Cut-away from Beavers' game to Ford service clogs KOIN lines
Yesterday, thousands in Oregon and Missouri had settled comfortably and avidly into watching the Sun Bowl in El Paso. It turned out to be a terrific game, won in the final seconds by the OSU Beavs.
But near the end of the second quarter, the outcome of the entire broadcast itself was thrown into serious doubt.
In the middle of Beavers's drive, KOIN TV and CBS suddenly cut away. No, not to breaking news of the expected hanging of Saddam Hussein, which would come later, but to a private memorial service for former President Gerald Ford at the Ford family church in Palm Desert, California.
Suddenly we were jarred from the roar of the Sun Bowl crowd to hushed, funereal coverage sprinkled with such trenchant detail such as a description the late president's favorite ice cream flavor.
The interruption clogged KOIN's telephone lines, and deservedly so.
I finally e-mailed my complaint and eventually got a response that the decision to break into the football game was made in New York.
My guess is that if Ford, a star lineman at the University of Michigan and an avid football fan, had had his say, he'd be complaining about the interruption too.
The coverage from Palm Desert ended just in time for the commercial-clogged half-time show in El Paso, but the entire second half was clouded by the possibility that Saddam's execution would break into the game's riveting finish.
By some miracle, it didn't