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Mike Chamernik’s Question of the Week (July 8-12)

Last week, we had another of Mike Chamernik’s “Question of the Week” series, the response was tremendous, and Mike is back again with his next question.

Question of the Week
by Mike Chamernik

The Summer Olympics starts in a few weeks. This year’s games are in Paris, which is between six and nine hours ahead of the contiguous US, meaning some events will be before sunrise for TV viewers, but most will be in the morning or early afternoon. Not that bad.

If the Olympics were in Asia or Australia, the Games would be on in the middle of the night here. The networks tape delay some of the events, but it’s not the same as watching live.

What’s the latest you’ve stayed up, or earliest you’ve woken up, to watch a game? What’s the latest or earliest you’ve ever played in a game?

The gold medal game for men’s basketball in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing started at 1:30 a.m. here in Central Time. I had nothing going on, so I stayed up for it. It was a good game, the US winning over Spain.

• • • • •
Thanks, Mike. This is definitely another great installment.

I haven’t participated in the QOTW so far, but today I will because some of you (OK, maybe one insane person or two) also stayed up late to watch the USA vs. Sweden Gold Medal Game in Men’s Curling in the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. You guys remember the Shot Heard Round The World, right? I don’t remember exactly what time the match started (I do know it was at least 1:00 am), and the match lasted until after 4:00 am and I remember I didn’t get to sleep for another two hours afterwards. I’ve also been up as early as 5:00 am to watch MLB Opening Games in Asia.

Readers? Fire away!

Comments (57)

    During the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, when I was without any DVR service, I shifted my sleep times so I could get up early in the morning and watch the curling competition live. I went to bed at 8 p.m. and woke up at 4 a.m. for the coverage. It was a fun couple of weeks.

    I did that for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which was in Japan. NBC stuck the entire World Cup behind a $50 paywall, so I used a VPN and hooked on to ITV’s UK coverage. Also a fun experience.

    Latest I ever played a game was 1AM. Intramural broomball was always super early and super late to get available ice time.

    I woke up really early to watch climbing at the Tokyo Olympics a few years ago–really enjoyed seeing one of my favorite sports featured on the world stage like that, and the Americans did well!

    USA-Mexico in the knockout round of the 2002 World Cup is right up there. That was a 1:30 AM wakeup, for the ultimate (so far) Dos a Cero game.

    Same – I was 12, and my brother and I camped out in front of the TV to watch. He stayed up; I did not, ha.

    same DJ and Chris! there was something soothing and exciting, late nights as a kid, during the 02 wc.

    Latest is that I was in London for the 2014 men’s World Cup and the US round of 16 game ended past 1 a.m.

    Earliest is that one of the USWNT games at the last Summer Olympics started at 4 a.m., so I woke up to watch it and then go to work.

    Any west coast NHL game that goes to overtime would keep me up past 1am on the east coast, as well as long Yankee games out there.
    I got up at 5am to watch USA in ‘02 World Cup.
    I played in a mens indoor soccer league and some of our games started after 12am.

    Was about to post something similar. I lived in Central and Mountain times most of my life, and that is the best time range to watch games across the country.

    At the risk of sounding like a degenerate…. I’m part of Houston’s Manchester United supporters group and I’m at our bar at 6 am several times each season drinking Bushmills and coffee. Those early matches are a pain. Other than that I can’t recall ever being interested in a middle of the night sports event. My interest in the Olympics is minimal now that boxing has become a minor sport.

    I umpired a baseball game that started at 10 pm on a Saturday night in the middle of winter in Minnesota. Inside a Dome of course….

    I can think of two instances off the top of my head. Both of them whilst I was in the peace corps in Ethiopia (GMT+3). The 2011 49ers NFC championship and the 2012 Super Bowl. We had to go to a dance club to watch because they were the only places open that late with the TV package to get the game.

    I do distinctly remember getting up in the middle of the night as a kid because I had a very crummy day and couldn’t sleep and my parents were up watching the MLB all-star game and they let me stay up to watch the end, but I swear it was almost 1am (Pacific time) when this happened and I can’t for the life of me find an all star game in the late 80s-mid 90s that fits that description.

    In college I certainly woke up early to watch Olympic curling and crack some breakfast beers, that’s for sure.

    Sneaking onto the golf course after bar close has to be the latest I’ve stayed up to play any sport.

    I got really into curling for the ’08 Olympics, so that’s probably the latest I’ve stayed up to watch anything.

