By William Sissnik
Sports were never my cup of tea. I was the creative one in the family, biding my time with other talents like music and drawing. This didn’t change upon going to college; but as luck would have it, my roommate — a good friend of mine, don’t get me wrong — was an avid sports fan. Especially during Syracuse basketball and Yankees baseball games, he would not spare me from his outbursts of rage at every screwed up play or a victory yell whenever his team scored a point. This, obviously, was not music to my ears.
During our second year at college, we had the bright idea to buy digital cable for our sparkly new apartment. It was a very good deal: 200 channels for fifty dollars a month. I didn’t know at the time that the cable box would be left untouched unless there was a sports game on. Most of the TV I watch is now online on sites like Hulu, Youtube, or Netflix; so my use of the cable box was limited. My roommate, however, abused the cable box for all of its sports channels. During study times, baseball. During times where I needed a rest, football. And of course, it wasn’t like he could just turn down the volume or anything. No; when my roommate watched sports, he watched it the “proper and manly” way… at full volume. There had to be something better.
I talked to him about the possibility of watching sports online. With the amount of streams available around the Web — whether legal or illegal — it wouldn’t be hard to find the one game that he was looking for. He could even open up several games in different tabs if he wanted to. Not only that, but he could use headphones and listen to the game wherever he could get a signal around campus. The cherry on top was the money we’d save by switching to basic cable; 30 dollars a month in our pockets was nothing to sniff at. With a bit of prodding and threats of homicide if my sleeping patterns were further screwed up, he agreed to start watching more of his sports games online. Big events — like the World Series and the Super Bowl — were okay to go on the TV.
It really amazes me how the Internet has made it easier for people to get whatever they want wherever they want. Had this been a different world, I might have had to deal with the screaming and praising God every time the Orange scored a basket. But with the alternatives provided to us today, it’s so much easier for people to enjoy the entertainment that they love without pressing it upon others who don’t necessarily care. If I want to watch my British sitcoms, I can do it without having his sports noise in the background. Trust me, nothing is more distracting than hearing a primal yell at the Yankees’ victory while Effy is pulling more of her shenanigans. You’ll know the feeling when it happens.