Medina Journal-Register — Technology has led to an age of expected instant gratification.
I watched this past Saturday’s Syracuse-Georgia Tech football game. Unfortunately, Syracuse forgot to show up, but that’s not the point.
After the game I took a quick look at a Cuse-centric website, and fans were already calling for a new head coach. Yes, the current head coach had just watched his team get thoroughly embarrassed. But even after the loss, the Cuse still fully controls its own destiny this season with a record of three wins and four losses. Not great, but not horrible.
A week ago, many of the same posters were heaping praise on the head coach after his first conference road win.
Which is it?
Many analysts pegged this as a transition year for SU football, and some went so far as to say that Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone left SU because he knew this would happen.
Realistically, as a fan and an alum, I’m not shocked at the Orange’s current record. That’s not to say I was thrilled with two horrendous blowout losses in the past three games, but there really haven’t been any surprises in terms of wins or losses.
I think it’s important to let a head coach grow into the position. The current head man at SU was an assistant for years and earned his chance. One bad game is not enough to jump ship.
Fans calling for a coach’s job in the wake of a bad loss is nothing new.
This is not just a sports problem, though. Look at television series.
We’re a month into the 2013-2014 television season, and already there have been some shows cancelled.
I probably watch a bit too much TV. I’ll watch almost anything.
However, whereas postgame message boards can be silly, post-episode message boards can be downright mean.
High concept shows with serialized storylines need time to develop.
Some networks aim to make such a major splash that they will piggyback off a hit and make some sort of spinoff almost immediately. When the spinoff isn’t the same thing as the original, people get upset. If given a chance to find its footing, though, the spinoff can become quite successful.
The original idea for Laverne and Shirley was spawned from Happy Days. The original idea for Maude came from All in the Family. Right there are four shows that made a major mark in pop culture.
This season, ABC has attempted to enhance its fairy tale show “Once Upon A Time” with the addition of “Once Upon A Time In Wonderland.”
Remember, I was a stay-at-home dad for six years before joining the Journal-Register full-time. I have spent many days watching Disney movies with my kids, and the premise of the original “Once” intrigued me. After a few episodes I realized the plot and story were full of numerous possibilities so I kept watching. Like any show, it has good and bad episodes, but seeing different characters come to life in a re-imagined way is still pretty cool.
I gave the spinoff a chance. Two episodes have aired so far, and they have at least been entertaining. Plus, since I could probably educate people to be competent in Disney Fairies knowledge, I found it amusing to see one of them portrayed in the latest episode. (Remember, Disney owns ABC, so it makes sense.)
Coming full circle, though, I checked out what people were saying about the latest episode. I wanted to see how many recognized the fairy in Wonderland as one on the direct-to-DVD Fairy movies.
Instead, the online community was vicious. Many said they “gave up” on the show because it “wasn’t going anywhere” and some appeared to be watching it with their eyes closed by virtue of their questions.
The comments on different sites in the wake of bad games, or in the immediate aftermath of a show, have left me wondering whether technology has ruined the excitement of the unknown.
In sports, teams are “expected” to do well in some games and not do well in others. Then, when those expectations are exceeded, one way or the other, the emotional response is so extreme that it’s almost embarrassing.
In episodic TV, if a storyline is dragged out too long many people lose interest. Some shows get it right, some shows get it wrong, and some shows straddle a fine line of moving some stories along at a breakneck pace while keeping other plots on a simmer to maintain interest.
But the expectation of not having to wait for a payoff on a show, or the success of a team, is related to the way we use technology. Smart phones can tell us almost anything we want at almost any time. We don’t have to wait.
But we should remember that sports and entertainment are escapist venues.
So sit back and enjoy the ride.Howard Balaban is a Journal-Register reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.