The Great Tournament Debate: Where To Watch The Games?

March 19, 2009 |

So, here we are. Day One of the NCAA Tournament.
Everyone has their way of taking in the first two days of The Big Dance. Some people take the day off today and tomorrow just to watch the games. Some work, and get their dose of torunament action at night. Some hang out with their friends at the bar, where every game is on television. Some prefer the comfort of their own home.
I’ve done it many ways over the years. I’ve worked (which isn’t really work when you consider I either hosted shows or done updates during the games). I’ve had days off. I’ve hosted shows at a bar during the games. I’ve done remotes from minor league football arenas (that’s not a lie, but an indictment on the last place I worked).
Everyone has their routine. What’s right for one person might not be right for someone else. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. 
This year (for plenty of reasons, including my being in between gigs), I get to take in the first two days of the tournament the way I like best. Sitting at home with a beer in one hand, remote in the other, and my bracket sheet on the coffee table (with two hiliters to mark winners and losers). My apologies to those that invited me out to have a beer (or seven) with them.
You see, for me, the first two days of the NCAA Tournament are like Super Bowl Sunday. These two days are like Opening Day in Major League Baseball. I like to take it in on my own (okay, my wife is allowed to watch with me, but she needs to keep the talking to a minimum).
I have my reasons for wanting to watch the games like this. It’s not that I’m anti-social. Here they are:
10. Food: I control the menu at home (ok my wife does). But at least I have input. If you go to a bar, you might not find anything you like on the menu.
9. Crowd Noise: I’m a person who likes to be able to hear what the announcers are saying while the games are going on. When you’re at a bar, there isn’t much crowd control. I find that conversations or just plain noisy people can ruin my enjoyment of the games.

8. The Basketball IQ of the people you’re watching with: The wannabes tend to come out during The Big Dance. You know, the casual fan that doesn’t know what North Carolina’s nickname is. Have you ever watched a game with people like that? Not fun. At home, I don’t have to put up with that crap.

7. I’ve got the best seat in the house: I don’t have the biggest television in the world but it’s not bad (32 inch HD). I also have the luxury of watching it from my spot on the couch. The best seat in the house. I have an unobstructed view of the television. I don’t have anyone in my way. I don’t get that at a bar.

6. I can keep track of the other games: Unless you have super vision, there is no way to see the scores of the other games on the scroll at the top of the television that you’re probably fifty feet away from at the bar. At home, that isn’t a problem.

5. I have a DVR:

2. It’s a School Night: The games don’t end untill midnight. If you have to work the next morning. you’re probably going to be useless. Who needs that headache? So, once the games are over, my head hits the pillow, and it’s good night!

1. I can be comfortable: When you go to a bar you have to dress to impress (especially if you’re single). When you go to a bar you can’t look like a slob (especially if you’re single and are looking for Ms. Right or even Ms. Right Now). When you watch the game at home, you have no such worries.

Like I said, this is what works for me. It might not work for you, and that’s just fine. There is no right or wrong here.
Happy Tourney Day!

If I go to a bar and I miss something (for whatever reason), I miss it forever. At home, the good folks at Time Warner Cable have provided me with a DVR. So, if I miss something, I can simply go back, rewind, and watch it again.

4. I don’t have to put up with any boring conversations: Try this, go to a bar and watch the game with a group of friends. Let me know how many of them complained about their wives, jobs, or kids. Staying at home – well I don’t have to worry about that. We all have problems. Keep them to yourself. I’m watching basketball.

3. At home, it’s just about the games: At a bar, I have to worry about the people who decided to get plastered. Try watching games with someone who decided to drink.. and drink… and drink. By halftime you want to punch them in the face. At home, if I’m drunk, it’s my own fault. I have to put up with me. No one else does.