We may not admit it to our friends, but we’ve all done it before. It seems sacrilegious to say it, especially on a soccer web site, but here goes: I fast forward soccer games. Gulp, there I said it. It’s true.
Let me add that I don’t do it all the time. In fact, it’s pretty rare but I have been known to do it especially when I know I need to be somewhere and there’s no way I’ll be able to watch the rest of the game I have taped before I head out of the house.
About five years ago my cousin was in town after coming over from England and I taped the morning match on Fox Soccer Channel. After taking him and his wife around town, we nipped back to my house to watch the game on delay which featured Tottenham Hotspur against Everton during the 2004/2005 season. We started watching the game and by half-time, it was 2-1 to Spurs in a very entertaining game. But as the second half started, my wife and my cousin’s wife reminded us that we needed to leave soon to do some more sightseeing. I began to fast forward the game ever so slightly so we could still see the action, but as the sense of urgency to leave increased, I pressed the fast forward button some more until all of a sudden goals started pouring in the net and we kept on missing them.
To my cousin, the look on his face was as if a crime had been committed. In a culture where there are so many games available on television, it doesn’t feel so bad to fast forward through a game in the US. But when you come from the UK and very few games are shown on television, it’s no surprise that he had a look of horror on his face. The way he looked at me was if I did this all the time, which I don’t. I swear!
In the end, the result of the Tottenham against Everton match ended 5-2 in favor of Spurs but the experience of fast forwarding so quickly through the second half definitely ruined what could have been a brilliant game to watch live.
But there is an art to fast forwarding. If it’s a game where I know what the final result is and all I want to do is to see the goals, I’ll fast forward with all four arrows while keeping a close eye on the latest score in the top left corner. The art of hitting play or rewind as soon as a ball has gone into the net is a fine skill that has been developed over many years. At the same time, out of the corner of my other eye, I’m watching to see if any red cards flash across the screen so I can hit rewind real quickly to witness the reckless tackle.
That’s the full-throttle fast forward. The conservative one arrow fast forward is good for a game where there’s a lot of stop-start free kicks or if a team is time wasting. It’s also helpful when the game is being played at a laborious pace where when it’s fast forwarded with one arrow, it more closely resembles the pace of a regular game.
However, I have yet to master the fast forward with two and three arrows. This, I believe, is a skill best left to the experts in TV land who have found a way to be at one with their remote control and unlock secrets that I have not yet discovered. Perhaps that person may be you. Or maybe I’m over analyzing things and the two and three arrows of fast forwarding are completely unnecessary.
Although I admit I have fast forwarded soccer games, I find myself doing it far less lately. Rather than beating myself up to try to watch all games, I’m being more selective about which games I watch and resigning myself to the fact that it’s impossible with my busy life to see everything.
What about you? Have you mastered the art of fast-forwarding through soccer games? Do you admit that you do it? And have you unlocked any fast-forwarding skills that you’d like to share with the rest of the EPL Talk readers? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.