Canucks and Beyond

iPhone Adventures in Hockey

10/12/2011 at 7:10pm EDT

So, I’m distressed to say that I missed the Canucks second game of the season, against Columbus on Monday.

Not because I was busy with work (it was Canadian Thanksgiving); not because my kid was screaming for attention (she was buried in family affection all weekend and really didn’t want anything to do with any of us after a certain point); not because I was cooking some big feast (after three straight days of Thanksgiving dinners, I may never look at food again, much less turkey); and not because I was too drunk to program the PVR (like I said, Thanksgiving, family, screaming kids, etc).

None of these things.

No, the reason I missed Monday’s game against Columbus is because I downloaded the Canucks iPhone app.

To be fair, it’s not a bad app. Schedules, news, video, player bios, etc. All in one nice little package. Handy, you know? The way a decent smartphone app should be.

But there was one wee issue with the whole thing.

The problem with this fine little application was its gutsy choice not to devote itself to any particular time zone… but to ALL of them. And then not tell us which time zone is being cited for any particular game on the schedule.

Clever, huh? A revolutionary concept—create a time-shift and hope your viewers can guess when the game starts. A radical and exciting approach, and one which ensured I entirely missed game 2.

Living on the west coast, we’re used to seeing our TV and game schedules noted in various time zones, and inconsistently at that. So we always check and double-check. But you know when we don’t do the double-check? When we download a Vancouver Canucks official app, and after we verify that the first game on the schedule was noted in Pacific Time.

At that point you’d take it on faith the calendar was constructed on PT, right? And this would make sense given the primary audience for the app watches the game from the PT zone. But I shouldn’t have trusted this.

The Canucks iPhone app informed us that Monday’s Columbus game was scheduled at 7pm. I assumed PT, but it turned out they were using the Eastern Time Zone… without actually saying it was ET. (That’s the fun part: we were supposed to guess.)

Sadly, I guessed wrong and turned on the TV just in time to listen to a recap of some “game-changing penalty shot save” by our backup goalie, about 45 minutes earlier. Bloody hell.

Back to the app, I see the coming games are largely reported in ET, although there’s a tricky twist later in the month that’s meant to ensure I’m ready to watch one particular match-up about 3 hours before it actually starts. (So that’s an improvement, anyway. I’ll be seriously


ready by the time puck drops.)

The Canucks Letters to the Editor page dealt with the issue today by stating that after receiving some “nice” emails (yeah, I’m sure they were very sweet, very understanding) about the botch-up with the schedule, they recommend everyone just delete the thing from their phones and download it fresh. Good advice, and I’ll get to that.

Meanwhile, tonight’s game is now being set for recording from about 4:30 pm PT to 10:30 pm ET. That works, right? Mix-and-match time zones are the hot new thing sports scheduling, I hear. It’ll certainly keep me on my toes in future.

Gotta love technology: awesome! useful! practical! fun! Until it isn’t. :)

Go Canucks!

P.S. I also have the official NHL Game Center app. Does anyone else have problems with it freezing up, dragging, basically acting completely bonkers within various screens? I fear I have more hockey-app-deleting in my future…

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