Sports better in person vs. better on TV

Inspired by a recent thread; a GD-type topic to be sure but belongs here. I’ll get right to the arguing:

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Soccer is definitely live (at least on US broadcasts, I don’t know enough about foreign productions) - there’s a whole ton of stuff going on (defenses setting up, players making runs, somebody sneaking to the back door) that the typical zoom in on the ball handler shots take out of the picture.

All sports are better in person for excitement and atmosphere. But ,they all are better for appreciating the intricacies on TV. Different angles and replays are much better than you get at at the game. All you have to do is blink or go to the toilet and you can never catch up.

American football is much better on a big screen TV than in person. It’s been several years since I went to an NFL game, and I remember thinking to myself, “Why am I out here in the freezing rain, when I’m spending more time watching the Jumbotron more than I’m watching the field?” In effect, I’d spent a lot of time and money to sit in the cold and… watch the game on television!

Ice hockey, on the other hand, is infinitely more fun to watch at the arena than on TV.

Long-distance cycling and road racing are definitely more fun to watch on TV. Unless you’re there to cheer on a particular person, there’s not a lot to be said for waiting by the side of the course for two hours before the racers arrive, watching them all zip past in a few minutes, then packing up and going home.

NFL Football on TV is better.

I’ve only been to one live NFL game (NYG vs. WAS) and there was drama.

Drama notwithstanding, I spent most of the game watching the JumboTron. We had 2d balcony seats on an end zone. Not much to see.

But of course, the Skin’s didn’t put up much offense. As usual.

Definitely agree with you in general, but standing at the top of a mountain stage or the finish of one of the single day classics (where there are usually tv screens) has its merits as well. Also, while I didn’t see much at all when I was in Paris for the finish of the Tour, it was kind of fun to stand with a large group of people huddled around a transistor radio.

I prefer football at home, but that’s pretty much because I’m a curse upon the Giants when I enter the stadium. I take full responsibility for them losing to a Falcons squad QB’s by third-stinger Kurt Kittner.

I don’t care much for MLB, and am not about to go out of my way to watch it on TV. However, I do go to a couple of Lakewood Blue Claws games each year – I love going to the ballpark.

I don’t watch basketball as much as I used to, but I still love going to games. However, going to the game is more of a side effect – I only go when I score seats in my company’s luxury box at MSG.

Football: For college, it’s in person. NFL, it’s television. Two totally different atmospheres.
Baseball: In person - no debate. Baseball on TV is boring (other than post-season). Baseball in person is an outing.

Football. Watching at home is better. I wouldn’t have the patience to deal with the traffic, expense, and then watching half the game on the Jumbotron. Plus, because of the tailgating, you have a lot more obnoxious drunks as well.

Baseball is a tie. I enjoy going to games although I’ll admit the Diamondbacks stadium doesn’t have much atmosphere. I also like to listen to baseball on the radio and will often stream games online to listen to while I’m doing other things on the web.

Hockey. While HD and a large screen tv help, hockey is best seen live. It sucks that the arena here is so far away that I only get to a couple of games per year.

Basketball. The NBA has gotten better about not playing just hip hop music at the games. Still, NBA games are expensive and they’re fine on tv.

Golf. TV by far. Talk about obnoxious drunks. Plus, you don’t really get to see more than one hole.

I think most big ticket sports are six of one and half a dozen of the other, except for basketball, which is far better in person, and football, which is far better watched on TV.

Golf is so completely different live versus on TV it’s hard to make a comparison.

Cricket is better on TV, because you can change the channel. :eek::smack:

I was at Daytona for the dual qualifying races one year in the 90’s and for the Daytona 500 the following year, while I truly enjoyed the experience and would go back again if I had the opportunity, watching a race on TV does have its advantages.

Luckily for me, at the 500, I knew ahead of time to bring a portable radio to listen to the broadcast of the race so you could know what was going on ( I was on the backstrech ) because trying to listen to the PA was useless.

Well, yeah, for England. Unless you like watching trainwrecks.

But I’d say it’s better on TV anyway. No matter where you sit, you’re not going to see half of it, when the ends change after an over. And because every seat is going to be at least 60 yards away from the middle, where almost all the action is, you need binoculars to get a good look at what’s going on.

Plus on TV you get Hawkeye and Snick-o-meter and all the other technological gadgets that have helped in telling the recent history of the game.

Rugby I have to say is better in person. Similarly to American Football you can see what’s happening away from the camera, when there’s space out wide n such. Also if you’re close to the pitch you can hear the hits in the tackle and at the scrum. If its an important match, like the Heineken Cup, then the atmosphere itself is amazing.

That said on a cold night in Musgrave Park in Cork at some random Magners League match, I sometimes wish I was at home. But then I just have another pint and it soon passes.

Of what I’ve been to:

Hockey- Live. I get a better feel for how far players are from eachother and the puck. The speed of the puck and the players is also seen. I can see goals happen live, on TV they rarely catch the goal except on replay.

Baseball- Live. Watching the baserunners in realtion to a ball hit into the outfield you can’t catch on TV. The only benefit of TV is watching the pitching.

Football- TV. Way better. The constant analysis, replays, camera angles, penalties, first down graphics make it so much more watchable.

NASCAR- TV. Every inch of the track close up. In-car cameras, replay crash causes, pit cameras, immediate driver interviews.

College football, definitely better in person. My parents bought season tickets for Texas Tech last year, and I got to go to many of the games. I hadn’t been to a game in years, and it was great (especially since we actually had a good team for once). There’s so much going on: the cheering, the singing, the sideline mascots, the bands, the crazy fans around you, and the action on the field. Watching it on TV doesn’t even compare.

They’re planning to buy season tickets again this year, but the home schedule is much weaker. Seriously, North Dakota? Both Kansas teams? New Mexico? Bleh. Oh well, Oklahoma should be good, and the Texas A&M game is always fun.

Football: Generally better on a big screen TV then live. Part of this is also living in a Northern clime where as an example going to a Giants game in December can be a horrible experience even when they are winning and it is impossible to stay warm. Even with a good exciting game in October with good seats I still find I miss too much of the action. In the nose-bleeds it is exceptionally hard to follow the game closely.

Baseball: Better live in every stadium I have been to except Shea. Shea has too many truly awful seats where you are too far from the field. However this is now a non-issue as Shea is closed. Even a hot miserable day in July with the Yanks losing is usually a great day. Baseball at the park is great. I even enjoyed freezing my ass off in Fenway last year despite the Yanks losing ugly. The game moves slow enough and the view from even most nose-bleeds is fine for seeing more than TV shows. I do appreciate the stadiums that do a good job showing replays on close plays.

Basketball: Is better live, I find B-Ball on TV gets boring. I tend to just watch the end of games when I watch at all.

Hockey: I actually liked it better on TV but I am no longer a fan. I just drifted away and never returned after the strike.

I am not a golf, tennis or racing fan.

I’ve often wondered if the results of a particular event would have been the same had I watched it in stadium versus at home or vice versa.

Yes, my ego is sufficiently big enough to allow me to wonder if my presence (or lack of presence) would have been enough to change the outcome of foregone events.

Golf is better to follow on TV. But, a fan should go at least once to appreciate the talent of a professional golfer. They are marvelous to watch in person. But the competition is far easier to follow on TV. You could be following a golfer and all the important action is going on at another hole.