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MCCULLOUGH: Needing some simplicity

I’ve found myself strangely nostalgic lately for simpler things. So many things always end up changing, usually advertised as bigger and/or better, but not always delivered as such.

Like college football. How much more of the tackling are we going to take out of tackle football — via the targeting rule — before we give up and just call it touch? I’ve seen more players (it seems like half the UGA team) thrown out of games this season for — as one astute Tweeter put it — “playing football” than I think I have in the past decade.

Football is a dangerous sport, and I’m all for taking precautions against needless injury. But this rule is ruining the game.

NFL football is becoming unwatchable, too, mainly for all the added graphics.

Putting the score, the quarter, the time and the down in a little box on the screen was a stroke of genius. The yellow first-down line was a marginal — if sometimes visually misleading — addition to the enjoyment of the game. But that’s all we needed. I’m not playing Madden 2K whatever, and I don’t need rotating circles, light spots, streaks across the screen, 1960s Batman-esque sound effects (Bow! Klang! Boosh!) or any of the other nonsense the networks have unleashed on us.

And baseball isn’t immune. Apparently it’s not impressive enough to watch a guy throw a 100 mph fastball. No, they had to add a little flame graphic and a whoosh! sound. And don’t get me started on that pitch tracker graphic thing. They want us to look at a box, showing where a pitch went in a computer-simulated strike zone, right next to where the pitch actually went in the real strike zone. You know, in case you confuse a high-and-tight for a low-and-away.

And speaking of on-screen distractions, could we cut down a little bit on the size of the in-show, animated promos? I get tired of some guy from a cruddy sit-com wandering aimlessly across the screen dragging a sign that says “Watch ‘Bobo’s Fun Factory’ Fridays at 9.” I’m trying to watch this show now. How about letting me do that?

And if I get frustrated, I can’t even change the channel easily. A long time ago, you got up, walked to the TV and changed the channel. Later, you did it by remote control. But the TV channel actually changed. It did what you told it to do.

And then the dark days of computerized satellite boxes came. Now, I press Guide, Up, Enter, Info, Exit, Back, Down, 2-6-9, Exit again, hold my breath, cross my fingers, say Abracadabra! and — if I’m lucky — I get to watch the History Channel, which used to broadcast shows about history but is now the Bigfoot, space alien, pawn shop, lumberjack channel.

Whatever happened to the old acronym KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)? Gone with the wind apparently.

I need some simple. So I’m headed to the woods.

At the deer camp, I will sit by the fire, which still works the way nature intended. I will drink beer, which also still works the way nature intended, despite the brewers efforts to mess it up with fruits and fancy bottles. I will tell some (mostly true) stories, eat food cooked on a charcoal grill, play poker for quarters on a kitchen table and maybe go deer hunting. But mostly I will just have a good time with like-minded people, many of whom like things even simpler than I do.

And maybe I’ll listen to the Georgia game on the radio, like we used to down at the camp back in the old days. And if the reception is cruddy, there’s always the satellite TV.

Oh, we have satellite TV. We might like things simple at the deer camp, but we’re not stupid.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.