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Disasters Strike Sports Broadcasts - Fans Frantic

In a coincidence so large I'm sure Richard Belzer is starting a conspiracy theory about it, both the San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills game this Sunday and game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday were knocked out by technology failures. What is the world coming to? If the proletariat isn't feed a constant stream of sports entertainment to take their minds off the events of the day, the workers will rise up to seize the means of production, or vote. That, and PR folks have

Howard Marks

October 20, 2008

2 Min Read

In a coincidence so large I'm sure Richard Belzer is starting a conspiracy theory about it, both the San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills game this Sunday and game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday were knocked out by technology failures. What is the world coming to? If the proletariat isn't feed a constant stream of sports entertainment to take their minds off the events of the day, the workers will rise up to seize the means of production, or vote. That, and PR folks have experts to tell me how they would have prevented these events.In Saturday's mishap, a pair of circuit breakers tripped at AOL Time Warner's Turner Broadcast center in Atlanta, taking out the facilities primary and secondary routers. Without these routers, TBS couldn't accept an in-bound feed from Tampa to Atlanta and send it out to the satellite uplink for TBS. Since they could only broadcast from tape, they showed The Steve Harvey show instead of the first inning of the game.

This left rabid Red Sox fans without coverage of B. J. Upton's home run off Josh Beckett. A few extremists are refusing to believe it happened since it wasn't on TV and think the Sox are going to the world series.

In Buffalo on Sunday, a power outage at the stadium, apparently caused by metallized Mylar balloons shorting out a feeder cable to the stadium and the subsequent overloading of the other feeder, delayed the game for 15 minutes.

When the game started it was without the Jumbotrons, piped-in music, noise and cheers and the other annoyances of the modern sports spectacle. It also was played without the game and play clocks on the field, so the zebras had to use stopwatches for the first time in a long time and the quarterbacks couldn't see the play clock, which resulted in each team taking a delay of game penalty.

Power was restored intermittently in the second and permanently in third quarter.

To which I can only quote Robert Burns: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley."

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About the Author(s)

Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage systems, networks, management systems and Internet strategies at organizations including American Express, J.P. Morgan, Borden Foods, U.S. Tobacco, BBDO Worldwide, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the State University of New York at Purchase. The testing at DeepStorage Labs is informed by that real world experience.

He has been a frequent contributor to Network Computing and InformationWeek since 1999 and a speaker at industry conferences including Comnet, PC Expo, Interop and Microsoft's TechEd since 1990. He is the author of Networking Windows and co-author of Windows NT Unleashed (Sams).

He is co-host, with Ray Lucchesi of the monthly Greybeards on Storage podcast where the voices of experience discuss the latest issues in the storage world with industry leaders.  You can find the podcast at: http://www.deepstorage.net/NEW/GBoS

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