So that's the next tip:
2. Get more, and bigger, televisions.
If you have only a single 19-inch television and you can't afford to upgrade, just sit a lot closer. If you get close enough to the set, it's almost as good as going out and buying a multi-thousand-dollar "home theater."
Sabol said he has to take the occasional pit stop, but even that is conveniently arranged.
"The bathroom's right by the set. If I have to take a piss I can still see the screen."
3. Keep your eye on the screen at all times, even when you are trying to trim a child's toenails.
Sabol said he sits in a "Relax-a-back" chair, a kind of recliner, but cautions that this is not for the novice. The worst-case scenario for the sports viewer is the unplanned nap. "Those are dangerous. I only recommend those for the more experienced viewers. You need stamina to do this. You need a good night's sleep. You have to be careful about having too big a breakfast, because that will put you to sleep. The trick is to have a series of small snacks for a 10-hour period."
4. Come to the television rested. Don't eat meals--graze.
(Sabol reckons that on a given Sunday he starts watching at 11 a.m. and doesn't stop until 11 p.m., at the end of the cable-TV broadcast. Before his divorce, his wife didn't quite understand that this was work, he says.)
Now comes the harder stuff, the actual watching--the seeing, if you will--of the actions on the screen. You must keep in mind that you are not directly watching an event, but rather are watching a produced and directed telecast of an event, manipulated by talented but not infallible professionals. To better understand how a sports program is put together, I called Rudy Martzke, the TV sports columnist for USA Today, who watches between 40 and 60 hours of TV sports a week on the 60-inch Pioneer screen in his family room.
Martzke is full of facts and well-educated opinions: The typical Monday Night Football broadcast uses about 13 cameras, compared with only about eight for Fox's primary game Sunday afternoon; Goodyear's Steadycam allows sharp-focus blimp shots even when the blimp is being blown all over the sky; the glowing puck used on Fox hockey games is officially called Fox Trax; Bob Costas at NBC is the best host in the business; and Al Michaels at ABC is the best play-by-play guy.
TODAY IN SLATE
Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola
Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
U.S. Begins Airstrikes Against ISIS in Syria
The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.