If there was ever an era that can be considered the best time to get into sports, it would undoubtedly be now. Athletes nowadays are on a totally different tier than their predecessors. Right now, there are so many athletes who seem to do things on a daily basis that were thought to impossible a couple of decades ago, and sooner or later we’d be calling these people some of the greatest athletes of all time. From innovators like Stephen Curry and Leo Messi, to athletes who are nothing short of freaks of nature like Lebron James and Cristiano Ronaldo, this era is arguably the best time for someone to start watching and following sports. Aside from players who have already established themselves in the world of sports, there are also athletes out there who are breaking everyone’s expectations such as Luka Doncic, the youngest Euroleague MVP who is currently having one of the best rookie seasons in the NBA, or Madison Keys, a 21 year old tennis player who’s on the verge of becoming tennis’ new superstar.
Aside from the fact that there’s an incredible amount of athletic talent in the world right now, technology has truly raised the modern sports atmosphere into something unseen before. Nowadays, there are just so many stats that one can geek out on, known as advanced metrics to most sports fans, these stats calculate numbers that could have never been calculated 30 years ago. Statistics such as true shooting percentages in basketball or defense-independent pitching statistics (DIPS) in baseball, will make the nerd in all of us drool.
Technology has also helped out with errors in officiating that can make a spectator’s blood boil (especially if the bad call was made against your team), but now officials in most major sports events now have a trusty computer to help them out. For example, in football (or soccer depending on where you live), referees are now assisted by technology when it comes to deciding whether or not the ball crossed the line for a goal, totally eliminating of any frustrating calls such as the no-goal call against Frank Lampard in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Or for cricket fans, there’s this program called Hawkeye, which was introduced in 2001 to track the path of a cricket ball to assist the umpire’s in making calls.
Aside from technology being able to help umpires, officials, and referees from numerous sports, it has also greatly helped spectators enjoy the games from amazing angles. Gone are the days of blurred players and hard-to-follow camera angles, as professional sports are usually shot using HD cameras, and a lot of them. Take for example the NBA, during a standard regular season game in the NBA, there are 12 cameras, which show images on 150 monitors as seven staff members pick and choose what angles to broadcast. Or in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as in each group stage game, there were at least 33 cameras recording the match.
Getting into sports can be a pretty long process, as you’d first have to choose which sports to watch, which teams to follow and support, alongside learning all the rules of these sports. While choosing which sports to watch and what teams to support are things that are purely subjective, choosing how and when you’ll watch a game is pretty easy. For starters, most major sports are broadcast on sports channels, so you can just check the Sky Sports schedule to see if the game you want to watch is on, and if it isn’t, modern technology allows you to watch the game online through streaming.
While it may seem like some work to get into sports, the reward is priceless. The feeling of cheering for your team as the game clock winds down is one that is incomparable. That feeling of anxiety, excitement, joy, and anguish all at the same time can only come from sports, and not to mention the fact that there are so many new people to meet when you’re a sports fan, as a fellow supporter of your favorite team won’t think twice to have a conversation with you about the team. Trying to get into sports is far from an easy task, but the feeling of being a sports fan is unlike any in the entire world.