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Andy JohnstonAndy Johnston

Beam football up: Astronaut to watch SEC Network on space station

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Astronaut Barry Wilmore will be able to watch SEC football on the International Space Station. (Bill Stafford/NASA)

Astronaut Barry Wilmore will be able to watch SEC football on the International Space Station. (Bill Stafford/NASA)

Talk about going long.

NASA will show off its vertical passing game by beaming the SEC Network to the International Space Station, thanks to astronaut Barry Wilmore, a former Tennessee Tech linebacker from the Nashville area who doesn’t want to miss the action while in orbit.

Wilmore will reach the station on Sept. 25, in the midst of football season. The SEC Network will be waiting, and he also wants to catch Tennessee Tech games on the Internet.

Hey, I’m sure he’s not taking a Blu Ray of “Gravity” with him.

“I don’t watch a lot of sports — my wife might not agree with that — but I do like to watch football, the SEC Game of the Week, and I try to catch Tech every chance I get,” Wilmore told Mike Organ of The Tennessean.

Hopefully, there’s more than one TV on board, because Wilmore is sharing the station with two cosmonauts and they might say “nyet” to college football. He doesn’t take command until November.

It’s not known if the commander is in charge of the remote.

As a football player at Tennessee Tech, Wilmore said, “I was small, I was slow and I was fat,” but he was good enough to make 143 tackles in one season, which is third all-time at the school.

I didn’t see NASA on the list of cable and satellite providers that have signed up for the SEC Network, so I’m not sure if it’s counting the space station among the 90 million households it’s expected to reach when it launches on Aug. 14.

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