    The 08 Olympics were summer games. Did you maybe mean 2006 (Torino) or 2010 (Vancouver)?

    Torino is when I first got into watching curling.

    As a West Coast sports fan, I am accustomed to waking up early to catch European based events. I love a 4:30 am Pacific Time first kick Prem Match. The earliest I have ever woken up to watch a game was in 2019 to see Ichiro’s last games, played in Tokyo. My son’s roommates did not appreciate his cell phone constant chirps as his step-brother and I texted one another though our group chat throughout the game.

    The latest game I have played in was intramural basketball at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, but that was when I was in my twenties. Now 30 years later, I have a tough time making it to the end of a weekday home Mariner game, even with the pace-of-play rules in place, without drifting off into my own seventh inning snooze.

    I’ve stayed up late to watch college basketball tournaments in Alaska and Hawaii. The older I get the less likely I am to watch anything that starts after 10 pm.

    I played in a softball league in Las Vegas where games started at 4 am.
    Also in LV, I went to a couple minor league hockey games at the Orleans Arena that started at midnight- an annual tradition I’m guessing.

    I mean I’ve woken up at 4:30 in order to play a football game, but that was due to the fa

    Super Bowl LII. Eagles v Patriots. My wife and I were in Helsinki. Kickoff was 1a local time. We found a sports bar not far from our hotel… owned by people from Boston, so that was out. We had an early dinner and tried to nap, unsuccessfully. The final pass fell incomplete in the early morning hours of a day with a bout 8 hours of sunlight and the sun didn’t get much above the treeline, even at “high noon”. Surreal experience.

    In the ’90s I used to set my alarm to wake up at 3-5 am to watch live Formula 1 races from around the world.

    Nothing earth-shattering: Once I stayed up until 12:30am to watch two periods of an Islanders/Canucks game.
    A scheduling oddity which affected the teams involved more than me was a Boise State/San Jose State football game a couple decades ago played at 9:00am local time to take advantage of a noontime slot on ESPN. I remember the looong shadows on the field.

    New Rochelle varsity hockey was a bit of a powerhouse in the late 1970s, and there were two local rinks: Hommocks of Larchmont and Rye Playland. NRHS often had to schedule practice in the wee hours, and our players got used to the swing shift. Oddly, there was a glut of ice rinks a decade later, giving ample time to all teams, but it didn’t last, and all that remained was a third rink in Mount Vernon.

    What were the other rinks in lower Westchester area? I believe there was one in the Bronx right off I-87 where Stella Doro used to be. And there was Westchester Ice Skating Center in Elmsford. A mile south of there is a new rink which opened in the late 1990s. Then of course Ebersole’s in White Plains and Murray’s in Yonkers have been around since the 1960s or earlier.

    New Roc City began with two skating rinks on the top floor, which was a positive boon for NRHS, but after the novelty wore off, they replaced them. If memory serves, the Palisade Center had (has?) a rink on the top floor.

    As someone who only watches the four major US sports, and has only a passing interest in any Olympic event, getting up early / staying up late has never come into play for me. Closest thing would be 10 pm starts for the Phillies out west, but as I have gotten older I stopped staying up for those and just check the scores the next morning. Most marquee west coast NCAA football matchups will start at 7 or 8, if a quality but under the radar MWC game is starting at 10 I may catch the beginning before falling asleep on the couch. Transitioned into a morning person in my early 30s so really any event that goes on past 9 pm is out for me, unless I specifically go somewhere or have people over to watch and force me to stay awake.

    I was at university in Scotland when Jose Bautista hit THAT home run. Game started at midnight local time so it must have been well after 3am when it happened. I was going crazy!!!

    I was also at the game where the Jays debuted their City Connect uniforms, which went 14 innings. I’d hate to think how long it would have been pre-pitch clock!

    I stayed up until about 3:30 or 4 AM eastern watching Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, which was a 7:20 minute, 18 inning marathon. I gave up before the Dodgers walked it off.

    For the 2003 and 2004 MLB playoffs, I lived in Europe, and when the Twins had games I’d be up into the wee hours of the morning, 3 or 4 am local time, to listen to games via internet radio. For other games those postseasons, I set up digital recording of the relevant radio feeds and listened to games the next morning or even later. One of my fondest baseball memories is the time I listened to Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS on headphones plugged into my Jukebox while enjoying dinner in a sushi bar in Amsterdam. But for Twins games, I couldn’t not listen live regardless of the hour. Plus I was 20 years younger than today, so a disordered sleep routine was less of a burden the following days than it would be now. Today, I’d be hard-pressed to stay with a game much past midnight, and it takes careful planning for me to be up for even a 6 am cricket or soccer game on the other side of the world.

