Call it coincidence or an ultimate eventuality, but next to my Sunday edition of the New York Times (for which I have the privilege of paying a whopping discountedÂ rate of $7.45 per week for seven-day delivery) sat a solicitation from the L.A. Times encouraging me to return from my seven months of self-imposed exile into the land of disgruntled canceled subscribers for a special rate of $75 for a year’s worth of papers.
Not only is that a dang good deal standing on its own, but makes the $387.40-plus annual NYT outlay seem fiscally idiotic. While I’ve always known my stay would be a temporary one, I wasn’t yet in a rush to break up the relationship.
Not entirely convinced, I sat back with today’s NYT, and enjoyed it as usual, but when I got to the Sports section I dove in to the NCAA Football section hoping for the very least a brief on Alabama — my favorite college football team — and its season-opening victory last night over Virginia Tech.
Nothing. Literally. In the column running down the Top-25 teams in the nation, there was Alabama at No. 5 and the score showed 0-0. A couple rungs down the ladder was No. 7 VT’s place and their score, too, read 0-0. Right away I understood what happened. Being the national edition, the paper was probably starting its press run by the time the game, played in Georgia, had barely started. So instead of the 34-24 final score (or even the in-progress score), the editors could do nothing but go with what it knew at the time: 0-0.
Turns out those goose eggs broke the proverbial camel’s back and got me on the phone with NYT customer service wherein when the rep started to valiantly offer reasons why I shouldn’t cancel my subscription I pretty much shut down his script by telling him that perhaps I’m the only NYT subscriber in the entire country who gives two hoots about the Crimson Tide, but nevertheless if I’m expected to pay almost $400 each year for a newspaper, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in expecting to read about the final score of my favorite college football team the day after they played.
He simply said “I understand” and processed my cancellation.
My next call was to the LA Times rep who set me up at the aforementioned rate. Notwithstanding my hometown paper’s institutional bias against Alabama (nurtured by columnist Jim Murray who was notorious in his disrespect and disdain for Coach Bear Bryant and his program), I can be sure that the press runs here in town are never so early as to prevent ‘Bama’s game results from making it into the paper I’ll hold in my hand on Sundays.