Down the Left Field Line: The Sporting Life of the PST

On Fridays, if I feel up to it, I will spend a little time writing about sports. Why sports you ask? Well…first, I enjoy a good athletic competition as much as the next guy. Second, some of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever read have been sport-related. Third, its an arena of life that I can have an opinion on something, be dead wrong about that opinion, and sleep very soundly at night being wrong. I know I’ve immediately turned off 97.4% of my female readers (taking the list down to one - thanks mom) but please indulge me. Would you rather listen to this?

The Sporting Life of the PST.

Although there have been many, many adjustments that I’ve had to make since moving back into the Central Time Zone one of the miniscule changes has had to do with the timing of sporting events. I will contend that, for the sports fan, living in the Pacific Time zone is one of the best things that can happen to them short of ESPN actually forgetting about the Yankees and BoSox. Much of the bliss of being a sports fan in the PST (or PDT if it’s summer) is the way the schedule of sporting events unfolds in a day. This is particularly evident in the summer during baseball season and on Saturdays in the Fall for college football.

If you live in the Central or Eastern time zones you will find that you will most likely have to wait until noon for the first game of the day to start. If you want to watch a West Coast game you’re going to be up until it starts at 9pm to get that one in and if you stick with it to the end you’ll probably not make it to bed until after midnight. I’m not opposed to a late night with a ball game (especially the S.F. Giants this season) and a decent score. I am however a creature of habit and like to get to bed around 10pm. This means I’m leaving Matt Cain on the hill in the 3rd or 4th inning. That means missing a potential no-hitter. That is a no-no.

Thus, the splendid bliss of the PST. The games start at nine in the morning. Think about that for a Saturday with nothing to do and nothing planned. Get up, shower, put your favorite Saturday t-shirt on and turn on the first college football game of the day, Boston College vs. Syracuse. Granted it’s not the best match-up of the day, but this is the genius of the PST. You watch for a bit, maybe flip over to Clemson at Eastern Carolina and catch part of that game and get a nice football appetizer. At noon you get a SEC matchup and it is not a shabby one either; Auburn vs. Tennessee. You might flip the channel and see how Michigan State is doing versus Wisconsin and see a good play or two there as well. After round two it's three o’clock and your beloved Cal Bears are about to take the field versus Utah in a beautiful day at Memorial Stadium. An excellent third game for the day. Yet, here is where it begins to falls apart for the Eastern or Central Time viewers. The News people gobble up the five-seven o’clock time slots (yes, even on a Saturday) and force the evening round of games of the day to start no sooner than eight (Eastern) or seven (Central). The big game starts at 8pm and you’re in bed by 11ish. But… there is still more football to be played! The beauty of PST now begins to emerge. Let’s go back to our PST day…

It’s 5pm now and the ABC/ESPN Saturday Night Game of the Week is on. It’s no Colorado School of Mines vs. Little Sisters of the Poor match-up either. Pick the marquee game in all of college football, put it on Saturday night and enjoy! And then the final games from the West Coast and PAC–12 are played out. One more game usually starting around 7pm. Usually it is a pretty good game too. Again, you’re in bed by ten and have seen the big picture of college football in America. A full day of college football and no feelings of guilt for staying up too late (or missing a great game).[1]

Of course I have taken this to the very largest example. Just getting to see a West Coast game start at 7pm and be done by 10pm is perfect reason for the PST to be hailed as the best zone for sporting-time. No obsessing about missing a great game because it was too late. In fact never worrying about a game going too late. Always getting to see in the newspaper the box scores off all the games the next morning, not just the games they got in before the midnight print deadline. For me, the PST is the sporting-time paradise. Maybe that is what PST really stands for; Paradise of Sporting-Time.

  1. Disclaimer: I only advocate this type of Saturday on one of three conditions: 1) You’re single and have no one to impress and no responsibilities to uphold on said Saturday. 2) Your wife is out of town and again you have no responsibilities to uphold on said Saturday. 3) Your wife expressly gives you permission to spend a Saturday like this. If this last option occurs you should probably take your wife to the hospital because she is likely very ill. You should get checked out also because spending a whole day watching football while there are people to relate with and do things for is totally insane.  ↩