    Being a UK fan of Bay Area teams, a lot of late nights. Most memorable was San Jose v Detroit game 7 in 2011. Puck drop around 3am UK time. Driving into work bleary eyed but listening to the Dudes on Hockey very excited podcast recorded straight after!

    The other memorable one was the Angels v Giants World Series in 2002. I managed to fall asleep during every game often in the 1st or 2nd inning, so missed pretty much all of it anyway!

    The 2009 Connecticut vs. Syracuse 6OT Men’s Basketball Game immediately comes to mind.

    Ended at 1:22 a.m. ET.

    I miss those Big East rivalries.


    Good answers, everybody.

    I remember when I was a kid, I happened to wake up at 4am one day… and I was able to see the first pitch of the new millennium. The Cubs and Mets started the 2000 season in Japan, and the game started at 4am Chicago time.

    When I was in high school, I stayed up on a Saturday night in early September in 1988 until after 3:00 AM to see the University of Iowa play a football game against the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. I was a night owl as a teenager, but that was ambitious, even for me.

    The game started at 7:00 PM Hawaii Time, which was midnight Central Time. The next day would have been rough no matter what, but it was that much worse because Iowa, which had been ranked in the preseason Top 10 going into that game, was upset by a lightly-regarded Hawaii team. I think my mom still made me to go to church the next morning, but I know I took a very rare nap after I got home.

    I regularly stayed up in college to watch Colt Brennan’s Hawaii in 2007ish. A handful of their games started at midnight EST and finished around 3/330am. The 2018 Olympic Gold Medal Women’s Hockey game between the US and Canada also lasted until about 330am EST, if I remember correctly. Definitely worth staying up for.

    I’m a Brit, so the vast majority of NBA games are on in the middle of the night. I tend to only watch live games that start at 6 or 8 p.m. our time nowadays, but in my younger days I’d frequently stay up until to watch games that might not end until 4 or 5 in the morning.

    Conversely, last time I was in the USA it was the Manchester derby, which kicked off at 9 a.m. Eastern. I managed to find a bar that was open and showing the match (although unfortunately it was full of United supporters). It was quite a surreal experience, all in all.

    I don’t know which was longer, but I stayed up to watch the Stars in the Stanley Cup against Buffalo and I stayed the whole 17 innings of a Ranger game against the Orioles back in the early 90s. I got home at 2am that day.

    One time when i was in college i stayed up all night to watch 24 hours of lemans all the way thru.
    Most recently i stayed up to watch Australian GP this year, i think it ended around 3am.

    I wrestled in High School and most of the big tournaments would be Friday night and all day Saturday. On Friday you would normally arrive around 2pm to weigh in and then start wrestling between 3-4 pm and go to 9-10pm and then you arrive at 7-8am Saturday morning for weigh ins with wrestling starting at 9am and the tournament ending around 7pm. One of the tournaments my junior year we got there at 2 pm weighed in and then waited around for the schedule to be posted so we know what mat we are wrestling on and what match number we are, at 3:55 they call the coaches to come to the announcers desk and they are all over there for like 30 minutes. Our coach tells us the computer they use to do the brackets and schedule has crashed, there is no backup, and nothing has been printed. So they have to start over and do it all by hand. This takes hours, so we don’t start the first match till 8pm. Then in the first set of matches there is an injury and 30 or so minute medical delay and later in the night there is another medical delay(only had one other medical delay in all the tournaments i went to). So we finish the last matches for the night at 2am. The bus gets back to the school at 3am, we all car pool home with one of the wrestlers that live near us that has a car. We have to be back to the school at 6am to leave for the tournament. Our coaches and the bus driver slept in the school library on the couches they had. The next day the tournament did not run much better, we started an hour late due to more issues with the brackets and didn’t end up finishing up till just before midnight.

    USA vs Russia
    2014 Winter Olympics (Sochi)
    Got to the bar at 5:00AM.
    T.J. Oshie of the Blues was only selected for the team because of his shootout skills, and boy did he deliver. We were very proud that day in St. Louis.
    Near the end of the game, somebody started playing a “new” country song on the jukebox. The crowd roared with disdain until the music was shut down. We then immediately began chanting, “USA…!”
    The irony was sublime.

