Watching a ballgame after a brief power outage, my 60-inch Pioneer plasma decided to crap out. The only sign it was still alive was a tiny blue LED in the lower left corner blinking on and off 12 times and repeating the pattern over and over.

I tried turning it back on. That worked for about 15 minutes, then the same thing happened again. And again. And again. I tried unplugging the set for a while and turning it back on. Same thing. I tried leaving it off in standby mode. Again, the blinking blue lights.

It’s impossible to overstate the magnitude of this disaster. The Yankees are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in years and the NFL season starts this week. We do have another big TV in the rec room, but this time of year, we need both for the wife and me or things could get ugly real quick.

Look, I know how that sounds, but we built our house that way for a reason: His and her living areas keep the divorce lawyers away. Seriously.

Anyhow, Pioneer tech support swore up and down that the main board was fried, no question about it. They referred me to Best Buy’s Geek Squad for in-home repair service. They quoted me $1,200 to replace the board. I love that TV and it’s a big hassle to install a new one, but for a 10-year-old set, uh-uh.

Before blowing three grand I don’t have just laying around on an LG OLED, I decided to Google “Pioneer TV blinking blue lights” and got 1,630,000 results. One thread on a popular AV forum looked promising. Scanning the nearly 800 posts, I found a factory reset sequence and decided to try it.

Get this: It worked. Everything was back to normal, and just in time to watch the NFL season opener where the Kansas City Chiefs upset the New England Patriots.

Since I’m always dumping on the Web, I figured it’s only fair to share a story where it saved my bacon big-time. I have to admit, for DIY folks who live in the mountains where good contractors are hard to find, it is pretty cool. Not to be cliché, but how in the world did we ever live without it?