First off, let's hear it for Teletext. Slow and uninformative it may be, but when your computer crashes with five minutes left in the biggest game of the season so far it's refreshingly reliable.
Society moves on and finds new technical solutions, but sometimes they falter, and when they do you may need to go back to the old ones in a hurry. I keep my old VCR plugged in for precisely that reason, and on my bookshelves there's a Bible, just in case science, humanism and basic human decency all fail simultaneously. Yes, I do always have to go too far. If you don't go too far you haven't gone far enough, if you ask me.
Of course, there's going too far, and then there's being frankly rather silly. Like Europe's sports administrators, who have been trying to get the European Parliament to classify sports matches as performances. If they got their way results would become a form of intellectual property, and we might lose Teletext, BBC match reports and other vital emergency services. There's a report here (MEPs deny sports 'intellectual property' landgrab). Thanks as so often before to striqun for the link.
The article is confusingly worded, but it turns out they've failed, on the grounds that sports events, unlike plays or concerts, aren't predictable. I guess MEPs don't follow the Premiership, which gets the same top four teams every year.
Frankly, I'm surprised they thought it was worth even trying. Who's going to win the support of governments, the people who organise soccer games or the people who run television? How deliciously disconcerting to find yourself on the same side as Rupert Murdoch.
However that may sit with us, at least we the people can carry on finding out scores without having to pay Trevor Brooking a tax. Today, for instance, it was 2-1 to City. Which means that as long as we win or draw in the return game on Tuesday, we're off to Wembley in a couple of weeks.
Here's the BBC match report, with interviews with both managers. Your homework is to listen to both and tell me which manager is the manager with dignity and composure, and which is the ignorant oaf.
I think you'll find the finer qualities residing in the Bristol City dugout, in the person of Gary Johnson (we love him). Truly a prince among men. If I was a lady in waiting he'd get my rosette every time.
And he's getting noticed in the national media. Last week he was in the Observer, now he's in the Guardian (Johnson takes his low-key methods to new heights). They say it's remarkable that Gary Johnson is so relatively unheralded, and they're not wrong. Well all I can say is, I'm doing my bit.
Beyond football in Bristol there are other games, with other rules. Do you know the best thing about sport? Apart from Gary Johnson. It's the seasons. Every season builds to a dramatic climax, in every division and in every country. And because the seasons vary from one sport to the next, there's always something happening somewhere. Every second of every day. It's like being on a miniature train, endlessly riding the same route round an ice cream factory. Had enough mint chartreuse flavour? Never mind, there'll be some raspberry whipple along in a minute.
Are you anti-sports? Are you waiting and waiting for the off season? Then it's as if you dwell on a planet which orbits many suns, all of them far too close. You yearn for the night, but it never comes, and meanwhile the heat of the day goes on and on and on, and the shelter and relief that you crave is forever denied you. Good. Now stop whingeing and get with the program.