Sports! You watch them. Why else would you be reading this site—unless one of your hobbies is reading about things that don’t interest you. If you are that person, I would like to meet you.
Anyway, there are lots of sports happening right now: football, basketball, hockey. I even heard a rumor that soccer might be happening? Who knows. There is no way to confirm that. With both college and professional games almost every night, it got me thinking: How do we watch sports? Do we watch certain sports differently? And how will we watch sports going forward?
Let’s start with football. (That’s also the first thing I say on a date.) People often watch football in groups. They have a party on Saturday or Sunday and have a buffet of food and snacks for everyone. There is a very communal aspect to football. This makes sense; it’s one of the most team-oriented sports we watch. It’s almost like we see a team on the screen and we feel the need to re-create it in our homes. That’s why at all of my football parties, everyone has to come dressed in a helmet and shoulder pads.
What’s interesting is that we don’t do that with basketball or baseball. (Yes, baseball still exists. But there are only two years left on its contract, so don’t worry, it’ll be over soon.) There’s an obvious answer to this, though. The seasons for basketball and baseball are too long. There are games on every day, and no one is going to have people over to their house three to four times a week to watch games. (At most, I can only interact with three to four people a week.)
I feel like when we watch sports now, we are almost always doing something else. We’re either on our phones, laptop, or just watching another game at the same time. It seems like more and more people are starting to have multiple TVs in their living room to watch sports. DOUBLE FOOTBALL. I get it—it’s cool. Do you know what’s also cool? Education. Why not have a nature documentary playing on one of the TVs while the game is on the other?
Are sports not entertaining enough for us anymore? Do we need to shorten football fields to 50 yards? Should the hoops in basketball be literally right next to each other? (I’m actually down for that.) Should baseball just stop?
What’s also interesting about watching football is the RedZone channel. It cuts out all the clutter and takes you straight to the good stuff. All meat, no vegetables. Back in my day, you had to walk stadium to stadium every Sunday to see what was going on in a game. Tickets only cost a nickel, and gas was free. Kids these days have no work ethic.
Personally, I would love a RedZone channel for every sport. Here are my ideas for how it would work for each sport:
Basketball: Cut into the games mid-alley-oop. That’s my favorite play in all of sports. I don’t care about anything else. My other idea: Cut into the games when the star players have the ball. I’m talking Lebron, Kawhi, Lillard, Kyrie, etc. Only because I want the games to be constantly cutting in and out when those players pass the ball, but then the ball gets passed back to them. Oh, what joy that would bring me.
Baseball: I’m thinking they just come in when there are two strikes on the batter. That way, you’re pretty much guaranteed that something is about to happen. I’m also not opposed to just having a bullpen cam. Bullpen pitchers fascinate me. What do they do all game? What do they talk about? Do they run errands during the first few innings and then come back later? We need answers.
Hockey: I know very little about hockey. But I do know that a Power Play is always fun to watch. But maybe for me, I just need someone in a little box in the corner of the screen explaining to me what the rules of hockey are. That would be great.
Soccer: I know very little about soccer. But I do know that a Free Kick is always fun to watch. But maybe for me, I just need someone in a little box in the corner of the screen explaining to me what the rules of soccer are. That would be great. Ideally, the same person would teach me both soccer and hockey.
My other idea for how to change how we watch sports? OK, hear me out. There are some games that are not worth changing the channel for. Honestly, there are some games that are not worth checking Twitter for. This is where my idea for a version of Postmates for scores comes in. It’s pretty simple: A person comes to your house to tell you what happened in a particular game. That’s it. Here’s how a typical interaction would look:
Postmates person: Hey, the Bengals beat the Bears 13-10.
You: Oh cool. Thanks!
Pretty simple, right? This would create a lot of jobs. Because to be honest, there are a ton of games not worth watching. But they do still matter for fantasy purposes.
Alright. That’s all I have to say on the topic. All in all, I think there are a lot of fun ways we could be watching sports, and I hope that maybe one day, one of these ideas will be implemented. If not, I’ll have to wait until I am simultaneously commissioner of all major sports. Last time I checked, that should be around 2035.