It’s late January and my New York Giants, another improbable string of gutty performances and lucky bounces have set up an unlikely Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots. Now I have not lived in the New York area since 2006 so I have gotten used to using various combinations of technologies and strategies to follow playoff action. This article will, by means of recollection, offer advice on how to keep up with your team’s playoff run.
Four years ago I was living in Istanbul, Turkey when the Giants made the Super Bowl. I followed the run to the playoffs by listening to audio streams on my old lap top computer. I was in Sinaia, Romania when the Giants came from behind to beat the Buffalo Bills and secure a playoff berth. To follow the playoffs I purchased the playoff package from NFL.com. I appreciated the commanding win at Tampa Bay and celebrated finally beating the Cowboys. I considered it gravy when the Giants gutted their way to victory in the bitter cold of Lambeau Field. The Super Bowl game against the Patriots, however, required a bit more class than huddling around a computer screen. Through Facebook invitation I invited as many expats as I could find to attend a Super Bowl party at a small sports bar (that usually caters to soccer) in Beyoglu. The game started around 1AM and we tipped the bartender about $200 to stay open until the bitter end. That Super Bowl run was so miraculous and special that I purchased the NFL Replay versions of the game on I-tunes for $1.99 each. I still have them on external hard drive.
In 2012 I lived in Boulder, Colorado, which means that instead of staying up until 4 in the morning to follow a must win game, I now have to get up at 11 AM to watch Giant day games. For many of the big games this year, my wife, my sister-in-law and I usually head out to local sports bars. Our bars of choice are typically the Lazy Dog on Pearl Street, Baker Street Pub on 28th or Murphy’s on Iris. We’ve also been to Harpo’s on Arapahoe and the Dark Horse on Baseline. However, when we don’t want to go out, we still have options to watch the game.
Some games are streamed by Yahoo Sports. We watched the Giants first game against the Cowboys this way. With a VGA cable and a double-male audio cord we are able to put the came on our flat screen TV. For other games, there are still numerous streaming options. 2012 is the first year that NBC sports will stream the Super Bowl to computers in America. For games that aren’t streamed by the networks or the NFL you can try Veetle or Justin TV. Links on either network are shut down frequently but if you check out the comments section, you can usually find a link to another site, like rentadrone, where the game is playing. When I was in Turkey I had a friend who would watch games by torrenting them from Pirate Bay and watching them the next day. He would forbid anyone from tell him scores until he watched the torrent. I always found this cumbersome but if you want to re-watch last week’s games without commercials, torrenting is an option.
As a Giants fan I look for other ways to stay connected beyond simply watching the games. Yahoo Sports is my media outlet of choice for postgame coverage. I also have the ESPN app and the New York Giants app on my iPhone. ESPN lets me know when games start and what the final scores are in addition to providing access to highlights and postgame coverage. The Giants app provides video of postgame interviews and press conferences. Finally, one of the best parts of living in New York is New York sports radio. The best station for that is WFAN 660 AM. The day after a big win like yesterday’s NFC championship triumph over the San Francisco 49’ers I like to listen to the “Mike’d Up” program with Mike Francesa. There are two easy ways to do this. You can stream the audio from the WFAN website or you can do what I do, which is play it from my iPhone on the Stitcher app.
This year, to commemorate the Giants Super Bowl appearance, we’re going to throw a Super Bowl party in our apartment. Rather than mess around with the hassle and unreliability of internet streams, we are going get a digital TV antenna so that we can just watch the Denver area broadcast. I’m grateful that the Giants have made it to the big game in such style and I’m happy to be back in the US for it, even if I’m not in the Tri-state area. Win or lose, it should be a great game.