to recap, YouTube TV is dope and the grass is in fact greener, but there still is a spot where a dog peed once. I may have missed a few Bears pre-season games at the end of the summer and a couple of Chicago Cubs games, but nothing memorable. Then, Monday happened. I came home from the office, got my dinner going, and turned on the TV. I knew the Chicago Bulls played the Golden State Warriors, who resemble the Bulls teams of the 1990s (pure dominance), and I was excited to see if we could play up to the competition. Well, to my disappointment at the time, I could not find the game on YouTube TV. Another brown spot; thanks a lot YouTube. Again though, not a big deal, or so I thought, as just hours later, I would find out the score of the game and realize that YouTube TV saved me from witnessing something no sports fan deserves to see.
It saved me from watching the Warriors drop 93 points on our Bulls in the first half, the second most in NBA history. It saved me from watching Klay Thompson, who was shooting 14% from three coming into the game, set a NBA record with 14 three-pointers in 26 minutes. It saved me from watching the Bulls give up the 2nd most points in team history to a team that sat all it’s starters before the third quarter was close to ending. Most important of all, it saved me from watching my team my team look like a lost cause and the importance of not witnessing the Bulls in such a pathetic state cannot be understated; let me explain.
Coming into this year, I had faith in the Bulls and I still do today. I honestly think we have enough talent to make the playoffs this year and like the direction we are heading in when it comes down to the talent we have brought onto our roster. Again, I didn’t see the game at all. I saw the score on my phone, watched some highlights from the 149-124 massacre, read about what happened, texted with friends who witnessed it, but when it comes down to it, I didn’t endure 48 minutes of pure defeat. I didn’t see how pathetic the Bulls must have looked as history was rewritten. You know the phrase “you have to see it to believe it”? That is kind of what happened here. I didn’t “really” see it, so my optimism for this young Bulls team couldn’t be shattered. I can still watch them this season. I can still believe they can make a push for the final seed in the playoffs.
I truly believe that if not for YouTube TV, I would have watched this game live, seen the Bulls team get torn to pieces, and not fully recovered until we drafted Zion Williamson in next June’s draft. YouTube TV saved this Bulls season for me and with a long Chicago winter vast approaching, I cannot thank it enough.