Following the Huskies from afar: A Social Experiment

There's nothing better than being in Huskie Stadium on gameday.  The tailgating, the camaraderie, the overall feel of excitement inside and around the stadium is something that's impossible to match.  It was easy for me as a student to attend games.  Heck, all you had to do was pick up the tickets at the convo free of charge and walk to the stadium on gameday.

Then one day all of a sudden you graduate and then you make a life decision to move somewhere else.  Maybe you found an excellent job that required you to move or you just needed some sort of a life change.

As you may or may not know, I live in Austin, Texas now and I feel as though I do an adequate job on updating this blog for all you folks out there.  Here are some of the technologies that help me do this and predictions for the future:

HDTVs and DVR

I can't ever catch a game when I'm over 1,000 miles away from Dekalb, but when you're out of town, nothing is better than catching the Huskies in crystal-clear HD on my television.  So far this season, I have fortunately watched the Iowa State, Illinois and Minnesota games in high-def.  It was so beautiful when they came on the field with their new jerseys, I just about shed a tear.

Then with the DVR, I can rewind and fast forward to see exactly what went right or wrong with a certain play.  I feel just like an assistant coach when I'm going back and forth and grading out players for my game summary stories.

Online Broadcasting

Not every single Huskie game is going to be shown nationally on HD (one can only hope!), so for games like North Dakota, Akron and Buffalo you had to watch the game online through either NIUHuskies.com All-Access or All-MACcess.  Now normally these things go smoothly, but the Akron feed didn't work so it was hard to follow the Huskies, but I managed streaming just the audio online.

Eventually it will be nice to see the Huskies on television every single week, but for right now this will have to do.

Smartphones

I literally can not imagine following sports now without a smartphone.  You can have pretty much everything at your fingertips, scores, updates, radio feeds, access to social media, etc.

I can take my phone anywhere I go and be able to listen to the Huskie game on 670 the Score through a radio app that I have on there.  If I don't have access to a computer, I'll go on RABA or Dog Pound and post about the game online through my phone.  Or I can go on twitter and interact with other fans watching the game.  It just seems crazy that these things are possible in this day and age.

Looking towards the future

Mobile Video

It's nice listening to the Huskies on my phone, but I think the next step down the road would be the ability to watch every NIU game on my mobile phone.  I could be out and about away from any sort of cable and still be able to watch my Huskies on gameday.  All-Access could add functionality or maybe come out with some sort of app to make this happen.

On-Demand

Imagine pulling up any NIU game that has been broadcast over the years and just watching it at your leisure.  Or even from just this season.  That's right, it would be the most amazing thing ever.  I wouldn't mind watching this on my TV or my phone, but there's nothing sweeter than re-watching a Huskie victory over and over again.

What else do you want to see in terms of technology that would help you become a better Huskie fan?

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