The Ultimate Fan Debate: Your Couch vs. Front Row Seat

Greg RiotAnalyst IJanuary 18, 2010

You’ve paid for a nice leather couch, a beautiful flat-screen TV that’s far too big for your living room and a satellite package that gives you every game you could possibly imagine.

The best part is that you can freely bet on the NFL playoffs using your laptop without dealing with the loud crowd. So why are you going to peel off that Italian leather and trod through hours of traffic and rowdy fans to plant your ass in a plastic chair to watch the game live?

Any real sports fan will tell you that you have to experience a game to be a real fan, but beyond that silly “man-tra” laid down by experienced sports nuts, I’ve got five solid reasons for you to get out of your house and in to a stadium."


Top Five Reasons To Go To The Game


5. Drunken Bafoonery

If you stay at home, there’s a great chance that your friends will do something so dumb while drinking that you and your five friends will get a cheap laugh.

Trust me, no matter how awesome you think that may sound, drunken idiocy is almost always way funnier when it’s in front of 50,000 just-as-drunk fans. Need proof? Fine.


4. The Tailgate Experience

If you haven’t experienced a live tailgate (especially if you live in Canada), then you have missed out on one of the best experiences of anyone’s life. Being a sports fan is one thing, but true tailgaters take it to a whole new level.

Case in point are the guys in the pic. Why stay in your living room, when you can just pack one in to the back of the truck and watch it on a TV made in the 70s…right outside the stadium? They even had the same carpet as my grandmother.

The other great part about tailgating? If you play your cards right, you get free food.


3. Seeing Is Believing

It’s one thing to see Kobe dunking on people, or Chris Johnson burning the corner for an 85-yard touchdown on TV. But if you haven’t seen it live, then you haven’t seen it at all.

Trust me, you get so desensitized from watching highlights every day that you forget just how incredible these superhuman feats actually are.

Get to a game, and watch LeBron play basketball and you will be thankful that you did.


2. Heckling

What’s better than cheering for a great team? Heckling a bad one.

If you love ribbing on your friends and making people you know pay for their mistakes, then imagine how awesome it is when you do it to people you feel like you know.

Getting to scream in Curtis Joseph’s ear while he sat on the bench during a Leafs-Habs game has been my favorite live hockey moment, especially because he turned to look at my drunken face three times and shook his head each time. It’s more than gratifying.

Live games are a forum where you can act like an unrelenting, unfiltered jackass and, as long as you’re remotely funny, people will applaud you for your comedic efforts. 

You might even get some sweet high-fives, and if you’re a true swear-free heckler, then kids adore you like you’re a combination of Santa Claus and the cool substitute teacher all wrapped up in one.


1. “I Was There, Maaan!”

My friend is the biggest, and most annoying, Spurs fan in existence.

When the Pistons and Spurs pushed a seventh game in the 2005 NBA Finals, he bought one plane ticket, booked one hotel room and bought one seat about ten rows up from the floor. The game was in San Antonio, and he’d never seen his Spurs play in their own house.

To cover his potential losses, he placed just enough money on the Pistons moneyline so that if they caused an upset, Detroit would’ve paid for his entire trip.

Thankfully for him, they didn’t win. My buddy saw the Spurs win in their own building, in a game seven and spent thousands to do it. Would he do it again? Absolutely.

That’s a great story.

For me, there are two moments in my life as a sports fan that I sorely regret.

The first involves my dad taking my brother to Chicago to see Jordan drop 69-points on Cleveland in 1990. I was barely a teenager at that point, but I begged him to take me instead. Big brother was his favorite so he went and I didn’t.

By the time I ever had enough money to go see Jordan play, he had retired. Now when people talk about the Jordan games they witnessed live, I hate myself.

Eventually my Dad tried to make it up to me by taking my brother and I to the U.S. Open to see Agassi’s last run.

“There’s a chance we might see his last game, if he gets that far,” was all my Dad should’ve needed to say. My brother was locked in, but that weekend was the same weekend as the playoff tournament for the U-11 soccer team that I was coaching.

These kids all came from broken homes, so I elected to stay home and coach them that weekend. We ended up winning the championship, and my Dad and my brother ended up seeing Agassi lose to Benjamin Becker, receive an eight minute standing ovation and deliver one of the best farewell speeches of all time.

These are my two biggest regrets as a sports fan, and the main reasons why I go in to debt just to see a good game whenever the opportunity comes up. The bragging rights, the stories and the “I was there!” factor are all priceless, unless you factor in the 18.5 percent interest rate…which you shouldn’t.

Be sure to read "Top Five Reasons to Stay Home vs. Watching a Live Game "