When I first lived abroad, in Budapest in 1994, I still wrote letters home, bought the International Herald Tribune for out of date sports scores and had my weekly call home. I did e-mail one friend on a very complicated system in some back classroom at my school, but that was weird and hard to access.
Now life in Europe often seems like life in the US. I can have ESPN’s European network called NASN. I have the Internet with all its radio and info. I have podcasts off iTunes. I also work in English and speak English at home.
But in March, it is like 1994 all over again. For as America obsesses over college basketball, there is nothing here, at least in my life. Nothing. College basketball is the true American sport that does not translate. There are people here who follow football and baseball, but basketball is a void. Oddly, for such a world powerhouse, even the NBA is only on Swedish TV once a month.
This is partially my fault, of course. We stopped NASN after the Super Bowl, and I have not had time with a toddler and new baby to be filling out brackets and watching streaming highlights.
And I do have quality basketball in my backyard. The Solna Vikings are the defending Swedish champs and are making another run deep into the playoffs this year. If only I had time to watch them …