It’s my favorite sport to watch; in fact, it’s the only sport I watch on a consistent basis. But I think I’ll be doing it from my recliner for the rest of my life. I just don’t much like going to the games.
Reasons, in no particular order:
Stadium: long march and/or climb to uncomfortable seat–and I’m not even counting the weather as a negative, since I’m pretty hardy. Recliner: short walk into living room with dedicated, comfortable chair.
Stadium: bathrooms force me to miss action or join enormous scrum in foul-smelling wait. Recliner: bathroom is down hall, can pause DVR so no action is missed, and is as clean as I choose to make it.
Stadium: drunk, noisy assholes who believe they bought a daylong asshole license. Recliner: no one even gets in the house without my will to unlock the door, and no one who would become drunk and abusive is getting in at all.
Stadium: can’t see the action too well. Recliner: can see all the action, as many times as I might wish.
Stadium: subjected to garish, paid-for displays of ostentatious patriotism. Recliner: can choose my own level of patriotism, from total fast-forward to standing up and singing along with the anthem, without peer pressure.
Stadium: total cost of attendance exceeds $100 per person at the very least, at least for major college action. Recliner: total cost of attendance involves paying my satellite bill of about $64 per month.
Stadium: food is either great but leaves me feeling like a mooch (tailgating) or meh and hugely overpriced after a long hike and a longer wait (concessions). Recliner: food is whatever I decided it should be, prepared and obtained when and how it suits me, priced reasonably.
Stadium: either take a bus, or hike from an adjoining state, or park in a nightmare scrum at high cost. Recliner: walk from office to living room, for free, without becoming annoyed at anyone.
Stadium: pretty much stuck watching halftime show, as there’s nothing else to do. Recliner: either build up footage and fast forward through halftime show, or watch instead updates and commentary on the day’s action.
Stadium: for the introvert, four hours of hard work trying to forget that one is surrounded by a crowd of random people. Recliner: for the introvert, four hours of relaxation surrounded only by people one wants around.
Stadium: analysis provided by random clods sitting in vicinity. Recliner: analysis provided by professionals experienced in the game, and sometimes even able to convey insight and/or humor.
Stadium: phone calls mostly happen to other people nearby, who then must yell into the phone so we can all hear. Recliner: if phone rings, pause DVR and answer it in civilized voice
Stadium: swearing frowned upon. Recliner: swear at will without penalty, and without harming the sensibilities of any elderly people or destroying the fragile innocence of youth.
Stadium: many people whom it would be morally okay to punch. Recliner: no one it would be morally okay to punch, because people who need to be punched aren’t welcome.
Stadium: potential for ejection if one objects to abuse, especially as a visitor. Recliner: no abuse, no potential for ejection.
Stadium: people may stand up and want past me at any time, including during a play, to get more brats or nachos with plastic cheese. Recliner: if someone needs to go in front of me, I pause the DVR.
Stadium: garbage thrown at random, leaving entire place looking like a slum by the fourth quarter. Recliner: garbage thrown in suitable receptacles.
Stadium: decent seats usually cost one kidney, and student seats are usually crappy. Great seats require enormous wealth. Recliner: all seats are great, and are the same price, and I’m welcome to invite students to partake as equals.
Stadium: pouring money into the increasingly corporate college football machine no matter how expensive they make it. Recliner: only money pour is by having premium TV to begin with, and whatever sponsored fan gear I felt inspired to buy.
Stadium: all marketing, all the time. Recliner: fast forward through all marketing I find annoying, which is substantially all of it.
Stadium: when everyone else stands up, I must as well or miss the action, and I were very short, it might do no good. Recliner: when I stand up, it’s because I have a reason, and it never relates to ability to see what’s happening on the field.
Stadium: watch one game. Recliner: watch for up to fifteen hours if I want, taking in up to five full games.
Stadium: searched at gate like common criminal, Dayquil taken away from sick person attending game two thousand miles from home, foldable stadium cushions taken away from persons who drove twelve hours and spent hundreds of dollars to be there. Recliner: bring anything I want, including a blanket fort over my chair if I so desire, or my heroin and syringes, or Scotch, or a cigar, or cold medicine; no one cares who is in a position to object.
Let’s be fair. The stadium does have advantages:
Home crowd energy can be good, and some venues treat visiting fans quite acceptably.
One will not have to miss part of the game because the Pac-12 Netbucks, Faux Sports 1 or 2, or the Eternal SEC Pimpage Network did a bad job of scheduling coverage.
Lots of calories burnt walking, climbing, hiking, and enduring weather.
Some stadiums have gorgeous views.
Direct experience of traditions: the Stanford band, Jump Around, calling the Hogs, singing the fight song, snickering at people with odd objects on their heads.
To people for whom it matters, they get to claim they were present.
Some halftime events which one might want to see, one will not be denied in favor of listening to Lou Holtz give his opinions.
Petros Papadakis is not doing the analysis.
The compensations exist, but are not worth what is asked of one.