November 19, 2011

Football is better on TV... watched alone.

Asserts Luke O'Neil, whose friends "don't enjoy my company."
Now that a personalized, crystal-clear picture is at everyone's fingertips, it is pure torture to let someone else man the controls. Watching my friends operate a DVR makes me feel like a nervous backseat driver. When I'm at my in-laws’ house, for instance, I have to watch the Patriots game in a separate room because my father-in-law will inevitably flip over to golf during commercials. Personally, I like to pause the action every time there's a stoppage in play or when, say, the damn Patriots defense allows yet another third down conversion. (That happens a lot.) After I hit pause, I'll walk around the house a few times grinding my teeth. If I did that with company around, it would inevitably lead to someone complaining about being behind real time and somebody else whining that he can’t check his fantasy numbers without spoiling the game that’s now on pause. And they would be right to complain, if those hypothetical people still came over to watch football. Thankfully, I’ve scared them all away.

37 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Shit, what choice do I have but to watch football alone? I'm an Illini fan. That's a dying breed.

I'm going to watch the Badgers give the Illini a good butt stomping today.

The Zookster is on his way out. The sports writers want blood. Fortunately, he's got another year remaining on his contract. He'll get paid $1.75 million to sit out 2012.

At least, he won't be coaching the Illini any more. Our special teams are a joke.

ironrailsironweights said...

I have to watch the Patriots game in a separate room because my father-in-law will inevitably flip over to golf during commercials

Which of course happens all the time, as a football game consists of three hours of commercials for cars, beer, life insurance and limp-d*ck drugs, interspersed with a few bits and pieces of actual play. Not that we have any choice but to watch. If you don't (metaphorically) fellate the Almighty NFL, aka The Most Important Sport in the World, you're a freak and weirdo, if not some sort of f*gg*t.

Peter

ndspinelli said...

I love solitude. I love people but I could also be a hermit. Doing surveillance is hours of solitude. I had a woman who worked for me for 10 years. She was superb, but the solitude got to her. I think Garbo was unique for females.

AllenS said...

I don't mind watching football with other people. As long as they bring their own beer.

Steve Burri said...

At least he goes out and watches by himself rather than pull an 'Occupy the TV' and demand his 'rights' over those of others and ruining the time for everyone.

Tank said...

Football is the only sport I can watch on TV, and half the time I mute it because the announcers suck, and I'm off surfing during the commercials.

This does drive others nuts. Particularly the muting, but it's remarkably rare that they say something I didn't already know. It happens, but that's the true 1%.

phx said...
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ndspinelli said...

I'm w/ you Tank. The only announcer I will consistently listen to is Al Michaels. The Monday Night crew is muted all the time.

traditionalguy said...

Penn State guys only watch alone when no 10 year old boys are available for a sleep over.

DaveW said...

I watch on constant DVR delay so I can skip commercials. And if we have a terrible play I also pause, walk around and moan. But I could live without it if I was watching with other folks.

madAsHell said...

It's only a problem if you drain a case of beer alone too!!

edutcher said...

It's like somebody driving your car while you're in the passenger seat.

As Americans, we're just not wired for this.

In my case, I'd have to watch it along, The Blonde hates sports.

Except ice skating, of course.

EDH said...

Long ago, I had a roomate who liked to listen to sports radio, loud, while watching TV also with the volume loud. Drove me batshit!

So, yes, I like to get all metrosexual and watch football by myself in a spotless, ultramodern penthouse with sixty foot ceilings and sunsplashed walls of glass (place your cursor over "Man watching football alone" photo to see caption).

Michael The Magnificent said...

A friend of mine likes to invite me over to watch Packers games.

I used to go, but when the Packers are loosing badly, he will change the channel and refuse to change it back.

Life is too short to put up with that kind of crap.

phx said...
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Carol_Herman said...

Described is an in-law problem.

It would be worse if it wasn't a football game. Just conversation.

PJ O'Rourke has a book out ... to help people survive Thanksgiving's company by not talking politics. His book's title is: "Don't vote - it only encourages them."

It seems, if you're going to watch football with others, you want to be in a good cook's house. With lots beers around. And, real food. Not dips and chips.

Heck, with an in-law who wants to know the latest in a golf game; you could wear an iPod piece in your ear. And, smile a lot. If anyone asks you what you're listening to while you're socializing ... you could tell them "Music" ... istead of "play-by-play" football.

As to "breaking in" ... the networks do it all the time.

Long ago, when TV was new ... there were one or two commercials ... at breaks ... spread at least ten minutes apart.

Today? You're lucky if the slices of commercial time ... leave you two minute breaks to watch a show.

At a sports bar. And, with his back to the plasma screen, the bartender can work the bar ... to get orders for the next setup.

Who watches football alone? (It's like having sex by yourself.)

Carol_Herman said...

Well? Then there's the George W. Buch "example." He didn't want company. So he was watching a football game alone. And, he nearly killed himself choking on a pretzel.

What game was he watching at the time?

Alex said...

Fuck the NFL/NBA/MLB and all that shit. I watch live tennis which does have ads but for classy things like Rolex watches and Axe Body Spray. Then there's fact that tennis features very little in terms of extended stoppages. The matches can go from 1-3 hours and no stupid shot clock.

Winding down said...

NFL redzone ...cost works out to 50 cents an hour..see "significant play" and no commercials...yes ..it is best as solitary activity...she does not watch.

sane_voter said...

