Thanks to a friend, D was recently able to watch one of the Yankees’ postseason games. It was a miserable experience all around. For the first three innings, the internet connection was so slow that the feed frequently froze. So D spent a lot of time looking at still images of baseball players adjusting their uniforms, fans making goofy faces, and managers chewing tobacco in the dugout. After midnight (towards the end of the third inning), the feed improved, but the game deteriorated, with the Yankees playing so poorly that D nearly found himself wishing for the still images he had spent an hour cursing.
Baseball – even postseason baseball – is hardly the most captivating sport to watch on TV, and streaming it over a slow connection was an excruciating experience. We’ve heard of people in the Foreign Service making bandwidth one of their bidding criteria when choosing assignments, and we’re sympathetic to this strategy. Even with good internet, however, D is no longer sure that losing sleep to watch baseball is worth it.
Growing up in the Bronx, being a Yankee fan was an integral part of D’s identity, especially once he moved away from New York to attend college in New England. He still supports the team, of course, but with a growing sense of detachment. For some, moving abroad tends to intensify attachment to certain aspects of home, be they comfort foods or favorite sports teams. In D’s case, living abroad has diluted his interest in many of these things, including baseball, which once seemed to hold paramount importance.