March 11th, 2013

At first, it was business as usual on this George Bailey night.

The timeouts were exactly the same length — filled with the usual dance-offs and paddle-offs — the fans implored the volleyball Warriors with chants of "Let's Go 'Bows!" and outside hitter Siki Zarkovic found innovative ways to celebrate rally-finishing kills.

But then ... then ...

The Warriors had a big-time victory over a big-name opponent, and yet the absence of television coverage was noticeable.

Even when the arena is a fifth full, there's a feel that it's an important event when there are camera operators at courtside, a makeshift  television set in the corner, Tony Ching with a headset, and replays on the scoreboard. We're a run-that-back society and, after an astonishing play, to look up and see a California Hotels ad, well, something is wrong with that picture.

One of the sartorial debates is whether one dresses for himself or others. The answer, of course, is a fan dresses for the television cameras. The outlandish wigs, face paint and signs aren't as impactful when it can be seen only by others in outlandish wigs and face paint. Even Alan Hackbarth, the self-styled Rubberband Man, was off his game. He needed a re-set on his routine.

In good times or not-so-good times, UH home volleyball matches are always televised. Yesterday was a glimpse of what life would be like without television coverage. It wasn't so wonderful.

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