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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

A BBN oasis in paradise

Why yes, we are Face Timing with someone’s TV in order to see the game.

Looking back, I should have known better than to schedule a vacation during basketball season. Yet, the siren song of the sun and sand were too much to resist for me and my husband, especially when we found out that the resort we’d be staying at in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic had free wi-fi in the rooms and satellite TV. Carefully consulting our basketball schedules, we determined that the Auburn game was one we could miss, or at the very least, watch abroad. If it had only been that easy.

Before we delve into the heart of the matter, let me say that the Dominican Republic is fantastic. If you’ve never gone, I definitely recommend it. The beauty of the landscape is matched only by the kindness of the people. Most foreigners will recognize Kentucky for horses first, “fried chicken!!!” second, and basketball third, the latter of which I’m sure has become more relevant in the DR thanks to Calipari coaching the National Team, native son/DR Assistant Orlando Antigua, Al Horford, and yes, Karl Towns. Many, if not most, of the people we met knew of Cal, Antigua and Towns, and said that basketball has really taken off in popularity the past few years thanks to the DR Team’s success. Although baseball may always be their favorite sport, basketball isn’t far behind, and if Antigua takes over the DR Team, I’m sure the sport will continue to grow.

This is all great, but are you sure you’re not showing the UK game here?

After two days of fun in the sun, it was time for the game. We thought we were so prepared, with our iPad, our iPad to HDMI converter and HDMI cable. The pride we felt while hooking up the iPad to the TV and pulling up the “Watch ESPN” app was unparalleled. Little did we know, the Watch ESPN app doesn’t work abroad, something of which we became painfully aware each time the “Video not available” error message popped up on the screen like an angry pimple. Surely, a trusty funchester link would work? Nope, no flash on the iPad. Not even the iHeart Radio app would allow us to stream the game. Ah, the internet cafe! What about the internet cafe? Panicked with twenty minutes to tip, we rushed over there only to find they charged $5 per five minutes of use. There had to be a better way. When all else fails, head to the sports bar, right?

As we rounded the corner between the bar and the tennis courts, I spotted the most glorious sight in the entire world: a bright blue CATS shirt. It was our very own BBN oasis in the oasis of the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas. Mr. TT and I hurried over to meet the group of eight Cats fans, all clad in blue and equally as frustrated with technology. A few of them recognized me from the blog and we started strategizing on the best way to get the game. Turns out the TVs only had ESPN and ESPN 2, and their attempts to stream the game via military radio had failed as well. I narrated what was happening during most of the first half via the live blog and Twitter to a rapt audience sharing their views on the current team (this won’t shock you, no one likes Archie), the Louisville rivalry (“We couldn’t have gotten where we are without Rick”), whether or not we’ll get Wiggins or Randle (my take: yes Randle, no Wiggins) and surprisingly, the success of Signing Day.

Our view of the game

During the second half, one of the men in the group had the brilliant idea to Face Time with his son, Matthew, back home via email (roaming rates in DR are ridiculous as you would expect) and have him turn the iPad towards the TV. We all crowded around the tiny iPhone screen to call Matthew and cheered when it actually worked. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to hear a Purnell’s “Old Folks” Country Sausage commercial. The connection kept dropping, but we were determined. We moved the operation to an iPad of our own and settled in to watch the game. Cheers for Jarrod, Willie, and Kyle were met with cries of despair when the connection dropped and gratitude when Matthew patiently waited for us to reconnect. One last time: “Thank you, Matthew!” and thanks to the entire Mattingly family. The whole thing was so blissfully bizarre that it made it one of the best UK viewing experiences ever, despite only seeing ten minutes of the actual game.

I’ve always marveled at how the Big Blue Nation can bring people together, in this case in the oddest of places. My husband, who converted to “Wildcat-olicism” after we met, still can’t get over it after all these years. We say it to the point that it’s almost trite, but fueled by love for a team that goes beyond just sports, is there anything the BBN can’t do?

Looking back, I don’t think I’d change a single thing.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

28 Comments for A BBN oasis in paradise

  1. Wild Turkey 101
    8:06 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Rack ’em!

  2. Bob Loblaw
    8:17 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    This is what I love about Wildcat fans, we’re everywhere and I run into them all over the world.

  3. Average Cats Fan
    8:28 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    I went to Punta Cana during the Tennessee & A&M games. I found a website that would play the game illegally, but my iPad browser wouldn’t support the video. I ended up having to purchase another browser and waiting for it to download, it was brutal but eventually worked. However the all-inclusive bourbon and Cuban cigar made the experience a little better. Haha the life of a cats fan.

