I was recently watching Hardwood Classics, a show that replays NBA classics, and, despite the quality of the game itself, I was suprised at how slow the experience seemed to be. In fact, I had difficulty staying on the channel even though I was very interested in the game (Boston vs LA). At first I could not figure out why it seemed that way, but after going to a Yankee game the other day and having the same feelings of boredom there as well, I suddenly realized what it was: very few replays.
That got me thinking about of much technology has influenced our viewing experiences. While I am well aware that technology and sports have always gone hand in hand (every team, after all, looks for a competitive advantage, something which technology often can assist in) I never paid attention to just how much it effects the viewing experience. Replays, for example, have become so common in sports that after virtually every play the network shows them -in fact, even the players use them during the game as they often look up at the big screen after a foul (usually to complain that there wasn’t one). They have become so common that without them I can hardly enjoy watching the sport. In essence, they have become as much a part of the sport as the actually play itself. So much so, that when I actually go to the arena or ballpark, I feel like I am missing a huge piece of the experience.
So I’m asking myself and everyone else: What exactly about sports do we love? Is it the game or the representation of that game? As a huge sports fan, I used to always think it was a pure love for the game that drove me to watch and buy tickets. Now I think it is probably both, if not more so the experience around it.