Monday, August 08, 2016

Passive Viewing

Dipping into the Olympics here, as I imagine you have been doing as well. It appears that between the rack of channels coming in via the dish and the Roku, we can watch practically anything whenever we want, which is nice.

Funny, though, I’m still finding it preferable in the evening simply to tune into the local NBC channel and let the network decide what events to show me and when. I suppose I fall into the large category of “passive” Olympics viewers. I’m referring to those of us who aren’t super enthused about being delivered every moment from every sport, or even that curious about any one sport in particular.

The same is probably true for most of those who end up watching the WSOP Main Event coverage on ESPN. They aren’t hanging on every twist and turn back in July like some of us, and so it’s actually more palatable for them to watch the sucker get strung out over several months however ESPN sees fit.

Vera is interested in the dressage portion of the equestrian events, of course (which don’t really crank up for a couple of days). And I’m dialing up men’s basketball sometimes, too, particularly when the U.S. is playing as they need earlier tonight. But otherwise, we’re content just to let it play as ambient sound-and-image, looking up whenever the announcers’ excitement captures our attention.

Speaking of that men’s basketball game earlier, the U.S. team found itself tied 18-18 with Venezuela after the first 10-minute quarter. Was a sorta-kinda surprising start considering they’d opened up the Olympics beating China by 57 points and were expected to do something similar in their second game tonight. (The matchup with Australia on Wednesday ought to be more competitive, I’d think.)

Even so, it felt an awful lot like a much-outclassed poker player winning a few pots early on in a session, but destined to lose it all back eventually -- and likely sooner than later. Sure enough the U.S. outscored Venezuela 30-8 in the second quarter, ultimately going on to win by 44.

When games go in that direction, they, too, become part of the background as I do other things, only looking up occasionally to check the score and watch another U.S. fast break.

Image: “Play the long ball,” (adapted), Craig Sunter. CC BY-ND 2.0.

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