  4. Michlelou
    8:39 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Tyler, you weren’t by any chance at Excellence were you? My husband and I were there last week (also to no avail trying to watch the game) and excitedly yelled “Go Cats” at some fellow fans. You are right, it was a gorgeous vacation but no more during bball season!

  5. BlueNotes
    8:57 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    What can you say but….


  6. Mas Cerveza
    9:01 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Rookie mistake. In the future: A) Only schedule your winter vacation with a UK basketball schedule in hand; B) if there is a game while you are away, only choose a vacation locale that has access to the game

  7. Doug
    9:03 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    What is this, amateur hour? Get a flash browser like swifter or any one of the dozen available. Geez.

  8. UKBlue
    9:06 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    In case anyone doesn’t know this: If you have Direct or Dish with the right box, you can send your live TV feed from your box thru your home WiFi over the internet to your Phone, Tablet, or computer if you’re away from home.



  9. WeatherGuru
    9:20 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    You’re gonna freeze to death wearing short sleeves like that…oh..wait…you’re actually in a place where the weather is desirable. 🙁

  10. Bobbum man
    9:26 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Great article! Feels like I’ve seen or run into UK fans every time I’m out of KY every time I’ve been to Florida and I also did in the Bahamas which was strange

  11. Catlogic15
    10:44 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Can I get a job at KSR? You guys are always on vacation! Sheesh!

  12. crazycatfan
    10:48 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink


  13. LexDoc
    10:57 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    9. That doesn’t work out of the country (or away from home) for that matter for Direct… I wish it would work but you have to be on the home wifi network of your receiver box (says so in the link you provided).

  14. Bulldawg
    11:01 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Very entertaining post. GO CATS!!!!

  15. UKBlue
    11:16 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    LexDoc: You can either go thru the App from Direct or just long onto your account on Direct TV website & watch thru the Direct TVAnywhere. This device has to be connected to the back of the box to send the signal thru your home WiFi

    How to long on thru Direct Anywhere:

  16. UKBlue
    11:19 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Should be log on

  17. Jaime
    11:55 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    We used our Slingbox in Antigua last year and it worked beautifully.

  18. BocasCat
    12:25 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    My wife and I have a small hotel on the carribbean coast of Bocas del Toro, Panama. We have watched games in so many ridicules ways and places, it’s great to see we are not alone! There are a few others members of the BBN in the area and they all know, they can use a room or watch the game with us anytime. We’ve even offered to run a cable from our “borrowed” U.S. directv signal down the hotel to another room….. What we will do to see our Cats!

  19. Funchester
    12:52 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    Cool to see my site got a name drop but sorry to hear you couldnt get it to work..yeah that pesky flash wont work with apple.. Happy you were able too watch it best way you could..

    I agree with #18 Slingbox works awesome!

  20. BFrey
    5:30 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    A few options:
    1) Slingbox worked on my wedding in South Africa. Probably your best option.
    2) Check on the int’l rights carrier with ESPN. Did this in Ireland last year for the IU and Baylor games and it worked beautifully. You have to have a strong internet signal, and it cost $12/game, but well worth it.
    3) If you can stand the extra pop-ups/ad bars, go with First Row Sports. I haven’t tried this internationally, but it’s based out of the UK, so I’m sure it works.

    The joys of travel…

  21. tickle
    8:08 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    ms thompson looks much older in the pic above than i imagined her to be. great story though. one more reason that it’s not safe to leave good ol’ safe conus

    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      8:14 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

      22- That isn’t me, it’s another fan in our group. I was taking the picture. 🙂

  22. tickle
    8:22 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    my apologies

  23. Wampus
    9:09 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    We’re going to be in Punta Cana for the 2nd Florida game (what was I thinking?). Since it’s on CBS we should be able to get it in the sports bar, right? Remember the name of the place?

  24. AWAT
    9:11 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    I just sent my wife an email and told her to look at this pic. We stayed at the Excellence in November. It was awesome!! EXCELLENTE

  25. Jon
    11:10 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    as far as DIRECTV…

    “Yes, you can stream select channels live on your iPad® or iPhone® inside or outside your home, using any Internet connection. These channels include AXS TV, beIN Sports, Shorts HD, Sony Movie Channel, and DIRECTV’s exclusive AUDIENCE Networkâ„¢. To watch the other TV channels available for live streaming on your iPad® or iPhone®, you must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network that your HD DVR is connected to.”

    Hope I can get the beginning of the SEC tourney while Im in Mexico. Of course, Ill still be able to watch the games WE WILL BE IN when i get back on friday.

  26. TTS_JF
    11:48 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    I was in Punta Cana for the Vandy & A&M game as well. I wish I had known
    all this information while down there. Beautiful place I did watch NFL
    playoff action while I was there though.