Here’s an idea for a site/app/whatever that, as a soccer fan, I’d love to have. I hereby release it to the world so that someone can build it for me.
The idea is simply a service to help you decide whether or not to watch games that you’ve DVR’d or which are being rebroadcast. You’ve stayed off Twitter to avoid knowing the score, which is great, but you’ve also avoided knowing whether the game is going to be any good.
The closest I’ve seen is the short-lived Redacted Match Reports on Howler Magazine’s blog. They only kept this up through the Euros last year, but here’s their description:
The idea is pretty simple: It’s tomorrow. You’ve recorded both matches—Greece vs. Poland and Russia vs Czech Republic. But when you get home, you only have time to watch one of the two. How do you choose? Bookmark [whatahowler.tumblr.com/redacted] and check it after the games have been played. We’ll give you all the information you need to decide which game to watch, with no scores or spoilers.
Though that was specific to picking which of two simultaneous games to watch, I think the use-cases is more broad. Take today, for example: Bayern vs. Arsenal in a second-leg UEFA Champions League game at 2:45PM (CT) could be awfully good. But there are also CONCACAF Champions League games tonight (Houston v Santos and LA v Herediano) that I’m interested in. Similar to how whichever checkout line you pick in a store is inevitably the slowest, I’m afraid that whichever game I decide to watch tonight will turn out to be the least exciting one.
Even if there weren’t any live games tonight, there’s still the question of whether I should spend two hours of my life (ok, more like 80 minutes with fast-forwarding) on that Bayern-Arsenal game.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of other people will have already seen it. They may not all agree, or be happy about the outcome, but there will surely be some consensus about whether it was a Good Game. Whether it was Worth Watching.
And that’s all I want to know. I don’t need the redacted details of Howler’s version (“XXXX leaves it until late in the second half”), just an indication of the quality of the game. It could be a simple scale: 1: don’t bother, 2: watch if you’ve nothing better to do, 3: DO NOT MISS.
Also unlike Howler’s curated version, this could be crowd-sourced. Apologies for the buzzword, but I think it’s a perfect application of a simple poll, like-button, hot-or-not kind of vote. Having a built-in audience to start with makes it an easy fit for existing sites like SBNation or BigSoccer, though it could be a standalone site, too (until SBNation buys it out; instant millionaire!).
Maybe my view of the market for such a thing is skewed by following European soccer, for which it’s common to want to watch a DVR’d or rebroadcasted match at home in the evening (US time) that took place five, six, seven hours prior across the Atlantic. It seems like fans of other sports would use something like this, but I just don’t know.
Anyway, there’s my idea, I give it to the world for free, all I ask is that someone build it so I can use it. Godspeed!