    Latest I ever played: I’ve been to bonspiels that ran 24 hours a day (if you were in the C or D event). There was one spiel we were in that we kept winning and I think we had a 1 a.m. game followed by a 5 a.m. game.

    I’ve got a SIL that played international rugby so I’ve woken up at all hours to watch games from all over the world.

    World Cup final in 1986… was in Hong Kong with a college Christian Ministry group. One of our group members was a varsity soccer player and insisted on watching the game. One problem – the seminary we were housed at had no tv.
    Not to be deterred, he made friends with the security guard at the sleazy hotel 2 doors down and arranged to “rent” a room because each room had a tv.
    I don’t recall how late the started, but 5-6 group members went and sat on a bed with silk sheets to enjoy the game!
    Being the leader of the trip I thought it’d be bad form if it was found out I went into that establishment, so all I got to do was hear about the game and how incredible Diego Maradona was!

    Capital Centre in Landover, Islanders vs Capitals on April 18, 1987 which was the first Game 7 in Washington Capitals history started on the Saturday of Easter weekend and finished on Easter Sunday was the latest I stayed up to watch a game, I was 12 years old.

    A few years ago I sent Phil a photo for Guess the Game that I took in 1993 at 1:30am in Miami. A Friday night Marlins/Astros game with both rain delays and extra innings drifted into Saturday morning. I captured a shot of the original Teal Monster with the final score of a Marlins victory

    Over the years I’ve stayed up late or woke up super early to watch world cup soccer matches and various Olympic events. I also played in some slow pitch softball games at 2 or 3 am during summer all-nighter tourneys. Fun times.

    As a Formula One fan, it was always a badge of honour to get up for the Australian Grand Prix which started at anything between 2am and 5am. The Superbowl can be a bit like this for a UK audience, it goes well after 3am.

    Our men’s hockey league regularly schedules games at 11:30pm. One year during playoffs our 11:30pm game didn’t start until 12:45am due to the previous games going into OT.

    February 20, 1998 – Canada vs Czech Olympic hockey semi-final in Nagano Japan. Canada lost as game went into a shoot-out (Gretzky was left on the bench). At 3:30am all houses in our neighbourhood had their lights on watching the game…great question, and thanks for making me think of that disappointing outcome

    Living in the Mountain Time Zone any noon Arsenal game in England is 5am my time. Although to be honest I usually just set the DVR and watch a couple of hours later, whenever I happen to get up.

    I have played baseball games in winter at 7am. The latest I’ve stayed up to watch a game was around 2010, Padres and Rockies played 18 innings, it ended around 3am Pacific Time.

    I spend a lot of time in Singapore (well, pre-pandemic, but hopefully I’ll be back later this year). In 2014 I was there during the World Cup, which was on this side of the world in Brazil. The World Cup wasn’t on broadcast TV, so shopping malls would open their hallways late at night for people to come in and watch on a big screen. I went to a nearby mall for one of the US games, which started I think at 3AM local time. It was a lot of fun, and the mall even gave out a set of mini versions of some of the top country’s shirts. I think the only thing open in the mall was a Starbucks.

    When I was in college in the early ‘90s, I played in a men’s Canadian fast pitch softball league (I grew up right on the U.S./Canada border in southeast Michigan). We were the only American team in it. We played in a tournament up in Frankenmuth, MI one weekend against other American teams. We made it to the final game and, because of rain delays, the championship game — which we won — didn’t finish until about 3 a.m. The guy I drove with to the tourney was a DJ for the local radio station and was scheduled to be on the air that morning. We received our trophies, sped home and he made it on air while still in his softball uniform. Good times.

    Kinda cheating but stayed up until 2:15 on the morning of 4/25/1996. Lived in the DC sports market but back then, no Nats. Watched the O’s vs. Royals
    Fell asleep in the late innings and woke up to the first OT on HTS of the Penguins vs. Capitals Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals. Of course that game I watched until the end. Poor players looked like they were skating in mud. Great memory!

    Latest I stayed up watching on TV. The epic Mets vs Braves July 4-5 1985 game. Mets won 16-13 in 19 innings. Game ended at 4am. Braves fireworks night started right after.

    Latest playing – 2am or so. When I was in HS, a group of us would rent the local ice rink out a couple of times a year during school holiday weeks to play pickup ice hockey and the only ice time available would be the midnigjt to 2am slot.

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