As fans of the National Football League those of us who have teams that are local can choose between attending the game in person or watching on television. Until recently, most fans fortunate enough to be able to get tickets would choose the stadium over television. With rising ticket prices, stadium logistics and the advancements in television technology many are beginning to forego going to the stadium. They opt instead to buy large screen high-definition televisions and watch the games at home.
Which begs the question which is better watching a football game at the stadium or on television?
Football is one of the few games which translates well live and on television so fans have the best of both world's when making this choice. However there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
First the fans who attend games must pay for their tickets. Add parking and concessions and it becomes pretty pricey.
The fan who watches on television pays a high price for high definition, but gets much more use out of their TV than the fan who goes to a game does from their ticket. And they can stock their refrigerator and go to it when they want.
When attending a game one must allow time for travel. They have to figure out how long it takes to get to the stadium, how much traffic they will have to fight and how long it will take to park. Then they have to figure out how long it will take them to get out of the parking lot afterwards.
The fan who watches on television simply has to turn on their TV at game time.
The fan who attends the game may have a good seat close to the action or they may not. They may be able to see how plays develop and keep up with the game or may not. Only those on the field can really get a feel for the speed of the game, but the fan in the stands sees a faster game than the one watching at home.
The fan at home always has a good seat. The television camera is always close to the action and on top of things. The TV fan gets plays from different angles on instant replay. They have every play broken down for them by analysts and get a better picture of what just happened and what might happen later.
The fan who attends the game has to account for weather. In most cities without domed stadiums the season starts out in the heat of summer and ends in the freezing cold of winter. There is the bright sun to deal with in the beginning and chilling cold and wind in the fall and winter.
The fan at home has climate control from the first game of the season to the last. They can turn on the air conditioner in the summer and the heat in the winter.
The fan who attends the game gets the benefit of communing with other fans around them. They are able to share moments and memories with them. They are able to form a bond through rooting for ones team.
The fan at home can invite their friends over and do the same. They can even have them bring food and drink over which is cheaper than stadium concessions.
The fan who attends games takes the risk of having to deal with rowdy fans. One has to be careful what outfits they wear and who they cheer for. One also has to watch out for the fan who drinks too much.
The fan at home can wear whatever they want and invite or not invite whoever they want to watch with them. And if someone gets too out of hand they can send them home. They can also monitor how much alcohol is consumed while watching the game.
The fan who goes to the game has no choice, but to watch it. Whether the game is close or it is a blowout. Whether their team is winning or losing. Whether the game is boring or exciting. It is the only game that they can watch.
The fan at home can change the channel if they'd like. They can also buy a satellite dish and watch every game, every Sunday for far less than it costs to buy season tickets to the local team. The stay out home fan has many more options than the fan who attends the game.
In conclusion, one could make the case that television has surpassed the stadium experience. Though one can never know what it is like being at a sporting event unless they experience it, television has made it so much easier for fans to just opt to stay at home.
There will always be fans who attend NFL games. What is old to one person is new to someone else. Also, there are those who would rather be at the game.
But those who stay at home and watch on television may not be missing much.
They may be actually getting the most out of watching the game.