Sports

Where's the drama, Gamecast?

Roughly 15 years into the Internet's reign as the general public's medium of choice, I have determined its greatest contribution to our lives.

The candidates?

* Having libraries of information at our fingertips, waiting to be searched in a nanosecond? Sure, that's nice.

* Drawing people together from all over the globe into communities of instantaneous communication, eliminating thousands of miles in a mouseclick? Yeah, that's pretty good, too.

* Revolutionizing the way we shop for goods and services? Yep, I've definitely purchased the completely random and unnecessary item on eBay before.

Those advancements are all fine, but they pale in comparison to the Internet's crowning achievement: the sports Gamecast.

Trapped at work while the Royals play an afternoon game?

No problem. Now we can see exactly where outside the virtual strike zone the pitch that struck out Yuniesky Betancourt was.

Favorite football team not being shown on local TV?

It's easy to fire up the laptop and cheer for the progress of a pixelated arrow marching down the field.

When the first sites started doing Gamecasts, it was reserved for the top professional and college leagues.

Now? We can keep track of nearly every team in America, whether it's a minor-league hockey team or a JV community college softball team.

As great as Gamecast is, it has spoiled me.

I've grown so dependent on its amazing power, it has made me an impatient sports fan.

Last Sunday I followed the Detroit Lions' quest to snap their 20-game road losing streak via Gamecast.

The game against the Bears came down to last seconds as the Lions attempted to rally.

Seconds ticked off the clock as the blue arrow moved toward the cyber end zone.

And then... nothing.

Minutes passed.

Did my Internet connection time out? Did my browser crash?

No. As you've likely seen by now, the officials were determining Calvin Johnson's catch for an apparent touchdown violated the NFL's rules governing an end zone reception.

Gamecast let me down.

Sure, eventually, Gamecast meekly indicated Shaun Hill's throw was incomplete.

But where was the controversy — the screaming announcers decrying the silliness of an unnecessary rule?

Where was the passion?

Gamecast just reported the end result.

With the Lions in their familiar place on the wrong side of the scoreboard, I ended my day of football soon after, opting for the distraction of a movie.

Gamecast failed to let me know just how outraged I was supposed to be as a Lions fan.

Gamecast didn't rile me up in the same way that the continuous replay loop on SportsCenter could.

Gamecast neglected to tell me what a travesty of injustice my team had suffered, unlike the myriad mentions on Twitter had.

Gamecast didn't complain and moan about what, in the end, was likely the correct implementation of a strange and now-archaic rule.

Fortunately the combination of crazy sports talk radio, yapping heads screaming at each other on ESPN and numerous blogs was able to fill the void for the next few days.

All was well again.

Until Gamecast failed to point out Derek Jeter was a no-good, cheating, despicable, low-life charlatan for having the audacity to pretend to be hurt by a pitch, when it actually hit the end of his bat.

It just read "Jeter hit by pitch" and moved on.

Silly Gamecast.

Run 'n' Gun is The Eagle Sports staff's weekly look at the offbeat side of sports.

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