This past Wednesday, I headed down to Houston with Jason and his dad to watch Manchester United take on the MLS All-Stars. This felt, in some ways, like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For one, Jason’s dad lives in Hong Kong and just happened to be visiting. Also, United is a team that we actually follow (as in we watch all their games, pretty much) and out of all the places in the US that they could’ve been playing, they came to a location within driving distance of us. Yay!
I truly enjoyed the game. Seeing Ryan Giggs was amazing, as I knew it would be. Hubs scored us awesome seats, so the view was excellent and it was easy to see all the players and the action.
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that, for lots of reasons, live sports aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s my list of reasons why:
1. Screaming children. I’m putting this one first, as it’s the weakest one. Because there really isn’t a reason for a toddler to be at a sporting event. Particularly in the good-seat section. Nevertheless, there was a child next to us who was 2 or 3 and still sportin’ the pacifier. (Trouble sign #1.) Before the game even starts, there is a fireworks show that scares the begeezus out of him and he proceeds to cry for the next 90 minutes. Meanwhile, he and his frazzled parents have to get up a bazillion times to go try various means of calming him down. Naturally, that means they have to walk by the three of us… and one of us is pregnant. I’d like to say that I was led by the Holy Spirit and responding calmly and with patience and grace… but I was pissed, honestly. I couldn’t fathom how much they paid to listen to their child scream. Ok, enough of that. Moving on…
2. Lack of replay. Since there happen to be a few distractions at a live sporting event, you can easily take your eyes off the action for a second or two. Which, in soccer, is just long enough for the best play of the night to slip by unseen. When this happens, there may be a replay, or there may not. And if it’s a controversial play, that means you definitely won’t get to see the action, because they want the referees to make the call based on what they see, not the replay. So no rewinding, no awesome slow motion… just the knowledge that the kid next to you caused you to miss the best 5 seconds of the match.
3. Distractions, distractions, distractions. (In other words… people.) There’s the guy selling beer and “Pee-NUTS! Pee-NUTS!” There’s the guy buying beer, passing it over you. There are the drunk guys being obnoxious. There are the people needing to get past you every 2 seconds. There’s the wave. (I abhor the wave.) There are the geniuses who decide on a fireworks display in an ENCLOSED stadium, so that the first half is seen through a dim haze.
4. Uncomfortable seating. There’s no question here and no elaboration needed… my couch at home is far superior to stadium seating.
5. Climate. Though this wasn’t an issue at this particular game (Reliant did a great job of climate-control), we live in Texas. It’s frickin’ hot here. Jason and I had season tickets to UT home games a few years ago, and those first few games of the season were miserable. My couch, in contrast, is air-conditioned and shaded.
Those are a few reasons why I will rarely choose to go see a live sporting event unless, as in this case, it’s a really big or special game. What about you? Has technology and HDTV decreased your desire to see sports in person, as it has for me?
But here’s the view from our seats:
Pretty snazzy, huh?