On Thursday of last week, the day of game 7 in the Heat and Spurs’ NBA Finals series, I came across a status on Facebook that read:
I’m not one to butt into other people’s personal lives…and as we all know, what you record on your DVR is very privileged information. Still, I have to raise a few points here. In some ways, recording a game for later viewing is like recording a TV show. You can’t watch it when it originally airs, current technology allows you to save it for a later time, and you basically leave it to whatever TV gods may exist that the contents won’t be spoiled before you open them.
If you’re watching a recording of the final game of a thrilling NBA season and Finals series though, isn’t the intensity of each moment ultimately duller and the excitement just a shell of what it could have been? Even if you manage to avoid the statuses, the tweets, the people yelling on the street (yes, real word of mouth still exists), just the knowledge that every play has already transpired seems to suck the life out of it.
With TV shows, you can appreciate the twists and turns of a plot even years after other people have enjoyed them (witness: last year I binged on The Sopranos and The Wire, both from start to finish, and enjoyed the hell out of every “Oh!” and “Omar comin’!” even though I was at least five years late to the respective parties). Highly anticipated sports games like game 7 of the NBA Finals command a different sense of time and space though. These are real storylines, not fictional ones, and pretending to watch them unfold in real time even just a couple hours after the fact feels so un-kosher.
Of course, when it’s your favorite team—you know, the one that dictates what mood you’ll be in on a given day, the argument can be made that the rules of time and space don’t apply. Your reality only exists when the game is on in front of you, regardless of what the world at large already knows. Furthermore, there are diehards out there that don’t even care if the result is spoiled, because they still want to see each step of the way there. I get that. I even appreciate it on some level. But living in an alternate universe on the night of a game that decides everything? Hmm.
This philosophy is understandable when it comes to watching TV, but does it really fly in the sports world? Unless you’re a professional-level coach that’s watching tape for practice the next day, won’t a SportsCenter recap do just fine? I’m the type of fan that follows the game as it happens—if that’s not with a TV, then it’s with ScoreCenter, Twitter, or by running down the street to find a TV in a shop window. Just as a great deal of the fun in watching a TV show these days has become the conversation surrounding it, so too is the case with bigtime sports events.
Look, this is a touchy subject, and who the fuck am I to tell you what to do with your DVR. Its privacy levels should be on par with the kinds of emojis you send to your significant other. Here’s all I’m saying: aside from what’s at stake in a game 7, are you really going to miss out on all the Chris Bosh fun just because you’re working late that night?
As Garth Algar would say, live in the now.