I only watch the NFL during the playoffs. Last year I watched all the playoff games on DVR, and each took less than 1 hour each.

It sucks that there are no NFL playoff games during the holidays anymore.

sane_voter said...

The only NFL the rest of my family watches is the Super Bowl, and that's to see the commercials and halftime show.

Synova said...

A friend of mine pauses movies to talk about them, point out some trivia, etc.

Others don't have quite the same right, it being his remote control.

Before we could do such a thing, when the TV was in control, everyone had to be slave to what was offered. Now the person with the remote is in control and it's every bit, or even more, imposing of those who have to put up with it.

My husband and I watch movies or television in near silence... because we like each other.

Tim said...
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Tim said...

As a 30-year season ticket holder of a once-storied NFL franchise that is surprisingly and pleasantly fighting itself back into relevancy, I totally identify.

Can't stand people who go to games and do everything but watch the game on the field; if watching with me at home, you better be nearly as focused on the game as I am, or go home.

I won't watch the game at other peoples' homes for reason of being a bad guest. People don't like me telling them to take their conversations outside while I'm watching the game in their house, lol!

wv: proan - my team's middle linebackers will put your quarterback proan on his back...

phx said...
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Browndog said...

The big Dog controls the remote-

It is what it is-

Go Blue. Go Pats.

Off Wisconsin....

themightypuck said...

Football is awesome when they are playing and horrible when they are playing commercials. You absolutely have to skip the ads which feels like cheating but there are so many it will drive you insane.

Joe Schmoe said...

I watch live tennis which does have ads but for classy things like Rolex watches and Axe Body Spray.

And babes like Maria Sharapova.

Alex said...

And babes like Maria Sharapova.

Real men watch the best tennis, meaning the men. Yeah there's a porno factor in some women's tennis but the quality of the play is bush league. But watching Roger Federer ply his trade is like getting to peak in on Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.

Joe Schmoe said...

Alex, you're hardcore. After McEnroe retired, and milquetoasts like Sampras and Federer took the reins, I couldn't give a fig about men's tennis. The Russian plan for world domination includes something to do with their gorgeous female tennis players, I'm sure. Not only are the players good looking, they grunt like mares in heat on every hit. What's not to like?

On another note, I hate the douche who wrote this article for Slate. He has to watch the game by himself? He's happy to 'virtual high-five' on Twitter? What the hell is this world coming to? Pretty soon he won't have to have any human contact at all. He can just be friends with some virtual entity who won't bother him with silly things like asking him to start the DVR while the game is on, God forbid. I'm surprised he can take time out from his navel-gazing to even watch something like a football game.

EDH said...

I watch live tennis which does have ads but for classy things like Rolex watches and Axe Body Spray.

"Classy things like... Axe Body Spray"?

I got a free sample of Axe once.

It smelled exactly like that same bottle of Old Spice my dad had in the medicine cabinet for 30+ years when I was a kid.

Talk about repackaging.

Alex said...

Alex, you're hardcore. After McEnroe retired, and milquetoasts like Sampras and Federer took the reins, I couldn't give a fig about men's tennis.

So you were one of those NFL types that McEnroe brought into watch a few tournaments a year like Wimbledon right? Well tennis is in better shape now then ever. I attended the Indian Wells event last March and the attendance was a new record. You don't need temper tantrums, the athletic quality of the competition is jaw-dropping stuff.

Astro said...

So, you electronically watch a game that you cannot control -- a game which has no meaning in the larger scheme of things -- and you are so intensely involved in this meaningless entertainment that you've driven away family and friends.
Well, that an interesting set of priorities.

Shanna said...

Football watching is supposed to be social. If you watch it alone you're doing it wrong.

Long ago, I had a roomate who liked to listen to sports radio, loud, while watching TV also with the volume loud. Drove me batshit!

I think my grandfather used to do that! I agree about the poor quality of announcers though. They always make me think of the announcer guy on Dodgeball.

HT said...

Watching football alone might be ok if you are not emotionally invested in the team or game. But for many fans, watching alone is pointless and tortuous. You need to have your friends with you for laughs and solace.

Legion Field (not a great field by any means) or Bryant Denny on a fall afternoon was stupendous. At some point everyone knew where Shorty Price was in the stadium.

Technology is ruining the in person experience, I think. Promoters are so worried and intent on keeping everyone entertained, that the game on the field has become superfluous. The videos, the ever-changing rock music (just when you get into it, they turn it off). Knowledge is getting killed along with the experience.

Scott M said...

I've never been a big supporter of the expensive 3D-capable HD tv's, but I didn't realize they were broadcasting NFL and NHL games in 3D. That changes quite a bit. I was in a store last week and looked at a couple of them, goggles and all. Yes, the goggles are a pain, but the picture is sooooo worth it.

I have zero confidence that I'm going to be dropping $1000 or so into a TV when my youngest child is still under 5 years old, as I have 100% confidence that the three of them will conspire to break it. Someday, however...someday.

Joe Schmoe said...

So you were one of those NFL types that McEnroe brought into watch a few tournaments a year like Wimbledon right?

Now? Yes. Then? As a kid I actually liked tennis. McEnroe, Connors and Bjorn Borg were my favorites. I have Arthur Ashe's autobiography. I lost interest in the next wave of players after that. Yeah, I liked McEnroe's antics, but he and Connors liked to come to the net alot. Sampras and the next wave were a lot of booming-serve-and-volley guys. I'm sure tennis is more exquisite than ever, but I dropped it and haven't recovered the taste for it.