It's been almost a decade since I went to see an NFL game in person, and although I love the sport, I don't anticipate going back anytime soon. I greatly prefer the experience of watching the games at home, for several reasons:
Even if none of those were true, the NFL has just instituted a new rule that would still keep me from going to the stadium. Beginning today, they're going to pat down fans, TSA-style, as they pass through the turnstiles. I wish that a lot of NFL fans would refuse to put up with this security-theater nonsense and boycott the games, but that would backfire on me because if not enough people showed up to fill the seats, the NFL would implement its ludicrous TV black-out policy (no other professional sports league requires a game be sold-out before it can be televised), which would keep me from watching at home.
- They're free;
- I can record and watch at my own pace, since the timing on my DVR remote's fast-forward button takes me from the whistle that ends one play to the snap that starts the next one, making it possible to watch a 3-hour NFL broadcast in about an hour;
- Enhanced replays and highlights from other games;
- The pause button while I go to the bathroom (where there are no lines) or the kitchen (where the beverages and snacks are much cheaper);
- No idiots with their bodies painted in team colors shouting at the quarterback to "throw the ball!" as if the guy rolling out of the pocket hadn't thought of that.
So, to those fans who are still willing to pay outrageous ticket prices, put up with the crowds, and be fondled by a large man in a yellow "staff" shirt, I say the same thing I say to the players each week: thanks for sacrificing your bodies so I can be entertained.