Listening to the excellent radio program This American Life recently on National Public Radio, I became deeply enthralled by a segment they played about an improv group from New York that often played mind games (which, for some bizarre reason, is something I love to do at times). In this particular segment, the improv group performed a time loop in a Starbucks Cafe in New York City and had several actors in on the skit where each character played a particular role over and over again.
The time loop got me thinking about how we, as individuals, often are so predictable. Many of us get into routines where, without us even realizing, we pass the same intersection at approximately the same time each day. We order the same items for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We listen to the same programs on radio or podcasts. And every once in a while we mix things up a bit just to change our routines.
The time loop concept got me thinking about how I experience Premier League soccer on television. Every Saturday morning at 7:45 you can expect I’ll be watching the first game of the weekend on television. There are some exceptions when my five-year-old is playing a youth soccer game, but nine times out of ten I’m watching a game and then quickly fall into my typical Saturday ritual.
That ritual I’m sure is different for many of you. And for me, it’s changed many times in the past. Currently, my ritual is to watch the 7:45am ET Saturday game on ESPN2, followed by the 10am ET match on Fox Soccer Channel and then the 12:30pm ET game also on Fox Soccer Channel. After that, if I have time, I’ll try to watch a La Liga match on GolTV or perhaps a Serie A game on Fox. Or another Premier League game that I taped via Setanta-i.
There is a method to my madness, and it’s something that definitely plays in the favor of Fox Soccer Channel. Because Fox is the only network out of the three in America that don’t include scores from other games (except during half-time, which is easy to fast forward past), I prefer to watch the Fox games. Otherwise, if I watch a 10am ET game on ESPN2 (when available) or the 10am game on Setanta, I can guarantee that both of those networks will spoil the joy of watching the other games that are taping because I’ll know what the final score is before watching that match on DVR.
So, right now, I’m quite predictable and often follow the same time loop each week of watching most of my games on Fox Soccer Channel unless the match on Setanta is a can’t miss game.
My Saturday routine didn’t always used to be that way. In the past, I went through spells of listening to the Derby County live audio stream before football on the Internet became popular (and I’m not even a Derby supporter. It’s just that they were on the cutting edge of streaming live audio commentary way before any of the English football clubs). I also used to listen to TalkSport Radio quite a bit so I could follow results from all of the matches. And for many years, I used to follow the text commentary for Swansea City matches to keep tabs on my favorite team. And I also used to participate in the EPL Talk Chat, which was a different (but pleasant) experience entirely.
As technology and availability of Premier League football changes, I’m sure my routine will change too. But for now, I’m pretty set in my ways.
What about you? What’s your typical Saturday routine? Do you watch most of the games on delay? Do you find yourself following the same pattern week after week, or do you mix it up? If so, how? Click the comments link below and share your stories.