I Watched The Super Bowl Over The Air
I surprised my wife when I told her we weren’t streaming it. Cord-cutting is cool.
I’m not really a big fan of TV. I’m not even much of an NFL fan, either. But last night, as we do almost every year, we sat and watched the Super Bowl.
Prior to the game time, I did my due diligence. I searched around for ways to watch the Super Bowl without cable. I found that FOX would allow people to watch without a subscription and without cable. I also found that I could get a trial subscription to FOX streaming service and then cancel later. I even looked around on the apps on my TV for a way to watch the game. In the end, I just relied upon an antenna taped to my wall behind the TV and a tuner connected to the TV.
As I watched the game, I really had no skin in it. I didn’t have a team to root for and really didn’t care. I was just enjoying the slow-motion replays, the modern graphics overlayed onto the live video and that camera that hangs over the field. I remember the graphics they used to have in the 70s, and compared to that, what they do now is fantasy, lending an almost surreal effect to the game. The Super Bowl really looks like a video game now.
But as I watched, I noticed that there was a certain polarity to the teams. One from a very liberal state and a very liberal city. The other from a very Red State, and a rather Red city. I began to wonder how Trump would handle it if the 49ers won. I never did find out as the Chiefs won. I was a bit disappointed by the 4th quarter, but that was only because I had chosen a side.
I enjoyed the commercials, too. Great photography, interesting gags, and callbacks to old movies. I thought it was interesting to see Zach King, the special effects magician on YouTube in one of the commercials. I guess that commercial failed because I can’t remember what it was for.
But I have to say that the half-time show was really one of the worst that I’ve seen. The performers, J-Lo and Shakira (I had already forgotten her name by this morning) were scantily clad and made gestures that were very suggestive while singing and dancing. Jennifer Lopez appeared so young, yet she is not that much younger than me. Both of them gave forgettable performances. And I told my young girls that this is just an act and that normal people don’t act like that. I guess after watching Bruno Mars several years ago, he set a high bar for me and it’s been downhill since then.
I found it remarkable that throughout the entire game, there was not a single dropout, pixelation or other disturbance to the picture. That little antenna that my wife bought, combined with a very good tuner, brought in a perfect picture. That antenna can also get more than 60 channels of mostly junk TV, but still, the picture was impressive. I didn’t care if it was 4k or 720p, it looked good enough for me to enjoy the one football game I watch every year.
And with the antenna, I can check on the local news for the weather. Like right now, we’re in the middle of a big snowstorm with heavy snow forecast for much of the day. So I know I can check the local news right now for road closures, fires, big snowstorms, and other such mayhem, as needed. And I don’t feel obligated to watch live TV just because I’m spending $40 a month on a cable or satellite subscription. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore.
After the game, I checked on Twitter to see what Trump was up to. As usual, he congratulated the winning team, but in the wrong state. He seems to make minor mistakes every once in a while when it comes to sports congrats. He corrected his error after a few minutes and that was enough for me. But I was surprised at the vitriolic responses. In one tweet, the person called Trump a “stone-cold idiot”. I may disagree with Trump on many things, but one thing I am sure of is that he is not an idiot. I was kind of saddened to see that some of my fellow liberals can’t just let someone make a mistake and fix it without provocation.
I had a good experience this year with a completely free viewing of the Super Bowl. No subscription, no cable, no dish on my roof, and no monthly bill on my mind telling me to watch more TV with commercials just because I’m paying for it. A TV, an antenna and a tuner was all that was required. It was enough for me.