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I'm not a huge hockey fan but the NHL playoffs may be more exciting than any pro sports playoffs, and when the Stanley Cup Finals feature a couple of the Original Six who have already played a couple of overtime games, it's pretty good stuff. That said, if you stopped by this electronic precinct yesterday you read that we don't get NBC Sports Network with our bare-bones DISH TV package, so we couldn't see last night's game (and won't be able to watch the Ivy League football package this fall).
Ah, but I read somewhere that the Stanley Cup Finals were being streamed, and for free! It's not like TV, but hey, watching on the computer would be better than nothing. So I go to the page in the picture above where I read with glee (that's an exaggeration): "Sign In For Free Access To Live Streaming NBC Sports Network Coverage. You're Just 2 Easy Steps Away From Watching Live NBC Sports Network Coverage Of Your Favorite Sports."
Great! Free access is just two steps away!
It is midway through the first period of the game last night when I first try to to sign in.
Oops, password doesn't work. Try it again. Nope. OK, Mrs. BGA, are you sure that is the password you used? Let's try this one. OK, that one. What else could it be? Would you please write your passwords down next time? Sorry, I just want to see the game.
I click on "lost password," and I get a message that within 15 minutes we'll get an email giving us the password or information on how to reset it. These things never take 15 minutes so we check almost immediately. Then we check again. We eventually check all our email accounts. Fifteen minutes pass and the email doesn't come. Try again. The email doesn't come. Check the spam folder. Not there. Frustration.
OK, let's try another password. Try uppercase. Try lowercase. Oops, we get a message saying we've tried one too many passwords and we're now shut down. We must be on double-secret probation because we are told not to try again and to call for assistance.
Now, Mrs. BGA handles the DISH account and over the past few years she has spent hours on the phone with her good friends at the call center. But I can't pass the buck this time because I'm the one who wants to watch the game so I cowboy up and dial the phone. Press 1 for English. Press 1 for this. Press 5 for that. Press 4. If you have another issue, hold for an operator. I hold.
Once the operator comes on he asks me where Mrs. BGA was born. Ah, security question. I pass with flying colors then I explain the issue. After a bit he says he'll email me the password information. Thanks. We hang up.
It is 15 minutes later, the second period is whizzing by and no email. Not in this account. Not in that account. Not in the spam file. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Back on the phone. Press 1 for English. Press 1 for this. Press 5 for that. Press 4. If you have another issue, hold for an operator. I hold.
Nice guy from Arizona this time. How's the weather up there? It's 107 here today.
Huh? No problem. I'll set a temporary password and you'll be good to go. Just type xxxxxx in there and that will allow you to go in and change to a permanent password.
Are you sure? The second period is over and I want to catch the end of the game. Playoff hockey is great.
Yup, I guarantee it will work.
You know where this is going, don't you?
It doesn't work.
Frustration is mounting. I am back on the phone. This time I write the numbers down so I'll have them the next time. Press 1, 1, 5, 4 and hold. Maybe I'll just try pressing them in order on the next call . . . but there better not be a next call. I hope I get the same guy. I'll tell him a thing or two about his guarantee, shmuarantee.
An operator comes on with a heavy accent. This isn't going to be easy. I explain the problem while I keep an eye on the gamewatcher thingie showing the time left in the third period.
Hmmm, I don't know what I can do about that. Let me check.
Music coming through the phone. Five minutes. I'll be back with you shortly. Hey that was a human being and not a recording. OK, I'll have a little more patience. More music. Sorry for making you wait. Him again. I'll get back to you. Music. He's finally back.
OK, I reset your password, OK?
Wait, wait, wait. Will you hold on while I try this to make certain it works? I don't want to go through this again and the game is winding down.
It worked! It worked! Eureka, I have found it. Thanks so much, you've been great.
The Bruins still lead, 2-0, with time running out. I'm not a Boston fan but the Bruins have been involved in so many dramatic games in the series that I'm thinking all the hassle has been worth it because something exciting could still be in store.
I go back to the NBC Sports Network site. I type in the username and the new password. Voilá, I'm in. Hooray. Yippee. Hallelujah.
Wait a minute.
What does that say?
Upgrade your DISH subscription to watch
What about Sign In For Free Access To Live Streaming NBC Sports Network Coverage?
What about being Just 2 Easy Steps Away From Watching Live NBC Sports Network Coverage Of Your Favorite Sports?
The game ends, 2-0, while I watch a Frasier rerun.