Sports have been known to start riots. But no sports can cause utter pandemonium. For Red Sox Nation and the 20 Rays fans watching game six of the ALCS, the hypothetical nearly became reality. At 8:08 PM as the first pitch was being thrown, every bar in America was showing – The Steve Harvey Show?
A power failure in Atlanta eliminated the ability to transmit live footage while immediately placing every bartender in Boston in a very clear and present danger.
"People were in a little uproar because they thought we didn't put the game on. They were just screaming at us to put it on and try all the other stations — Fox, TNT," said Mike Fusco, manger of the Boston bar Cask N Flagon, to the AP.
Fusco had to announce over a loudspeaker that it wasn't his fault and they didn't have a radio in the pub. When the feed came back at 8:28 with Red Sox trailing 1-0, things could not have been pretty.
TBS explained what happened.
"Two circuit breakers in our Atlanta transmission operations tripped causing the master router and its backup - which are necessary to transmit any incoming feed outbound - to shut down," TBS said in a statement. "This impacted our live feed from being distributed to any of the other networks in the Turner portfolio and caused the delay in our coverage. Both our primary and backup routers were impacted by this problem. We apologize to baseball fans for this mishap that caused a delay in our coverage."
Mishap? A mishap is losing audio for a pitch or two in the middle of the third. Playing Steve Harvey to a nation of drunken fans expecting baseball is a recipe for mayhem. It begs the question why there wasn't a more secure backup? Even the Space Shuttle has options of where to land but, apparently, if there's a power surge in Atlanta, there's gonna be a lot of Seinfeld or Everybody Loves Raymond on TBS.
Not only did the power fail but so did the Red Sox.
I was at game 7 in St Pete when the Rays beat the world champions and I will never forget the look of BOSOX fan crying on his way out.
The 20 Rays fans you mentioned in the article are the loudest fans in baseball history.