Real Fans Watch… Even on Tape Delay
I heard the result of the match earlier in the day, at my kid’s swim meet. In between summoning seven- and nine-year-olds to their IM heats, the guy with the microphone had summarily spoiled the surprise: the US had beaten Brazil.
I hadn’t DVR’d the match, but after the kids were in bed and I’d retired to the couch for some quality couch potato time, I caught a few SportsCenter highlights in one of their super-stylized promo clips. On Twitter a friend noted that they were replaying the match on ESPN2, so I switched over…and said goodbye to the next two hours.
I’m not usually a fan of tape-delayed sports. But with soccer there aren’t the usual temptations to hit the FF button — time outs, injury time outs, TV time outs, etc. — so I found myself watching as the game unfolded. I knew the outcome, I’d seen the highlights…but along the way felt the injustice of the red card, cheered Solo’s (stolen) penalty kick block, got annoyed at Marta, felt the pressure of the time running out, and sat on the edge of the sofa and cheered Rapinoe’s brilliant cross and Wambach’s perfect header.
Sports are why we still have cable in my house. They’re the last bastion of event television, best enjoyed in real time with a beer in one hand and a Twitter client in the other. But every once in a while a game’s so great that even 12 hours of tape delay can’t detract from the experience of watching.