Zen And The Art Of Fast-Forwarding Through Soccer Games

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.

18 thoughts on “Zen And The Art Of Fast-Forwarding Through Soccer Games”

  1. Yep… Don’t tell anyone, but I do the same thing. To be honest, there are so many great games and so little time. I usually chose to watch one game on the weekend stat to finish – preferably live – and the fast forward the others. It’s true. Shoot me.

  2. Yes, grasshopper, you must master the art of the fast forward. I record and watch so many games, that sometimes I just have to do it. There’s no getting around it. I prefer to use just the slowest fast-forward on the DVR because that still allows me to see all of the action, albeit they look like they are in a 1920s movie.

    I reserve the four-arrow fast-forward for matches that are boring me or if I already know the outcome. I rarely watch matches when I already know the outcome, and it’s getting harder and harder to avoid scores these days.

    My favorite is the 30 second skip button. I use that frequently, especially on matches that are slow and laborious.

    I would never fast-forward through one of Pompey’s matches, nor an important Champions League match. I intend to record the World Cup matches this summer, and will have to fast-forward through some of them just to get them all in.

  3. Guilty…..during the week I have no other choice at times to fast forward. Get home from work, help and check homework, sign agendas for kids, pack lunches, pick out clothes, clean the house, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, clean the dog (Rooney) after he gets in the mud, help with dinner, clean the house again, try and squeeze a workout in….well you get the point. Sometimes life takes over. It definitely makes the matches that I get to watch in full that much more enjoyable. What did we do before DVR, I can’t imagine not being able to record matches!

  4. I fast forwarded through the last half hour of Liverpool’s game this weekend, after United had taken the lead and I held little hope that the real Reds could mount any comeback.

    I hate to do that. I try to track down Match of the Day every week so they can do all the editing for me.

  5. HA HA, I think everyone has done it, you just have to these days. There are two types of FF, the one when you FF through stoppages for “injuries”, walls being set, etc. and then there is the nuclear option – when you FF until you see grown men embrace and the number on the corner of the screen has changed to prompt a stop & reverse course. The down side is, you miss the spontaneous thrills of moments like the Portsmouth comeback against Stoke.

  6. I’ll sometimes fast-forward if I’ve recorded a game specifically because of a Yank player, who turns out not to make the starting lineup. I’ll zip through the match up to the point where I see him getting subbed in, and watch from there.

    This usually happens when I’ve got three or four games taped on a Saturday or what have you.

  7. Just as an aside: Is there a problem now with this site’s cookies? My user name is not getting saved in the comment field like it used to. (Have to type it in every time now.)

    1. Detroit, good catch. I thought I was the only one experiencing that. Let me check with the developer to find out why it’s not saving the fields.

      The Gaffer

  8. Gaffer, not only did you get pulled away from the game by your wife but your cousin’s wife on top of it….sad but true. No need to fast forward if you lay down the law.

  9. Yup, me too. Just don’t have time to watch the games straight through. I do it most with Champions League games. Tues & Wed I don’t get home until after 8pm both nights. Otherwise the full games stack up on my DVR for weeks until I have time to get to them.

  10. I have a problem sometimes when I know the game has already been played and that FF button is sitting there to allow to know what happens and get on to something more (or less) productive.

    I’m almost to the point where I might need to take the batteries out of the remote once I start the game just so I don’t get tempted to skip forward.

  11. I use the 30 second skip button. I usually hit that every time the ball goes out for a goal kick or a throw to a team deep in their own half.

  12. I watch a select few games on the weekend and then I watch the Premier League Review Show. It does all the fast forwarding for you and you never miss anything important. I love it, it doesn’t just show goals like other highlight shows do, it shows many parts of the game including goal-scoring chances and bookings, so you get a feel for the flow of the game and you don’t have to fast forward, it’s awesome.

    1. I like UEFA.com’s Replay mode of CL and Europa League matches, which give you the option of 1st and 2nd half individual replays (cutting out halftime) and an option for Extended Highlights (10-20 mins for CL matches, more than enough to get the “feel” of the game without watching all 90 minutes of it). I haven’t seen either, but if Premier League Review Show and/or Match of the Day are able to provide 10-20 minute highlights of each EPL match and get that same “feel,” then that’s a great alternative to DVR and FF. Also allows you to choose which matches are worth the 90 minute investment of time.

  13. To be honest, I do it as well. In fact, in today’s world, who doesn’t?

    At any rate, the vast majority of the time, I’m in class during the afternoon weekday matches and watch the live texts on Yahoo Eurosport. I have my DVR set to record UEFA matches and the mid-week EPL matches, but I generally just don’t have time to sit down and watch the 90+ minute matches. Generally, after reading the match live, I’ll fast forward to key points in the match, goals, penalties, important segments, you know, the highlights essentially. At any rate, that’s what I do when it comes to FF-ing through.

  14. I make my wife come into the room and watch the score as I look away when I fast forward through a game. She will tell me when a team scores and then I rewind it for a couple seconds so I can see the build up of the goal and be suprised on which team scores it.

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