Call me crazy, but during half-time of the FA Cup goal fest today between West Ham United and Burnley on FoxSoccer.tv, I remembered something I’ve been meaning to tell you. I like, with a capital L, the unique experience of watching and listening to the raw feed beamed by the TV producers during half-time of mid-week matches. While TV networks around the world are breaking to much-needed TV commercials, we sit and watch what is happening at the ground when the TV cameras are off.
During half-time, you get to hear things you normally wouldn’t. The loudspeaker booming as the stadium announcer introduces a half-time penalty contest. Or the murmur of the crowd, distinctly quieter than during the game but there’s still a buzz about it as people continue to chat about the first half they just saw. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can hear the TV presenters preparing for the next segment so you hear them have a chat between themselves or with their producer.
Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s not Academy Award winning content. Sometimes it can be boring if nothing much happens, but I often find it a pleasing thing to have on in the background when I’m checking e-mail and updating the EPL Talk site at the same time that I have FoxSoccer.tv on.
But still, I enjoy having it on. It’s comforting. It feels like you’re almost there. Or at least a lot more connected with the football club and the ground. I’m sure, with FoxSoccer.tv plugged into a large screen TV (thanks to the magic of HDMI cables) accompanied by a great sound system, that the game comes even more alive as the atmosphere drifts into your living room.
As a bonus, there are also half-time news shows with plenty of archive footage of great players and great Premier League games from the past couple of decades.
To me, watching the halftime broadcast is a great feeling. It makes me imagine that I’m there at the ground with beer in one hand, a pie in another as I talk with fellow die-hard supporters who eat, love and breathe in the game, just like me.
Don’t worry, though. I’m not addicted* to it, but I’ll leave it on whenever I get a chance (unless of course there are games being played at the same time or when I want to check the highlights of a Saturday 3pm GMT kickoff also shown on FoxSoccer.tv).
Thinking more deeply about this, I love half-time at soccer matches. It’s the perfect length (typically 15 minutes) and gives you enough time to get a drink, a bite to eat, a trip to the rest room and a stretch before you’re ready for the game to kick off again. There’s a chance to ponder your team’s performance. There’s time to debate hotly contested referee decisions or how crap the new goalkeeper is. There’s time to talk with strangers about our chances of winning a title or getting promoted. There’s time to let the whole soccer experience soak in.
So, don’t look at me in a strange way if you see me peeking at the half-time raw feed.
* Many of you readers may not have tried watching it before, so if you haven’t, give it a try a few times and you can see if you enjoy it or not. And before I forget, if you haven’t signed up for a free trial to FoxSoccer.tv, you still have time. If you sign up now, you’ll have free access until end-of-day Wednesday so you can watch the Premier League, Champions League and have access to all of the archives. Those matches include Arsenal against Stoke City on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur against Blackpool on Tuesday and Marseilles versus Manchester United in the Champions League. The Arsenal and Tottenham matches are live. The Man United one is available on demand after 5pm ET on Wednesday. Sign up today for the free trial to FoxSoccer.tv.