Purple Reign Again? It's Orange vs. Purple in Sunday night's title game, as #1 Lady Gators lose to Syracuse in 2nd OT of NCAA D1 Women Lacrosse semifinal #1, while #3 Northwestern holds off #4 Terps and hope to capture their 7th NCAA Lacrosse Championship trophyOwing to the terrible and completely unsatisfactory Internet service I've been getting thru AT&T's U-Verse the past three weeks, where I've seemingly only been able to access the AT&T server maybe 15% of the time that I want, and only then, sometimes for only a few minutes -only five minutes all day Thursday!- this is my first post since early Tuesday morning.
For someone like myself who's not just a blogger and a news junkie, but someone who frequently hears from lots of friends and people I know all over the world, some well-known or very knowledgeable about their particular subject area, whether now in Cannes for the film festival or in LA or London or wherever, NOT having reliable Internet access at home has made me increasingly exasperated.
So it was in that mood, one of almost desperate exasperation, that I tried my best to get online Friday night to watch the two NCAA D1 Women Lacrosse semi-finals up in Long Island at Stony Brook, since they were, amazingly, NOT being televised LIVE on-air, despite all the hundreds of cable stations that presently exist.
I tried a dozen or so times to get onto ESPN3.com or Watch ESPN -which is being heavily promoted on the Mother Ship these days- to watch the #1 third-year Florida Gators play Syracuse, one of only two teams they'd lost to all year, a 2OT defeat in the season-opener at Gainesville. Last weekend I watched the entire second half of what proved to be the Gator's 15-2 laugher of a Quarterfinal victory over a young Penn State state squad in Gainesville on SUN Sports, where the Gator's speed, quickness and depth just seemed to overwhelm a young and improving Nittany Lion team that's freshman and sophomore-centric, with exciting and talented players like freshman Tatum Coffey of Toms River, N.J.
The Gators were so dominant that they went ahead by ten goals with just under 13 minutes left, so the clock kept running.
(I also had caught most of Penn State's match last month at Ohio State via The BigTenNetwork.)
But on Friday night, when I wanted to see the exciting Gators -only the second women's
team in history to make the Final Four in their third year of existence -matching UNC about 14 years ago- each time I tried, the server was down.
By the time I finally got online, the exciting double-overtime first game had already concluded, and it was just before the start of the rematch of last year's title on the same field where Kelly Amonte Hiller's talented Northwestern squad beat her alma mater, Maryland, to get revenge on the Terps for beating them in 2010's title match in Towson -which was only about the best womens lacrosse match I ever saw.
WLAX Final Four: A Comeback For The Ages. May 25, 2012.
Did Syracuse tamper with the lacrosse stick? May 25, 2012.
McManus: Syracuse sticks with it, tops Florida
May 26 2:37 AM ET
By Jane McManus, ESPNNewYork.com
Syracuse upsets No. 1 Florida
Syracuse upsets No. 1 Florida 14-13 in semis
NU Athletics video: Lacrosse - NCAA Semifinal Highlights
NU Athletics video: Inside Wildcat Lacrosse Episode 10. Junior Midfielder Bea Conley fills viewers in on the week's preparations between last week's NCAA Quarterfinal victory over Duke and this week's Final Four tourney in Long Island. May 23, 2012.
Since I knew that the second game would be very close, my original plan had been to tape the last ten minutes of the Maryland-Northwestern match on my FLIP camera, and then email it to my sister and youngest niece in Maryland, so they could see how things ended, and even see if anyone they know from the Howard County/Baltimore area was involved in deciding the game.
Unfortunately, the breaks in the streaming were so egregious that while I went ahead and taped it, I chose not to send it because of the often 10-15 second delays.
Very, very frustrating.
I did decide, though, to save it on a DVD as proof of how bad the U-verse service has been.
Note to anybody who cares: when YouTube streamed concerts from Coachella, they were almost flawless, but for whatever reasons, when I've watched games via ESPN3's telecasts, not so much, even before the recent Internet connection problems.
Swedish House Mafia - Save The World, Live From Coachella, April 13, 2012
When I watched Swedish House Mafia perform LIVE from Coachella last month around 2:15 a.m. or so my time here in Miami, there was maybe only one short flutter the whole time in their roughly 20-minute online performance that was shown.
Back in March, Northwestern won on the road at Syracuse in overtime, 11-9.
Sunday night's final between Northwestern and Syracuse will be telecast LIVE at 8 p.m. on ESPNU, DirecTV Channel 208.
See more at http://www.ncaa.com/sports/lacrosse-women/d1
Did you know that even if you use the filters that AT&T provides for you for DSL 6.0 or U-Verse if you run both your house telephone phone and your Internet connection thru that phone line, i.e. "co-share," if some AT&T technician that you've never met doesn't type your original order in correctly, despite the fact that your phone number is right there and they could call if they had a question, you will be entered into the sytem as a "dry loop" -internet only- which will then adversely affect your speed and service and mean your speed isn't close to average, year-after-year?
Over five years later, I learned that lesson Friday afternoon when I finally reached a very friendly and knowledgeable AT&T rep who'd tell me the truth and think outside-the-box.
Yes, the sort of person that I have only been trying to find for years -as well as at Bank of America: someone who told me the truth about many things that I didn't know about.
I suspect they were only doing so since I mentioned that I was preparing to do the un-thinkable and actually go over to the Dark Side, and get my Internet service thru the company I loathe more than almost any other, COMCAST.
(Their terrible customer service record on the cable side in Arlington County, VA while I lived there for almost 15 years was legendary, one of the few D.C.-area legends that proved 100% accurate. Using the speed tests that YouTube has embedded with videos, COMCAST is nearly twice as fast in HB as what I currently have with AT&T.)
Did you know that it's AT&T's policy NOT to dispatch someone to check the lines in your neighborhood if you live in the Southeast United States, without first sending someone to a customer's home or business, even if they can tell on their computers at their HQ that the problem is affecting lots of their customers in a given geographical area?
(Earlier this week an AT&T rep told me that 26% of their customers in my area were having the same problem I was having, but they still wouldn't just dispatch them to see what the problem was!)
For years I, like perhaps most of you reading this, have assumed that when I or someone else in the neighborhood called-up AT&T to report a problem with the server, help was being sent to check it out.
Not unless they were willing to risk a $55 service charge if the problem was inside of their house, that is, after they were willing to hang around the house for 4-5 hours waiting for someone to show up.
And again, they already know that the problem ISN'T you.
So why the pretense?