On Nov. 17, 1968, NBC cut away from a thrilling shootout between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders to air Heidi, a terrible made-for-TV movie about a young Swiss girl and her dog.
Down for much of the game, the Raiders eventually came back to win, 43-32.
Forty-six years later—a span of time that saw the birth of the Internet, the invention of the Doritos Locos Taco and men walking on the moon—you’d think we’d have figured out how to prevent this from ever happening again.
If you’re a fan of the Los Angeles Clippers or Oklahoma City Thunder, who joined in a showstopping Mother's Day battle Sunday afternoon, we have some bad news for you (tweets courtesy of our friends at For the Win):
@TWC_SoCal thanks for randomly shutting off the Clippers game with 45 seconds to go. Appreciate it.— Steven Crowley (@StevenCrowley) May 11, 2014
Wtf @TWC_SoCal LA, your feed just dropped in the last 30 seconds OF A PLAYOFF GAME UNACCEPTABLE.— David E. Rodriguez (@DavidERod) May 11, 2014
For those of you who were still slamming mimosas at Mother’s Day brunch around 6 p.m. ET, the Clippers erased a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to steal Game 4, 101-99, knotting the Western Conference Semifinal at two games apiece.
Darren Collison’s driving bucket to put the Clips up four; Russell Westbrook’s quick answer at the other end; Blake Griffin’s botched dagger; and Westbrook’s last-ditch, would-be game-winner that rattled around and out: All of that happened in the last 45 seconds.
Doc Rivers sits down for postgame presser, jokes "I want a beer"— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) May 11, 2014
Doc Rivers: "We were almost on the mat but we got off of it... We didn't get pinned, now we're back up"— Madelyn Burke (@MadelynBurke) May 11, 2014
No word yet on whether Time Warner cut to other programming or a stark black screen, but sources say either would’ve been preferable to Heidi.
Well, at least the Clippers won. Which is a far more desirable outcome to this whole fiasco than, say, Doc Rivers drawing up a last-second three-pointer for Ryan Hollins.
Still, for as much momentum as their Mother’s Day mayhem garnered, the Clippers would be wise to heed the advice of Bleacher Report’s Stephen Babb, who emphasized L.A.’s need for balanced offense and tenacious defense in a recent column:
This isn't a matter of matchups. There's no one in the league who can stop Durant one-on-one, least of all Matt Barnes or Jared Dudley. This is a matter of all five guys being frenetic and forceful on the defensive end, having more energy, displaying more effort.
Good as the Clippers have been offensively all season long, they're going to have to dig deep for something else now. They may have finally encountered a team they can't simply outscore.
As for the Thunder, Sunday’s collapse was poorly timed: Up big and riding the high of two impressive wins, OKC was looking every bit the part of a finals contender. Now, they’ll have to pick up the pieces—and quick—ahead of a pivotal Game 5.
No word yet on whether Time Warner plans on having enough tinfoil and rusted hubcaps for Tuesday’s broadcast.