Football & Television: The Joys of Technology

The Washington Post's Robert McCartney recently wrote an article discussing the miseries of attending a Redskins game. With technology as advanced as it is, he asks, what's the point of actually "being there" anymore? While we've previously discussed the advantages of watching the Super Bowl from home, here we delve further into what it is about technology that really makes the home game experience truly worthwhile.

We have crystal clear high definition 60" TVs commonplace in most every living room across America with which to see every little tiny detail in super slow motion as we argue if the player's knee was down before be crossed the goal line. We can see the plays actually break down in widescreen as receivers run their predetermined routes. During the regular season we can even watch multiple games at one time!

With our universal remote controls in hand we can pause and resume the action anytime we choose, even fast forwarding through those pesky commercials. Missed a play? Just rewind and watch it again, as many times as you like, in real time or slow motion. With RF remotes we don't even have to point at anything. With motion sensitive remotes we don't even have to press anything, just vaguely wave our hand, and presto, the channel changes. There are touchscreen remotes and even smartphones to replace the need for a separate remote.

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5.1 or even more loudspeakers blast every audible detail to us, with hyper-sensitive microphones picking up even the most discrete quarterback audibles. Or if you prefer to shut off the ramblings of Joe Theismann there's an easy MUTE button, which also comes in handy if you've got to take a phone call or need to hear what your gathered friends have said instead of just nodding after a third "WHAT?" Sometimes they even let us hear what the refs and players are saying in the game. It's always fun to hear the unguarded things that are being said on the field without the people saying them realizing that millions of fans (and the league's heavy-handed commissioner) just heard them.

Large screen computers and high speed internet are always at hand to check stats and scores. Fantasy roster changes, trades, and pickups are easily taken care of in a hurry without fumbling on your tiny smartphone while you should be watching the game that you're there in person for.

Our couches are comfy, the bathroom is within a quick commercial break, the beer is cheap and on-hand, and the food much much better (assuming you can cook or order out). The company is vetted and better, the commute is shorter, and the temperature perfect. Zero chance of rain for today's game (unless your less than perfect cooking sets off the sprinklers, that is).

Ah, game day, and the wonders of technology. It's no wonder more than 200 million unique viewers watched the NFL in 2011, as the stay at home experience just keeps getting better and better.

(Images: DirecTV, Shutterstock/txking)