Following sports is a fundamental part of humanity. But catching every game can be a struggle, especially if you follow more than one professional sport. Although no one will argue that watching sports live is the best way to get the immersive experience you crave, sometimes, you just have to catch a game at home. So how do you get the most out of watching sports from the comfort of your living room.
Appreciate the Medium
One of the reasons we can enjoy sports from the comfort of our living room is that professional sports videography has gotten better and better over the years. It used to be hard to follow the ball as it went back and forth across the screen, but every year it gets a little bit better. In order to appreciate the high-definition sports viewing options, be sure to optimize your television for sports viewing before the big game. Motion processing or motion smoothing options fill in the spaces in videos, making the sport look much more realistic and ensuring you can follow the ball just as well as you could if you were really there.
Other steps to appreciating the medium of professional sports include getting a large enough TV that you can follow what’s going on and investing in surround sound. This will bring to your home the larger-than-life feel of the game that’s otherwise only available at the stadium.
Get a (Good) Crowd
One of the things that’s best about seeing a live game is feeling the energy around you—the bated breaths as a play begins to pan out, and the shouts of triumph or disappointment at the end of the plays. That stadium energy can’t be reproduced solo. If there’s going to be an awesome game and you’re stuck viewing it at home, you at least need to drum up a crowd to watch it with you.
It’s important, however, to get the right kind of crowd. If your crowd is full of sports casualists rather than enthusiasts, they’re apt to talk through the game and ruin your experience. If, on the other hand, you only get the die-hard fans, you may find yourself with a mini riot on hand if things go south. The best crowd has a good balance, with one-two die-hards, one-two casualists, and a whole bunch of people who care about sports enough to watch but don’t have their life’s savings tied up in it.
Bring on the Food
Food goes hand in hand with watching sports. At a stadium, you’ve got guys walking up and down the stands selling the essentials, and concession stands where you can get all the crazy foods your heart desires. So, if you’re going to really try for the experience at home, good food is a must.
You want a good spread of hearty appetizers and beverages. Beer and soda are pretty good stand-by beverages, but you can go rogue if you want. One of the biggest benefits to watching sports at home, after all, is that it allows you to have the snacks and amenities you desire.
Have a Stake in It
There’s a reason that fantasy sports leagues have such a big following: They’re fun. Fantasy sports leagues allow you to have a small stake in the results of games. They reward dedicated fans and people who truly understand the game while also allowing people who don’t know a ton about sports to begin to learn about them.
Fantasy sports leagues are especially great if you want to get your spouse into sports when they traditionally have not cared about them. By making it into a friendly competition, you can ensure that the good crowd you’re going to be inviting over to your house is there for the right reasons: To see some teams win and other teams lose.
We’ve come a long way from crowding outside in Dad’s pickup to listen to sports cast on the radio. These days, 4D TVs and high-end filming mean that not only can you follow sports from home, but that you can enjoy them from home. You can even rewind the TV yourself to catch a play you might have missed, or record the game and plan your party on a day that you and your friends are available to watch it together. More than ever, sports have the ability to bring friends and family together—and that’s a great boon!