7 great reasons to be an armchair football fan this summer
Those who sneer at armchair fans don’t know what they’re missing – latest TV tech gives the stadium experience a run for its money…
Armchair fan’ has been pretty much exclusively used as a term of derision.
‘What does he know? He’s just armchair fan,’ etc.
And when you were watching on a tiny portable TV, checking other results on Teletext and relying solely on the next day’s newspaper for information, the comments were somewhat justified.
But thanks to rapid advancements in technology, armchair fans can easily recreate the big stadium atmosphere from their very own living room. They also have limitless football knowledge at their fingertips.
Here are 7 reasons why the armchair fans of today have reason to be smug.
1. You can see all the action from all the angles
Was it a penalty? Did that ball go out of play? Was the ball over the line? When watching in the stadium it’s very difficult to form an accurate opinion on close-call decisions.
But when watching at home you can analyse instant replays and see things from a different angle. Live broadcasts of TV matches can involve as many as 25 different cameras – you can even watch things from the same angle as the pundits with Sky Sports Tactical Cam.
2. You get an excellent view of the pitch
When watching live football in the stadium your view may well be impaired by that big bloke in front of you, and even when you do have a clear view the action may seem far away.
At home you get a clear view of the whole pitch. Cameras pan to follow players and the ball so you can keep track of things without craning your neck or standing on your tip-toes. They give a full pitch view then switch to a close up to suit the flow of the game.
3. The picture quality can be sensational
Combine a new 4K UHD TV with matches broadcast on BT Sport Ultra HD for some seriously sharp soccer. BT Sport Ultra HD is a dedicated 4K channel – delivering top-flight football with 4 times the detail of HD broadcasts.
Even when you’re watching in high-definition via BBC One HD, ITV HD or Sky HD, the picture will be much sharper than normal thanks to your 4K TV’s clever upscaling engine.
And then there are OLED TVs, which offer a superb picture without the need for any special content.
4. You can create big-stadium sound
One thing you can’t really beat about watching matches in person is the big stadium atmosphere. But you can go some way to filling your home with sound with the right home cinema tech.
Modern flatscreen TVs have little room for big built-in speakers. Enjoy the roar of the crowd and the thwack of the ball in high volume from different directions by adding a soundbar.
With several speakers inside a slim rectangular box, a soundbar upgrades your TV speakers with minimal clutter and set-up.
5. Live updates to vital matches a tap away
Other results are sometimes as important as your own team. The result of another match can be the difference between going home early and making the knockout stages.
Granted with smartphones and 3G it’s much easier to monitor other results from the stadium. But you can’t always be sure of signal.
At home you can watch one match on TV, listen to another on the radio and follow another online with minute-by-minute updates.
6. Get the lowdown on unknown players in seconds
At every international tournament there’ll be at least one player you’ve not heard of who mesmerises everyone. You want to find out who he his and where he’s come from before your mates do.
In the stadium you’re dependent on the knowledge of the bloke next to you. But at home, you simply have to pick up your tablet. Look at the line-up on a footie site, then Google the player.
Within seconds you’ll have his club history, scoring record and reports on whether pundits believe the hype.
7. Half-time snacks are within easy reach
Football grounds are famous for their hot pies – but getting your hands on one means trudging from your seat to the pie stand and then queuing.
At home, the delights of the fridge are just a hop, skip and jump away. With an American-style fridge freezer you have loads of space for match-day snacks – everything from deli meats and dips to drinks and pizza.
Many of these bigger fridges also keep different types of food such as salad and fresh meat in tip-top condition with air humidifiers and sealed cabinets.