No Cable! No Super Bowl?

Now that I’m a rabid football fan, I realized that I need a way to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Here’s the dilemma:

Even though everyone hates it now (is this still true?), I absolutely love Netflix.  A little bit more each day.  Which means that every day you see me, that is the most in love with Netflix that I have ever been.  I even cancelled my cable because I decided that Netflix streaming was all I ever needed, TV-showing-me-things-wise.

Ordinarily this is awesome.  Netflix adds new content all the time, and instead of mindlessly flipping through TV trash, I can mindlessly watch back to back episodes of carefully hand-selected trash.  Which in my case this means How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Cheers, and Bones.

But what happens when you want to watch a live sporting event?  Like, oh maybe, the Super Bowl?

Here are some options I’m considering:

1) Plug the TV right into the wall and hope for the best.  Via the cable cable, of course.  After all, the Super Bowl will be broadcast (in HD even) through the single-digit free channels, right?  But will I need a cable box to make this work?

Maybe in the future I will test things out and THEN blog about them so I can foster knowledge, not confusion.

2) Watch it streaming or  Apparently this is the first time ever that the game will be streaming, which begs the question – why is this just now happening?  Have we finally hit the Netflix-replacing-cable breaking point of society?  Is the NFL an old boy institution that has finally had its ivory tower breached by this newfangled streaming technology after years of espionage and covert ops?

At least one football fan over at BleacherReport believes that this will forever change the Super Bowl, and in a good way.  Apparently “fairweather football fans” have been ruining the Super Bowl Sunday experience for decades by turning it into a casual social event.  Now our obnoxious gossip and general hijinks will be handily tuned out with a phone stream and some headphones.

But I ask you, BleacherReport, isn’t it a travesty to watch the game on your phone instead of in full 46-inch high-definition beads-of-sweat, muscle-rippling, teeth-flying-out glory?  I vote Yea, which is why I’m hoping NOT to have to resort to this option.

3) Watch it in a sports bar or coffee shop or other public place.

Pros: Watching for free with tons of excited people without even having to make friends!

Cons: 1- establishments such as these were filled to the max just for the playoff games, so there’s a low likelihood of favorable capacity (though the local team isn’t playing this time, so maybe people will stay home).  2- I won’t have to make any friends (see also: the “Pros” list).

4) Invite myself over to a Super Bowl party.

Pros: Make Friends! Party! TV with Super Bowl!

Cons: Make Friends?  By Sunday?  All of a sudden I’m flashing back to the tenth grade homecoming dance.

5) Don’t watch the Super Bowl at all.  The chance of this is well above zero.

Best. Commercial. Ever.
I almost want to have a kid and a VW just for the purposes of reenactment (child participation mandatory).

Are you watching the game?  Where will you be?

Update: No Cable, No Super Bowl? Problem Solved!

8 Thoughts on “No Cable! No Super Bowl?

  1. With a small antenna, can’t you pick up tv broadcasts over the air? I think they are $10 or $15, and you should have lots of options in your area.
    or find a party or sports bar.
    We will be home to watch, mostly the commercials. Very small party, invited folks to help us.

  2. Ok first – I love Netflix. More and more everyday just like you. We didn’t get cable here and are relying solely on Netflix. And it’s actually Pri’s Netflix account that we are using so in essence it’s free! I love watching random things and messing up her recommendations. Try Downton Abbey if you haven’t already. Speaking of that, Downton Abbey is PBS show and we can get PBS with an antenna on our TV.

    Which brings me to my next point- why don’t you try an antenna? Most areas will give you like at least 5 or 6 channels, basically the major networks. We only get reception for PBS here but that’s because we live in an apartment basically made of cinderblocks and we are right next to a giant mountain (well as mountainy as it gets in New Haven) which blocks the signal. But in many other places that I tried with an antenna, there are plenty of channels. Go to and it will tell you what type of antenna you need, what direction to point it in, and what stations you can expect to receive.

    You could try plugging the TV into the wall but that will only work if the cable company never turned off the signal. But in every one of my apartments in St. Louis, that trick always worked. I just plugged in the TV and voila, we had like 80 channels. But again, it’s only because the cable company never shut it off when the last tenants left (the STL cable guys were notoriously lazy) so it may not work for you but try it and see.

    Now about the streaming online, if that’s true that it’s online for free – then your troubles are over! Why do you have to watch it on your phone? Just get it streaming on your computer and hook it up to your TV with HDMI. This is how we watch all new episodes of shows like How I Met Your Mother (NOT trash by the way) since obviously the new season isn’t on Netflix yet.

    As for me, we are going over to one of Ruchir’s friends. I don’t care for football but I do like snacks! I don’t peg this group as getting really into the the snacks unfortunately but in past years we hung out with people who really went all out! So maybe I’ll have to step in and whip up some good food!

    Here’s what I made a couple years ago:
    And what Pri made:

  3. Most of those shows I listed aren’t trash, but I think they kind of become trash when you watch excessive back-to-back episodes, and also start over at the beginning when you run out…

    I rely on Netflix so much, that I just wait patiently for stuff to come out (like the current season of 30 Rock and HIMYM) and then watch it a year late. This is a big reason why I haven’t started watching Downton Abbey yet. I’d prefer a few seasons to show up on Netflix before I start watching it.

    The HDMI cable is definitely an option, we just don’t have one yet so there’s a potential issue with shopping laziness there.

    I guess I never considered an antenna because that was our only option in college and the reception was so horrible as to be unwatchable. And in Seattle at least TV broadcasting switched over to all digital (I think) 2 or 3 years ago.

    Those potatoes look awesome! I’m not a fan of brie, but that’s a really creative concoction of it :)

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. Yeah antennas back in college had definitely bad reception. But the digital transition is great! It’s a common misconception that the digital transition means that antennas don’t work. The signals are still broadcast over the air except now that it’s digital, its either a totally clear picture or no picture at all – so no more fuzziness! Definitely try it, it might surprise you!

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