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Vernal Villan: Week 8, Watching From Afar

I totally love watching Villa. It's one of the highlights of every week. Even when they lose, it's a chance to watch a team I care fiercely about. But watching Villa can be a huge problem. Rather, finding a way to watch Villa can be a huge problem. It's something I'm getting used to in almost every sport. And what's a fan to do?

I support three teams with any true vigor: the Seattle Mariners (baseball), the Green Bay Packers (American Football), and Aston Villa. This wouldn't be a huge problem, except I live in Washington, DC. And I don't have cable. And I'm a grad student. So no FSC, no Sunday Ticket, and no MLBTV.

But I don't want this to turn into whining, and it's getting dangerously close. Instead, I want to talk about how a fan watches and follows their team, when they can't be assured of regularly watching their team. And I hope you'll chime in with ideas in the comments.

Firstly, it has to be noted that following teams as far-flung as many of us do (especially we Yanks who love Villa) wouldn't be feasible if it weren't for the Internet. I mean, can you imagine trying to keep up just through newspapers? The Washington Post runs an approximately 6-paragraph story on the EPL every week, and it doesn't include every game. And they're a (supposedly) major paper!

And even with the Internet, it would all be incredibly difficult without streaming video. For the EPL fans, we can usually find a stream somewhere. The quality differs, but it's still there for us to watch. This week, for instance, I had a stream that froze every 30 or so seconds, and quit on me if I switched windows (thus my near-total absence from the game thread). But I still got to watch it!

The same can't be said for my other teams. MLB seems to have cracked down hard on streaming, and the NFL is almost as bad. So I guess we're lucky in regards to soccer. We're living in a time when we can watch a game that's 7500 km away without having some super-premium TV. But how do you guys watch these games? Go to a pub? Have FSC? Stream? Just follow the radio feed at the ironically named AVTV?