Watch Ernest Byner
Posted by keithosaunders on January 6, 2010
A few posts back I wrote about video taping foibles; today you would call them tivo foibles. Today I am going to document one of my two greatest gaffes. What is a taping foible? A taping foible occurs when:
a)You incorrectly set your VCR to record a ballgame and end up with 3 hours of the home shopping network or the weather channel.
b)You tape a sporting event, doing your best not to find out the score while you are out of the house. This means no car radio, or at the very least a ‘safe’ spot on the dial such as the jazz or classical station. You must avoid looking at any restaurant or bar TV, and if someone near you begins to talk about the game you have to immediately cover your ears, begin singing loudly, while running out of the room. The foible occurs when someone tells you the score, thus ruining the game.
In 1987 the Broncos played the Browns in the AFC Championship game. My brother was in town and we had plans for that day so we decided to tape the game and watch it that evening. We knew that our Dad was going to call that day because he always called on Sunday. Knowing our Dad, if he knew a score, he would blurt it out on the answering machine. Years ago they used to show the Oscars on tape delay in Los Angeles. Dad would hear the winners on his way home and tell us before we even had a chance to watch. He loves to be ‘in the know.’
We had this idea that we would preempt him by calling in advance to let him know not to tell us the score. When we called, however, we got his answering machine. We left him a message saying “Whatever you do, don’t tell us the score of the Brown game!”
I don’t remember what we did that day but I do have a vivid memory of returning to my apartment and seeing the light blinking on my answering machine. Sure enough it was Dad and here is what he said: “It was a great game! I know you guys don’t want me to tell you the score, but watch Ernest Byner.”
Watch Ernest Byner?! Ernest Byner?! GOD DAMNIT! So we watched the entire game waiting for Byner to do something. Sure enough the Browns were down a touchdown with time running out when they handed it to Byner. Why would our father tell us to watch Byner if he was just going to score a tieing touchdown. Why? Because he didn’t score. In fact he fumbled on the two yard line. Denver recovered and that was the ballgame. We both knew he would blow it thanks to Dad’s heads up.
Now what can we learn from this experience? Two things: First, you may think it’s best to warn someone not to tell you the score, but in reality this method has less than a 50% success ratio. People just don’t understand the taping concept and for whatever reason, be it wanting to save you from watching a boring game, or just plain old-fashioned meanness, they will spoil it for you. The second reason is never, NEVER, listen to your answering machine messages until after viewing the game.