We are the Hostages of TV

Tuesday evening was a wonderful handball game, Füchse against Minden, and the Foxes won nicely. Tuesday?!? The game was supposed to have been on Sunday, as usual, at 5 pm.

But one of the two major TV sports channels, DSF, purchased the rights to this "cellar fight" (Minden is in last place and fighting to stay in the league). We were informed just the game before that it had been moved up, all the other games are Sundays and a few Wednesdays, and the Wednesday ones start at 8pm sharp.

As a group of students pointed out with a big poster that they unfurled (in the dark, unfortunately, so not exactly visible for the cameras) - if they like handball and come to the game, they will get home late-late-late and fall asleep in school tomorrow.

And so it was - the game didn't start until 8.15, because they wanted to make sure that people who watch the 8 o'clock news religiously could see the game from the first throw. And the break drew on forever, the refs only gave the starting whistle to the second half after a nod from the TV production boss on the ground. Of course, have to get all the ads in. So the game was not over until almost 10 pm, at which time the subways and buses begin to thin out. We just missed both the train near the stadium and the bus connection, adding an extra 20 minutes to travel time. We didn't get home until 11pm.

But who is to complain about being held hostage here? The teams made money on it (I hope), Konny Wilczynski - the league top scorer - hammed up some really, really great goals, and the folks at home got to see something other than THW-HSV-Flensburg.

And at least the trains were still running. From 3am Wednesday Berlin is without subways and busses and trams, Monday the S-train goes on strike as well. This is about as close as we get in Germany to a general strike. More on that, stay tuned.

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