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Summer is for home-town sports

Peter Steiner | Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Maybe we shouldn’t think about it, but we have only one week and two days until freedom.
Despite the chaotic nature of a closing semester and the inevitable stress of finals, I find it hard to prevent my mind from wandering towards the approaching bliss.
With no class or homework in sight after next Friday, I have already begun planning how I will spend my few free weeks in May before my summer schedule starts. The more I have thought about it, the more I realized exactly what I will be doing with my time and what I missed during this busy year: watching sports.
Before entering my freshman year of college, I did not fully comprehend how busy life at Notre Dame really is. Between classes, homework, activities and a social life (forget about sleep), I found little to no time to watch my hometown teams compete. Add on the fact that I originate from out-of-state – southeastern Wisconsin to be exact – and it is next to impossible to find my team on television when I do have free time.
Thankfully, with the Packers’ successful regular season, my team appeared on national television more frequently than most. But even though I was better off than say, Redskins or Jaguars fans, I still found it difficult to watch an entire game on the designated “homework day” of a football weekend.
Compared to the Pack, even more difficulties have emerged with my Brewers.Except when they play (and beat) the Cubs, the Brew Crew is hardly on television. Thus, I must resign to checking the box score online or watching the mind-numbing MLB Gamecast online.
For example, on a rare free night, I went online and discovered the Brewers were tied with the Dodgers in the eighth inning. With nothing else to do, I searched frantically for an avenue to watch the conclusion of the close game, but to no avail. South Bend lies just out of reach of the Milwaukee-based radio station, which also restricts online broadcasts for baseball games. I was also unwilling pay the steep $120 price to watch the game – as well as the entire baseball season – on MLB.tv. With the game headed to extra innings, I even stooped so low as to text a friend and ask to Skype in order to watch the game.
Yet, I failed to uncover a solution and was stuck watching the MLB Gamecast as Nyjer Morgan, who just stole second and third and scored the winning run. It was a close play at the plate off a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. Moments later, the same friend I texted hoping to Skype responded with a celebratory, “Go Brewers!”
Of course, although I follow my hometown teams less closely, I have developed a greater pride in Notre Dame sports. Whether it’s football, basketball or hockey, this year has provided some remarkable times to be a Notre Dame fan. This at least helps lessen the difficulties associated with living out of touch with hometown teams.
In the end, I am looking forward to the rapidly approaching opportunity to kick back on the couch at home and watch the Brewers recover from their early-season struggles. When Ryan Braun hits a walk-off home run, I will finally be the one shouting “Go Brewers!”