Sports fans tend to stay loyal to their favorite teams whether they live locally or far away, but it can be a bit of a challenge to follow along and feel connected from a distance. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that one can use to ensure that they aren't missing the big games and are feeling like they're still a part of the action. Here are some tips from Sports Data Now.
Root for the Non-Home Team
VentureBeat notes that being a displaced fan, or an away-from-home fan, is becoming increasingly common. Thanks to technology, it is becoming easier and easier to follow a sports team from afar and in many areas there are clusters of others who are rooting for the same team you are. While it can take a bit of effort to make those connections and keep up with your favorite team as if you were a local, it’s definitely worth it.
When it comes to catching the big game on television, it is not always all that difficult to find your team's contest without bending over backwards. Some leagues like the National Football League have moved far beyond a couple of Sunday day games, with NFL contests now taking place on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sunday evenings as well.
If your team is broadcast less frequently on a national scale, it may work best to turn to some of the streaming options now available. CNET details that some games are available via services such as MLB.TV, Sling TV, Playstation Vue, and NHL.TV. The NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL Game Pass subscription options are very popular and many fans turn to mobile apps via ESPN, CBS, and others to watch their games. But as Fierce Video explains, an increase in streaming and other televised options can make it hard to figure out who you can watch and when.
If you are a business owner hosting employees for a watch party, there are some steps you can take to keep your costs down. One big saver is to make the event a pot-luck and BYOB. Everyone can contribute some snacks to the party, and anyone that wants an alcoholic beverage will have exactly what they like on hand. You can even enlist employees’ help during the planning to give them some ownership of the party’s success. You may also want to rid your home of negative energy. Your team’s success may depend on it! Be sure to clean and declutter your space, and you might want to consider smudging with sage as well.
Finding Your Fellow Fans
Finding a way to watch the game at home is one thing, but for many sports fans, much of the fun comes from watching with others. Plenty of bars and restaurants broadcast out-of-town matchups and hunting around for these spots can be the key to meeting other like-minded fans. Some turn to sites such as Meetup to find others in their area who support the same team from another area and there are some Apple and Android applications such as FanWide and Rooter that aim to make the process easier as well.
Of course, sports games are about much more than just team colors and the score, as most fans like to eat and drink along the way. There are plenty of foods that are typical game fare, but for the displaced fan, getting a taste of something local to the team can make the event all the more enjoyable.
There’s something to be said for camaraderie and the community spirit shared sports provide. If you find yourself longing for your team’s hometown, look into rentals there. For instance, there are plenty of houses for rent in the Philadelphia area if you’re a Phillies or Eagles fan. In fact, you can find 3 bedroom homes that are perfect for sports parties for around $1,500. If you really find yourself missing your fellow fans, maybe it’s time to move back to your - or at least your team’s - roots.
Finding Fan-Favorite Fare
The Food Network scoured the options and shared some of their top picks for foods that are reminiscent of the cities where some of the major sports teams play, and fans can often either make or find similar dishes in their local areas. Something like Cincinnati chili for Cincinnati Bengals fans is a bit obscure outside of the area, but if you're a Buffalo Bills fan, it's never too difficult to find some good Buffalo wings. Making colored food (like red food for the Boston Red Sox) or sport-inspired cocktails can be a great way to celebrate your favorite team.
Feel Connected and Have Fun
It can feel lonely being a fan of a team that isn't local, but these days, there are plenty of ways to be connected to the team and to other fans. Numerous cable and streaming options exist to watch the games and technology is providing ways for fans to find one another to share their enthusiasm for their favorite contender. Whether you're watching the game at home with friends and coworkers or at a bar or restaurant, there are lots of options when it comes to eating and drinking items that relate to the team's home location and all of these details can come together to make one almost feel as if they're back home, right in the thick of the action.
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