The “Flip Back” Channel

Every sporting event, needs a flip back channel. You know, the sporting event has too many commercials, advertisements after a touchdown then after the kick-off after the touchdown. Between innings, quarter breaks, etc. you need a flip back.

Guidelines for the “Flip Back” are simple:

  • Catch parts of another sporting event (ideal)
  • Major championships must be approved by the entire crowd not just controller of the remote (ex. No flip back if watching the Super Bowl with women. They want to watch the commercials)
  • Controller must flip back in time to catch the main event if watching with anyone.
  • If the main event is boring, you can hesitate a little from the flip back, but not too long and it must be approved by the group.
  • If it is a non-sporting event flip back it must be a movie you have seen over eight times and everyone else in the room enjoys.
  • In the last inning/quarter/half if it is a very close game, no flip backs allowed.

But sometimes, the flip back becomes a cognitive battle within. The other night I was watching Sunday night football. Patrick Mahomes is more watch worthy than most professional teams on his own but they jumped to a big lead. Then, my wife found Airplane! as the flip back. That fits the “I’ve seen it eight times” guideline, but it also is one of those that you rarely see today. I was torn.

But, that was nothing compared to a couple of weeks ago: One Sunday,  Big Rod, Bear, and the Basement Boys, along with a few friends were watching the Packers and the Bills. Many in the group are Bears fans and thought the Bears would be on Fox, the NFC game, because the Bills were the visitors, so that game was on CBS. But for some reason, this season when the Packers play at noon, they won’t show the other game. Just two late games.

Jake tried desperately to watch the Bears game, flipping through channels, watching the game cast on his computer,  anything as Trubisky dismantled the Buccaneers. As the Packers and Bills game was winding down and was getting more and more less watchable, we went back to Fox just in case they were showing highlights of the end of early games. That’s when we stumbled upon the ultimate flip back.

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 8.59.50 AM.png(actual representation of Jake when he couldn’t find the Bears game on TV that day…) ⬆️


It was wrestling, but not WWE quality. More like the 1980s. It was a three man tag team, six people fighting. You couldn’t tell who was on whose side. Most of them looked like they had been dragged out of the bar across the street the night before. The fake hits were awful. When one guy jumped off the top ropes, all five guys fell even though one guy was three feet away from any contact. It was so awful and painful to watch, we couldn’t turn it. When Jake flipped back to the Packer game, we revolted, the Packer game became the “flip back”.

“Don’t turn it” Smitty yelled as it looked like there was a break in the action. We were mesmerized by this awful but entertaining event. We needed to see who won this fake match. We were cheering, yelling, laughing as the ref would get to the two count and ultimately they would kick out and start another round of massive fake kicks, punches and flying elbow drops.


The Packers beat the Bills 22-0, that was boring. I can’t tell you the name of the threesome that won the tag team match, but I can tell you we watched it until the end. But don’t tell anyone. We broke the flip back rules.


  1. What happened to Picture-in-Picture? It’s a crime that it’s not around anymore. I used to have a Sony Wega (or Vega) tube TV with PiP and you could create a custom 6 channel lineup just for the PiP. There was never a more pure Saturday college football viewing experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree, the Saturday flip back is impossible. SEC channel, Big Ten network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U. way too many games to choose one and one flip back.


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