Monday, October 19, 2009

Because I don't often go to live sporting events, it was an obvious treat to watch the Texas-Oklahoma football game Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Our seats were in the upper deck end zone, which gave us a really good view of everything going on. Even though we were up high you could clearly see the action on the field. It was a great day, beautiful weather and a nice outcome on the field.

But when I got back home and watched the ABC replay (yes, and more than once in fact) it became apparent that maybe I missed more than I thought. There were several plays on the field that I was sure the officials got wrong, but changed my mind after looking at the replays.

It now seems that sports media technology has made the home viewing experience superior to the live experience. High definition TV has made the home picture equal to the real thing, and a multitude of cameras from different angles make sure you don't miss anything. As much as I often rail on sideline announcers, I actually missed having access to one Saturday to get updates on the Sam Bradford injury. (It was interesting to note that the many people in our section with wireless Internet/phone access were getting regular updates). And yes, I even missed the ABC game commentary. To be totally honest, the State Fair was very overcrowded (lines for corny dogs after the game were 45 minutes plus), all the additional trains going to and from the game didn't work very well, and sunburn was a very real concern in a game that lasted more than 4 hours.

One of the reasons the game lasted so long was because of numerous reviews and TV timeouts--things that make the game better for those watching at home, but not for the fan in the stands. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I went ... but it seems like we've reached the point where media technology has made it easier, cheaper and even better to just stay home and watch.


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