How do you catch the game? The reason I bring this up is because I haven’t had season tickets for a couple of years but a friend of mine offered to sell me one of his four tickets and I can’t decide whether to buy it. It’s not so much the money as the questions of how I choose to enjoy the game.
Anyway, for me, there are three very distinct ways to experience the game. 1 - I can go to the game, 2 - I can watch the game, 3 - I can listen to the game. I really like all three options, and each has significant benefits.
Option 1 – Going to the game. I love going to the game. It is the most social way to enjoy the game, being there with friends and fellow fans. I love to hear the guys that sit three rows back from the seats I sit in shout "Spanish Fork Represents" whenever Griff Robles gets into to the game. I love to see the flags, listen to the band and watch the muss jump up and down on third down. I also really like the cowboy corn dogs (although I am ticked that they raised prices again this year). I love the crowds, I love the sea of red streaming into the stadium, I love bubbles, I love the roar.
Option 2- Watching the game on TV is a lot more comfortable than going to the game. I usually end up watching with my Dad, he has a great TV, great couch, and a convenient bathroom with no line. Also if I remind him before the game, he usually has a fridge full of free food. Watching a game on TV is also cheaper, no ticket, no corn dog/drink, no parking, did I mention that I was a cheapskate?
Watching the game on TV isn't like watching it live though. The visual effect of the red stands and waiving flags isn’t as spectacular. The audio effect of the screaming fans isn’t as great. The emotional effect of 46,000 fans screaming and jumping on third down isn’t as powerful.
I have a 4, 6, and 8 year old who have also expressed some interest in going to games with me (took the 4 year old to the basketball game on Friday had a great time). I hesitate to take them a lot because I know they will get bored and I will have to entertain them (I want to watch the game). I also feel like I am wasting money when they do get bored. Taking them to grandpa’s is great because I can ease them into it and they can play when they are bored.
I like watching the game on TV because I can Tivo it, start watching late and skip commercials. I can cut an hour of wasted time out of the game this way. I also like re-watching plays at my convenience pausing it to use the facilities or for whatever other reason.
Watching the game on TV is a time to bond with my Dad (2008 was especially fun).
Traditionally I have also watched a game or two with a group of friends. It is fun to get together with food, and friends. My wife enjoys this more because she can socialize with the less fanatical and I can jump and shout (not to be confused with rise and shout).
Option 3 - I love listening to Kall 700, I think that Sherif Shaw, Frank Dolche, and the others are very interesting. They are much more knowledgeable than anything I read in the DesNews or SLTrib. They offer great player insight and analysis of the game. I feel like I learn a lot more when I listen to a game. TV announcers are lacking considerably as compared to Kall 700. I don’t know if we are the exception but we have fabulous radio.
I can tell when I haven’t been listening to the games, because I haven’t learned as much new stuff. I have considered taking a radio to the game but then I would miss out on most of the socialness of the game, which is why I go to the game in the first place.
I also like listing to the game because I can do other things while I listen. A couple of years ago I bought a fixer upper in a great neighborhood and have been slowly remodeling everything. I always get a lot more done during football season. I love that I can get 8 hours of UofU football to work to. 3 hours of pregame, 3 hours of game, 2 hours adds up to a lot of remodeling. I recorded the audio from this last game on my computer and look forward to another 8 hours of entertainment while I work in the basement over the next several evening.
I like it when Saturday is over and I have something else done on the house while listing to the Utes. I can also catch the highlights on Youtube or KSL later.
I miss watching the plays though. As good as they do on the radio of describing what is happening, it isn’t the same as seeing the pass from Hayes to Christopher, of seeing White break free for 15 yards.
Summary - A live game is a social, audio and visual feast. It is an emotional ride. It costs more time and money, lacks convenience and comfort, lacks replays, insight and analysis.
Watching on TV is a social event, but not as social as the live event. It offers insight and analysis but not like the radio. It is a visual feast but not as much. It costs time, but not as much. It is an emotional ride but not as much. It has great replays and adaptability.
Listening doesn’t cost time or money. It has spectacular insight and analysis. It isn’t very social. It is not as much of an audio or visual feast.
So what do you do? What’s your favorite way to experience a game and why?