Inspired by a recent thread; a GD-type topic to be sure but belongs here. I’ll get right to the arguing:
- Football: better in person.
On TV, while you do get the replays and such (which can still be seen on the Jumbotron), you are limited to the tight default angle, which excludes the secondary and any receivers running routes through it, thus I am almost completely ignorant of what kind of coverage scheme is being run or where Larry Fitzgerald has gone off to. None of this is an issue in person. It does make a difference where you sit tho (as it does in most sports).
- Baseball: draw.
Oh, you get a wonderful angle on pitches on the TV, but perhaps I am thinking of the ambiance of the ballpark more than anything else when I think of the advantages of attending a ballgame live.
- Hockey: live.
With the caveat that HD-TV may be helping to reset the balance. If you are in one of the first few rows players can be right next to you on the other side of the glass, and it doesn’t get any more intimate than that.
- Basketball: live.
Again, if you aren’t in the nosebleed section. Unlike most of the other sports I can’t think of any significant advantage that TV gives you-in hockey or football the camera can always be on top of the action, but in hoops the court is so small that you’ll get a great view of the action in a solid majority of the seats.
- Auto racing: TV.
Probably the best TV sport. I was at Indy for a Brickyard 400 race, stuck on the front stretch where I could see maybe 1/8th of the track; else, I spent most of my time looking at my stopwatch. Even at tracks with better sight lines (Daytona) you are often trying to follow something which may be going on more than 1/2 a mile away. At a road course forget it. Live’s main advantage is like baseball the ambiance.
- Golf, TV.
For similar reasons to auto racing, if not worse, because you can only be at one of the 18 holes at a time and with some notable exceptions can’t see the others. Yes you can follow Tiger around for the entire 18 if you want, but you’ll hear a roar two holes ahead and wonder if it was Mickelson or whoever who just birdied.
- Tennis, live.
Never been, but TV gives you little in the way of advantages-they stick with one of the two end line cameras, making it no different than if you were there in person. But being seated along the sides must suck because of all the head-swiveling you must do.
If someone wants to add in other sports that I don’t follow, like soccer or cricket, feel free.