There are three ways to follow a live game:
- Watch live
- Listen live
- Follow via Twitter
If you don’t have a TV, you probably experiment with all three.
The NBA finals is available for online viewing but if your TV and computer are the same screen you multitask as well. You may be working on a work assignment, reading the news, or following the game via Twitter. You might also be using a a mobile device to check the buzz on Snapchat or Instagram.
But if you listen to the game, something else happens. The mind inserts its own visuals. You have to imagine the Lebron power-dunk or the finesse Curry three, and gauge the ebb and flow of the game based on the crowd’s noise.
Interpreting noise inspires the imagination. No wonder so many people remember listening to baseball games on terrestrial radio. Noise invokes a dream-like visceral emotion.
Seeing reveals the answers upfront. There’s no thinking required. It’s a reactionary experience.
“Television mesmerizes people and turns them into intellectual spectators. It feeds passivity and makes you less engaged.” – Eric Braverman
The good news is that we have multiple viewing options, whether it’s the single screen, a second screen, or all screens (TV, radio, and mobile).
As for my own experience, I treat the NBA finals the same way I watch soccer: game on laptop and Twitter open on my phone, listening for the commentators to react wildly and then reliving those moments in GIFs or video on Twitter.
What’s your preferred TV viewing experience?
Update: There’s an official Facebook NBA bot that will provide highlights on tap. Pick a team, a player, and get the immediate satisfaction you desire.