Technology for Premier League fans
The football season got under way last month, ending weeks of moping around for supporters suffering withdrawal symptoms since Match of the Day and the banter of its host Gary Lineker disappeared from their televisions in May.
The first day of the Premier League season is a big deal
The first Saturday night show of the Premier League season is a monumental occasion for football fans, offering those who've been following their teams at other matches a rundown of the day's events from the comfort of their favourite armchair via their LCD TV. As recently as a few years ago, Match of the Day may've been the first opportunity people had to see the goals they'd only heard about over scratchy transistor radios while sipping flasks of tea and scoffing pies and pasties.
Thankfully, things have moved on somewhat: Advancing technology has brought with it a whole bucketful of new ways for us to enjoy football, with tablet computers, apps and bombastic 3D coverage now complementing the quick quips and snappy shirts of Lineker and his gang of pundits.
The mercurial rise of tablets and smartphones has seen the devices become an essential part of Saturday afternoon for many, as crucial as their retro striped scarf or their discreet lapel badge. However, what is it about the tablets and suchlike that's making people head for the wind and rain-lashed terraces with them instead of their trusty radio? It's apps, of course.
The Sky Sports football app enables supporters to check out live scores and statistics via their iPod Touch or tablet. It also offers the opportunity to view pictures of the games as they're happening, ensuring fans can hold their own when it comes to banter over that crunching tackle or ridiculous celebration.
Also supporters unable to resist watching the goal that destroyed their afternoon - it's like an itch you just can't help scratching - may be drawn to ESPN Goals. The app does exactly what it says on the tin - provides footage of every Premier League goal scored that day.
We could natter all day about apps, because there are loads of great ones. Time is, however, of the essence. If you are ruled by a ticking clock and are used to rushing here, there and everywhere you may well already be familiar with Sky Go. The service allows customers who're out and about to watch the match on a Saturday afternoon via their tablets and laptops - even though they're nowhere near a TV.
How about sofa football fans watching at home with mates and a few snacks? Well, advancing technology has changed things for them too. Recent figures have shown that sales of 3D TVs have risen dramatically over the past few months, with 3D coverage of Premier League matches thought to be behind many people's decision to climb aboard the viewing revolution.
So there we have it: The way we watch football has progressed alongside technology. We've gone from wooden rattles, flickering black and white TV, and radio coverage dropping in and out of signal, to glamorous and highly-paid superstar footballers seemingly climbing out of giant, flat TV screens in front of audiences bedecked in funny-looking specs watching earlier goals on handheld devices.
Has technology changed the way you watch the match? Comment below…