On Saturday, the University of Maine football team played its biggest game in 10 years. The Black Bears played at Georgia Southern in a Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game (Georgia Southern won, 35-23, ending Maine’s season), but if you wanted to watch it on television, you either had to buy ESPN’s pay-per-view GamePlan package, or go to a sports bar that purchased ESPN’s pay-per-view GamePlan package.

If you had the right cable company, you might have been able to watch the game online, on ESPN3. ESPN owns the rights to the FCS playoffs, and I guess it’s ESPN’s right to make it as difficult as possible to find the games.

Thanks to technology, nothing can hide. ESPN can flex its monopoly on the live images coming out of Statesboro, Ga. on Saturday afternoon, but it cannot embargo the information.

The radio feed was available throughout the state. If you were near a radio, you could listen to the action, and let your mind’s eye paint the picture.

If you’re lucky, you not only listened to the game, you were able to follow along on the social media platform of your choice.

According to my Twitter feed, the Black Bears were doomed when they fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter. Then, when Roosevelt Boone returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, making the score 14-7 and keeping Maine in the game, doom was put on hold.

Doom was clearing its throat again at halftime, when Georgia Southern led, 21-10, thanks to a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter.

Doom was out taking a bathroom break in the first few minutes of the third quarter, when Warren Smith marched the Black Bears down the field before throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Justin Perillo to cut Maine’s deficit to 21-17.

Cold, sterile, reserved play-by-play tweets intermingle with visceral fan reactions. In the same minute, you could read “Maine touchdown on 12-yard pass from Smith to Perillo” and “Bears not dead yet!” or “It’s not over!”

Two quick Georgia Southern touchdowns, and Doom was back. “Looks like the season is ending for the Black Bears” replaced “It’s not over.”

Smith threw a touchdown pass to John Ebeling, and we were confident again.

Maine had chances in the fourth quarter to pull closer, but couldn’t do it. Twitter requires users to keep posts under 140 characters. There’s nothing as succinct as disappointment.

“Another interception.” “That will do it for the Black Bears.”

In the end, the collective reaction was the only reaction. Disappointment that the season was over, but thanks that the Black Bears gave the state such a fantastic season. In August, we wondered if Maine even fit in the Colonial Athletic Association anymore. On Saturday, the Black Bears were the only team from the CAA still playing. Somewhere, I hope somebody pointed out that fact.

Social media helped those of us who couldn’t watch or listen to the Maine game stay on top of the action.

I didn’t see a minute of the game.

I didn’t miss a thing.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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