Top 10 rules when you DVR a game

With the proliferation of DVRs, watching live TV is a thing of the past.  However, watching live sporting events remains relatively immune to this trend.  Even though watching a game live is still ideal and the ultimate reality TV, sometimes you just don’t have a choice.  Especially if you are like me and have a two and a half year old child.  The DVR becomes your new best friend so you can watch game six of the NBA Finals after a long day of swing sets, swimming, going to someone else’s 2 year old kid’s birthday party, dinner, bath, jammies, etc.    A game of this magnitude (or any game you want to see) requires uninterrupted focus and you deserve to watch in peace after junior goes down for bed.  This sounds simple enough, but anyone who records games knows this can be extremely challenging.  One slip up and it can ruin the entire experience.  After a couple of years of practice and learning the hard way, here are the top ten rules to avoiding the score and successfully time shifting the big game for your viewing pleasure.

1)      First you need to make sure you record the game properly.  There is nothing worse than watching a nail biter after narrowly avoiding the outcome throughout the day and then the final minute is cut off or even worse, you miss overtime!  The 30 minutes suggested by your faithful DVR doesn’t cut it.  I now add at least an hour and then record the next show just to be safe. 

2)      Don’t answer your phone from the real time the game starts until you finish watching your recording.  If need be, also turn down the volume of your answering machine so you don’t accidently hear someone leaving you a message.  You may think you only need to avoid your friends, but an unexpected aunt who knows nothing about sports somehow finds a way to spill the beans.

3)      Don’t read any text messages, instant messages, Tweets or emails.  Basically don’t look at your cell phone until you finish watching the game.  Just turn it off.

4)      Don’t go on-line.  Even if you avoid ESPN.com or other sports sites, somehow Yahoo or Weather.com will blow it for you.  Don’t let your spouse go on-line either.  They will see who won on their Facebook page and then say something or act weird, which will inevitably tip you off as to what happened.

5)      Don’t watch another game first.  It’s physically impossible after years of conditioning to avoid looking at the ticker on the bottom of the screen where you will inevitably see the score of the game you are recording.

6)      If possible, don’t leave your house.  If you have to, then don’t turn on the car radio.  Not even a music station.  Again, the deejay who knows nothing about sports will say the score or tell you who won. 

7)      Avert your eyes from any TV set at a restaurant, market, mall, etc. 

8)      Avoid talking to your neighbors.   Or anyone else really.    

9)      If your team is playing in the game you are recording, don’t wear any of your gear.  This is sure to elicit some unsolicited comment or remark about the game from a stranger. 

10)   When it comes time to power up the TV and watch the game, be sure to turn your head and hit the mute button immediately.  I usually yell at my family not to look at the TV as well and I begin singing “la, la, la”, so I don’t hear anything.  Ninety percent of the time the TV will be on the channel of the game, which is now in the fourth quarter.  This is because your wife is also recording the Real Housewives of Orange County or the Bachelorette so the DVR is recording two things at once.  Quickly hit the list button on your remote and select your recorded game to start from the beginning.  Crisis avoided…..

This may seem like a lot of effort, but with hard work, practice and dedication you can do it.  Enjoy the game!