Heartbreak On Bank Street

I can’t decide if I would have gone to the game if I had been in Ottawa. Playoff football is appealing, but cold. It was sunny in Ottawa yesterday, three degrees Celsius at game time. July is a much better time to be outdoors in a sometimes-windy stadium.

Being thousands of miles away on another continent meant I could watch the game from the comfort of my living room, though that meant there were other challenges. Not in the snack department though. If I had watched the game on television at home, instead of attending it, I would have had chicken wings and potato chips, with cola to drink. That’s what I did in Germany.

You can’t get Canadian football on cable television here, which didn’t bother me since we don’t have a television. I knew I would be watching the game online. That’s where it got interesting.

I looked online for options. There was the official broadcast, pay-per-view. I didn’t like the thought of that – paying for Canadian football in US dollars didn’t seem right to me. Don’t know why they did it that way. I briefly considered having a friend in Canada stream the game to me over Skype, but there were ethical and quality questions. Perhaps there were other online options?

Earlier in the week I looked at what was available, something I had never done in Canada where whatever sporting event I was interested in is available on cable television. If I didn’t have cable, there was always a sports bar.

My search led me to a whole new realm of viewing possibilities. It seems if you want to watch a sporting event online for free there are plenty of websites to choose from. But….

It seemed to me that all the options involved betting websites with a definition of free that included registering to use their service. I wasn’t interested. To me it is a foregone conclusion that one team will beat another, but I wouldn’t put money on it – too many variables. Casinos and gambling websites make money because people don’t calculate the variable or the odds.

There were a number of other potential streams that seemed to me to be hosted in countries known for a wild west approach to the internet. Those sites I figured would have lots of viruses and malware just waiting to hijack my computer. So I paid the fee and watched the game.

Sadly, the Ottawa RedBlacks lost, but that may change my viewing habits for the rest of the playoffs. Ottawa is hosting the Grey Cup in two weeks, but now the home team won’t be in the big game. I would probably have been there if I was still in Ottawa, but now what do I do?

I didn’t pay to watch the Western Conference playoff yesterday – it started at 10 p.m. my time. I didn’t feel like staying up that late when I have to work in the morning. I don’t know if I will watch the Eastern final next Sunday between Toronto and Saskatchewan, which starts at 7 p.m. my time. If I have nothing else scheduled I probably will.

The Grey cup though is another story. Normally I watch the game no matter who is playing – it is the event that is important, not the participants. But this year kickoff tie is 12:30 a.m. for me. If Ottawa isn’t playing, will I be motivated enough to be up at that hour?

What do you think?

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One comment

  1. Sleep!

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