I thoroughly enjoyed watching the FIFA games over the last month. This time I printed out a grid to keep track of the teams. After each round my partner and I would reassess our predictions as one team after another was eliminated.
Since my partner and I were working when most of the games were on, we would watch the highlights in the evenings. Usually after the highlights one of the games would be replayed in its entirety. However, I discovered watching a game after having seen the highlights wasn’t that entertaining. Especially since I knew the exact minute that the “highlight” happened. It removed the anticipation and left no surprises.
When you just watch the highlights, you miss out on the process of how the goal(s) were scored. What you don’t get to see are all the near misses, which lend extra weight and anticipation to the excitement of the actual scoring. This momentum builds up the suspense when watching it live. When I watch a game live I don’t know what’s going to happen when. I’m cheering for my team when they get the ball and groaning loudly when they miss a chance at scoring. But all of that effort heightens the impact of seeing the team score.
For me it’s as much about seeing the progression of the win, as the actual outcome. After seeing the highlights, it didn’t feel as exciting to watch. The momentum is not the same. You miss the lead up to the big GOOOOOAAAAAL. You don’t get to see how the team strategized and changed tactics. You don’t get to see how long the ball was in motion before landing in the net.
I can enjoy watching a game, if I know the score, but not how and when the goals were scored. This even applies for me when watching penalty shootouts. I like to watch the whole shootout, even if I already know who won, but not which shootouts were missed or blocked. It’s still dramatic and gripping to see the kicks and the miraculous saves by the goalies.
In defense of highlights, I should say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching replays of great moments from some of the top players in the world. I was okay with this because I’ll never watch the full games anyway.