How are OU Students Watching Professional Sports?

As an upperclassman living off-campus who can’t afford over-priced cable packages, my boyfriend and I found ourselves at Buffalo Wild Wings on Union St. watching game three of the MLB World Series. Not to mention, beer and wings are always welcome while enjoying America’s favorite pastime. Now as the NFL season is in full-swing and basketball season approaches, students everywhere are getting creative when it comes to finding ways to watch their favorite teams.

Online streaming has become a very popular way for students and people everywhere to access professional sporting events. For students whose ride-or-die teams are out of the homestretch of Athens, OH, streaming services especially come in handy. Depending on the service students choose to use, some even have the option to stream on their smartphones at any location.

I watch (the game) on my phone and scare my roommates,” said passionate Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Kelsie Malloy. 

635748128968195773-NFLSundayTicket.TV-UDirecTV has created a promotion package that makes it easier for college students away from home to watch their home teams play. This promotion is called NFLSundayTicket.TV U and offers a discounted subscription for students to watch a full season of games via any streaming device of their choosing. The subscription requires students to be attending  a four-year university and confirms student enrollment by finding potential subscribers under student record. So, there’s no way anyone can pose for a student discount.

Although streaming is convenient, most quality services cost a fee of some sort. That doesn’t stop some students from finding the game.

“I download live stream links along with multiple computer viruses,” said Allyson Clifton, Ohio University junior and Cincinnati Bengals fan.

So it’s important to be careful when trying to (illegally) stream a game online.

The off-campus residents who actually pay for cable are few and far between. However, those who do have it for the main purpose of watching sports. These passionate fans bite the bullet of pricy cable packages out of love for their teams, although they’re still not happy about the bill that arrives in the mail box.

“I do watch them at home,” said Cleveland Browns fan Ben Rottersman, “the fact that I have to bundle to get what I want is outrageous.”

Some students say that a football game isn’t complete without a bar full of fellow fans surrounding them. Others disagree and think that groups of drunk football fans are too extreme and overwhelming.

Photo Cred: Cleveland.com
Photo Cred: Cleveland.com

Although Rottersman watches most football games in the comfort of his living room sofa, he still joins other Browns fans at Cat’s Eye Saloon on Court St. every Sunday. “It’s an official Browns backer bar, part of the Browns organization,” he said.

Even though she’s also a Browns fan, Allison Danielle said the bars are always too crowded. “I watch ESPN on my computer,” she said.

Most people who do go Uptown to watch football, find a bar and stick to it. Many of the bars are known for being representative of a certain NFL team. So when game day nears, be sure not to stumble into the wrong bar with the wrong name and number on your back.

Ohio Hockey Fans Convert from Land to Ice

Every time the Ohio Hockey team scores a goal, hockey super fans run a lap around Bird Arena, decked out in green, waving a hockey stick flag to rally the crowd.

This year, the hockey-crazed students who dub themselves Gang Green have gotten some help running these laps regardless of how well the Bobcats score that night.

“We now have a large group of children who follow us around the ice each game,” Thomas Fankhauser II, the president of Gang Green, said.

Fankhauser said the group adds another runner with each consecutive goal scored, which is only one of the many traditions passed down that Bobcat fans look forward to  while watching a game.

When at an Ohio Hockey game, expect a Gang Green instigated “YMCA” dance along with Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in between periods. The songs are what Fankhauser considers fan favorites.

“It’s a different atmosphere,” Michael Lively, a junior studying communication studies, said. “You can go to every game at OU for free, but (at Bird Arena) it’s sold out every game.

Though a goalie for Division II Ohio Hockey, Lively said the team is usually in the stands supporting Division I and vice versa. Getting a little of both worlds as a spectator and a player, Lively said the crowds at DI games are “energetic” and “the good kind of crazy.”

The crowd, Gang Green included, does not hesitate to yell and scream whether it’s complimenting Ohio’s “sexy goalie” or screaming “ya jackass” at a bad call.

Players from opposing teams sometimes come up and ask the group to take it easy on them, which Fankhauser said gives him reassurance they should give those opposing players the special treatment in heckling and name calling.

Other times, away players come up after the game to thank the “hockey maniacs” for making Bird Arena for one of their favorite venues to play at.

“When we arrived to the Gang Green section of the arena there was a note written by Iowa State’s senior goalie for Gang Green detailing how he had always looked forward to their games here in Athens because of the playstyle demanded by our smaller ice and the atmosphere established by Gang Green,” Fankhauser, a senior studying classical civilizations with a minor in Latin, said. “It was touching to see how much of a positive influence we have, not only on our own players, but also those of the opposing teams.”