College Football 2012: What to Do If You Have a Saturday Wedding to Attend
The fall is one of the most popular times of the year to get married.
It also happens to be the time of the year when most of us can't be pried away from the television.
Saturdays also happen to be the most popular days for weddings, and a combination of the fall and a Saturday for nuptials can be disastrous for a college football fan.
Don't don't start pulling out your hair or sending your regrets quite yet. We're here to help!
We've come up with a few simple steps you can take to stay informed while you're standing in an endless receiving line, choking down dry chicken or faking it on the dance floor with your date.
Unless it's your wedding, here are a few simple suggestions to keep your head in the game during a wedding.
Empty out Your DVR
You'd be surprised how much room on your DVR a full high-definition broadcast of a college football game occupies.
It's time to start going through those old episodes of Family Guy, Archer and Big Bang Theory to make some room for things that really matter: like Michigan vs. Alabama, Navy vs. Notre Dame and Clemson vs. Auburn.
Just make sure you don't delete your wife's precious episodes of The Bachelorette without permission!
Download Sports Streaming App
There are a number of apps you can get for your iPhone or Android that will stream live sporting events, including college football.
And while these can be great for the fan on the go, there are a few drawbacks.
First, most of these apps (we'll focus on one of the most popular, WatchESPN) require signing in via your home cable provider's user name and password.
So what happens if you're not a customer of a supported provider (currently Bright House Networks, Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Verizon FIOS TV)?
No WatchESPN for you. Sorry.
And even if you subscribe to one of those cable providers, there's no guarantee your game won't be subject to a blackout in the area from which you are trying to stream the game.
Still, there are other non-streaming apps out there. ESPN's ScoreCenter and Yahoo! Sportacular give up-to-the-minute score updates and are better than nothing.
Download Team Stream
OK, since we mentioned all of the apps with pretty glaring drawbacks, we thought we'd direct you to the best sports app out there. And, yes, this is a little shameless self-promotion.
Still, there aren't many sports apps available these days that are as customizable as Bleacher Report's own Team Stream app.
It's easy to set your favorite sport, favorite conferences or favorite teams, and the app provides you with a quick, up-to-date glance at all the important headlines you need to follow your team in-depth with B/R.
You can even set the app to send push notifications to your phone when anything important happens.
With over 6,150 ratings on iTunes, Team Stream still boasts a hefty 5-star rating, outpacing WatchESPN's and CBS Sports' 2.5-star ratings, ESPN ScoreCenter's 3.5-star rating and even Yahoo! Sportacular's impressive 4-star rating.
With well over a million downloads, don't be the last one to finally have the top-rated sports app on your mobile device!
Invest in Apple
We're not actually talking about buying stock.
And at over $585 per share (as of July 30, 2012 open), it's probably not a stock for everyone.
But the current iPod nano starts at just $129.
How does this help?
Although the “geniuses” at Apple won't admit it, they finally took a cue from Microsoft and borrowed probably the only nice feature of the now-defunct Zune media players. Your iPod now comes complete with a radio!
Add in the included ear buds, and you have yourself instant access to your favorite game—provided you're in the listening area!
Twitter It Up
When the college football season finally kicks off, you're going to see Twitter feeds of your favorite Bleacher Report writers get kicked into overdrive.
A great way to keep abreast of what's going on is to make sure you've subscibed to the Twitter feeds of your favorite B/R writers—like @davidrluther (hint, hint).
Don't Be Stingy, Be Sneaky
Chances are, the reception will be at some venue—a country club, for example—that will have a television somewhere near to where dinner is being served.
As soon as you arrive, make sure you scope out the landscape, locate the bar and be generous with tipping the bar staff.
You'd be surprised how much Andrew Jackson can help you out with this.
Plus, we're willing to be that the groom and groomsmen wouldn't mind checking up on the game if it's on at the bar.
If you need an excuse to constantly return to the bar without the wicked follow-up hangover, refill your beer bottle or cocktail glass with water (it's helpful if your original cocktail was clear) or tonic water.
You can pound these without losing your inhibitions, requiring frequent trips back to the bar for “refills.”
Break the Seal Early
You'd be surprised how well this works.
In a busy reception hall, no one—other than those at your table—will notice if you get up to use the little boy's room every 10 minutes.
Of course, if your family and friends know you to be the kind of guy with a bladder with a capacity similar to that of an oil tanker, you might have to find another reason to excuse yourself from the table.
And while everyone else believes you're heading for bladder relief, you can actually catch some football-withdrawal relief.
Not every wedding venue will have the greatest Wi-Fi service.
And weddings way out in the middle of nowhere may make for pretty pictures, but they make for lousy cell service reception (killing your plans for streaming the game).
There is an alternative for those of you looking for some sort of update in a questionable wireless service area: text alerts.
You can sign up for ESPN Alerts and the “Worldwide Leader” will send you a text message with score alerts and breaking college football news.
At least you'll have those texts to read when your phone finally (if briefly) finds a signal.
What If It's Your Wedding?
What if the love of your life has picked a date, and that date happens to be on a Saturday in the fall?
Well, there's always the possibility you picked the wrong person to marry.
If you live in the South, Midwest, Texas or Oklahoma, chances are there were plenty of venues available on Saturday.
That's mainly because no one else was silly enough to schedule a wedding on a football Saturday.
But seriously, shouldn't your future spouse know enough about you to know not to pick a autumn Saturday for the nuptials?
If you had to pick between getting married and watching Alabama-Auburn or Michigan-Ohio State or Texas-Oklahoma, you'd probably have to actually take a few moments to think it over.
And she should know that!
In the end, the advice here is just don't do it (on a fall Saturday, that is).
What Happens If You Miss the Game?
A little full disclosure here.
I got married on September 11, 2010.
It was a Saturday and, yes, I did miss a football game I really wanted to see.
But what could be the harm in missing one football game? I figured that I had attended every home game for the previous seven seasons—I was owed this one Saturday away from the stadium.
And it's not like I was marrying some girl who didn't care about football. We actually met in college, and she attended her first college football game on a date with me.
I can miss just this one, right?
Sure, you can DVR the game, but it just isn't the same.
First, you have to avoid talking to almost anyone because your friends just can't keep their big yaps shut long enough for you to get home and watch the game for yourself.
Secondly, if you're taking an immediate and/or extended honeymoon, good luck avoiding any mention of the game—or worse, the standings or rankings (as they will obviously give away the outcome).
So what happened to me?
Turns out I missed my team complete one of the greatest late-game comebacks in program history.
Down 25-24 with a minute remaining in the fourth quarter and the opponent is hanging onto the football in the red zone with a fresh set of downs. With no timeouts left, two knees will end the game.
Rather than take those game-winning knees, the other team scored on the next play, increasing its lead to 31-24 with under a minute left.
Now, the moral for all those who love to run up the score.
The extra point was blocked and returned for two points, cutting the deficit to 31-26.
Without any timeouts, the trailing home team marches down the field in 40 seconds to score a touchdown and two-point conversion with just 10 seconds remaining, securing a 34-31 victory.
While this story could be used to illustrate perseverance (it's not over until it's over), or sportsmanship (running up the score is never a good idea) or just a great come-from-behind story, I'm using it here as a cautionary tale: Don't ever get married on a Saturday in the fall because you never know what you'll miss—so don't!