By Rob Ficiur
My wife could not understand why I was “wasting” my time watching a baseball game when I already knew who had won. Normally sports fans watch games for the excitement (and aggravation) they get when their teams wins a game. In our world of PVR, VHS and rebroadcast games, watching re-run games has benefits that many sports fan(atics) can benefit from. My top three reasons for watching Sports re-runs are:
1. Save Time – Fans dedicated to their team do not want to watch their heroes lose. An easy way to not watch them lose is to not watch a game where they lose. Knowing the score ahead of time can save you the aggravation of “wasting” three hours only to have your team fall short.
Forty years ago when we had only three TV channels and one or two games per week to watch, fans had to watch what they networks showed. Now with every game available via cable or internet subscription there are 82 NHL and NBA games per team, 162 Major League Baseball games per team – we have more to watch than there is time. Watching only the games you team wins can save time and reduce blood pressure for die-hard fans.
If you still want the drama of the game, then technology has ways of recording games and watching it later. If you PVR or Video tape a game, then you can still have the excitement of the game and fast forward through the bad parts of the event. (Bad parts being defined as the times your team let up a goal or are playing terrible). You can watch a full length game in half of the time it would take to watch live. Warning if you chose to record games and watch later – watch them soon. The scores of games you taped and are waiting to watch have a habit of showing up in front of you when you don’t want it. Friends may message you spoilers that take away the drama – so watch as soon as you can.
2. Why do people watch movies and TV episodes over and over? Most of us have favorite shows that we watch repeatedly even though we know the plot line from beginning to end. Why do we do it? I enjoy watching the defining moment when how Luke Skywalker defeated Darth Vador – (every time). Sometimes I will see small details in the plot that I had not noticed before. In a well written program those small details should be building to the eventual climax point of the show. Watching the first two times you may not pick up on all the leadins that are coming.
When watching sports live so many things are happening at once that it is you don’t realized the importance of one save or one hit until the end of the game. Here are examples from two games I have re-watched in recent weeks:
On September 9, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago Cubs 9-2. It sounds like a boring lopsided game. Re-watching the game (after I already knew the final score) I was impressed with the Blue Jays come back attitude. The Jays were down 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The team had left runners on base the last two innings and time was running out. The Cubs put in their ace reliever, Neil Ramirez who had an earned run average of 0.94 (which means that on average if he pitched nine innings he would let up less than one run). This ace pitcher was going to stop the Jays rally. Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista had two strikes on him when he hit a three run triple to pull his team ahead. The foul tips that kept the at bat alive – and the missed opportunities in the previous innings – add to the drama of Jose’s game winning hit when you watch it a second time.
Alex Martinez scored the overtime goal that won the Stanley Cup for the LA Kings on June 13. Re-running that double overtime game was entertaining in a different way than watching it live. Broadcasters at the time said it was the best overtime they had ever seen. As I re-watched I was surprised how many chances both teams had to score. Great chances were followed by even greater saves. In the second overtime, minutes before the game winning goal, Kings defenseman Slava Voynov deflected a Rick Nash shot into the stands. Re-watching that play I was amazed that the defenseman could deflect the puck with the width of his stick to keep it out of his net. Even though I knew who would win (and when they would score) the shots at both ends were exciting to watch.
3. Your Team Wins and Never Loses – (not matter who you cheer for.) When you watch re-run games your team never has to lose. When they lose you can simply pretend it did not happen and not watch that game. When they win you can watch your team score goal after goal (all you have to do is rewind and watch it again). Sports is not real life, it is entertainment. Since most sports fan(atics) are more entertained by watching their team win – then all we have to do is deny reality and watch only what we want to see.
Under this system Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers fans can both have a great hockey season. Both teams will win 90% of their games. The problem is when Unrealistic Oilers fan starts to talk to Unrealistic Flames fan their two make believe worlds will collide. The hard reality of what is really going on might be too hard for those sports fans who would rather live in their own make believe world.