By passionate Buffalo Bills fan, Patti Bax
Hello Sports fans, and welcome back to the IE Sports Radio Blog. At 8 PM on Thursday, May 11th, football fans around the world anxiously awaited the release of the official NFL schedule. The international games, held in London and Germany, were announced on May 10th, just enough to whet the appetites of fans waiting to hear if they should renew their passports. Fans also tuned in to find out how many prime-time games their team would play. One? Two? Three or more?
Now that we all know the schedule, even more questions enter the minds of rabid football fans. What games should I watch on TV? What away games should I attend? How do I budget for all the away games calling my name? Should I stay or should I go? Since the blackout rule is no longer in effect, it’s much easier to watch your team play in the comfort of your living room. However, there is nothing like the fan experience in your home stadium, cheering with thousands of other fans who have become one family, and experiencing firsthand the ebbs and flows of the game.
So, what are the pros of staying home versus attending games in person? When you’re streaming or watching the game on television, you can be at home alone, with friends, or join other fans at local public venues. For fans impacted by weather conditions, you don’t have to worry about snow, rain, or wind. In the winter months, you don’t need to be concerned about “layering up” and wearing snow boots.
You also have access to all the food and drinks you want without breaking your pocketbook. Just think about the variety of food choices compared to what might cost a fortune at a game. When you leave your couch for a snack or bathroom break, you don’t need to worry about standing in line or missing the best plays of the game. Other benefits include saving gas money, parking fees, and of course time stuck in traffic before and after the game.
The question is, do the benefits of staying home outweigh those of attending a game in person?
According to U.S. Census Bureau surveys, Americans have been spending less time with friends and more time alone since before the pandemic, only intensifying the sense of social isolation. Attending a game live can change this while providing added health benefits. A new study of over 7,200 people published in Frontiers in Public Health found watching live sports increases feelings of well-being. Increased life satisfaction, a greater sense of life being worthwhile, and reduced loneliness, were all reported to be benefits of attending live sporting events.
When you think about your own personal experiences being in a crowd with your blood pumping, and sometimes fist-bumping and hugging complete strangers, bonded by the love of the team, the feelings are undeniable. “Watching live sport of all types provides many opportunities for social interaction and this helps to forge group identity and belonging, which in turn mitigates loneliness and boosts levels of well-being,” reports lead author Helen Keyes, PhD, head of the school of psychology and sport science at Anglia Ruskin University.
As I grow older, I appreciate how fast life comes at you, and how you may not always have an opportunity to travel. You are only guaranteed today, and this is the reason they call it the present. When traveling to see your team play in other cities, you create memories of a lifetime, affording you the chance to reflect on those special moments, and smile. Now, as you look over your team’s NFL schedule, create a “wish list” of places you would like to visit and cheer on your team. As a huge Bills fan, I would love to attend the Bills games in London and Washington. Now to make this a reality!
With all the identified benefits of attending a game in person, don’t think twice about the decision to cheer on your team in person. Should you stay or should you go? The answer is up to you. Maybe my poem below will help you make up your mind.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
By Patti Bax
The anticipation is over, and the NFL schedule is out for all to see.
Of course, there are home games and away games, and neither are free.
You can sit on your couch and cheer from the comfort of your home.
You can attend a game in your team’s own stadium, which may or not be a dome.
Or, you can visit other cities and stadiums, with fans just like you.
It might be a place you have been to before, or a place which is new.
Whatever decisions you make to cheer on your team,
An away game adventure can fulfill a lifelong dream.
Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I welcome your thoughts and comments, and please feel free to tweet me at @BuffaloHudl_IE. For more sports content, don’t forget to listen to our IESR family. Join in the fun by listening to all the podcasts. Huddle up with me on Tuesday nights at 7pm EST, for The Buffalo Huddle W/Patti Bax! Shout out to our patreon supporters for their unwavering support, and all you loyal listeners that continue to help IESR grow. Thank you for reading, and we will see you next time on IE Sports Radio; your direct feed for ALL that is sports.