The In-Person Experience

By: Colleen B
Posted: February 2, 2018

On Wednesday, I had 3rd row tickets to the Celtics game against the Knicks. The experience was absolutely incredible. To recap, the Celtics had lost to the Warriors on Saturday, then beat the Nuggets on Monday. Along with the Celtics winning on Wednesday, Terry Rozier III had his first career start and a triple-double. Marcus Morris got injured on the court, Marcus Smart sat on the bench, and Kyrie wasn’t playing. Today, two days later, the C’s signed free agent Greg Monroe for a 1 year $5 million dollar contract.

In essence, a lot of things happened this week, but I wanted to focus on a topic that a lot of sports fans know pretty well: the difference between the in-person experience and watching the game on TV. Of course, there are a TON of differences, but here are my top 8 (in no particular order).


Holy Moly do I get distracted easily. From the yelling of the obnoxious group behind me to the food of the people beside me, I see it all. I found myself looking away from the game one-too many times because I was people-watching instead. Being as close as we were, there were some interesting things and people to look at, though. Paul Gaston, the owner of the Celtics, was pretty much right in front of us, so it was fun to watch him interact with the crowd and the players. There was a little boy in front of us who was celebrating his 5th birthday, so everyone was advocating for him to get on the jumbotron. Now, don’t get me wrong, the distractions at the game were WAY better than my typical distractions at home, because not once did I stop watching the game to scroll through Twitter or Facebook, like I usually do on my couch.


Am I crazy? Probably. However, every time the ball switched possession, I couldn’t help but narrate in my head. I don’t sound anything like Brian Scalabrine, but I do mentally think, “Rozier to Morris, to the hoop….YAY!” At home, I do have these thoughts, but not as vivid, as we have commentators who do the thinking and narration out-loud for us to enjoy. Am I the only one who does this?

Neighborly Narration

No, no I am not the only one who does this, as everyone around us had an opinion on every single thing that happened. Most of the comments were just negative jokes poking fun at the Knicks, but people can be pretty mean when it comes to their own home team. I was trying to take a Snapchat of what I thought would be a cool play, but the video is ruined as the Celtics missed the shot (which, by the way, didn’t really matter as they were in the lead anyway) and someone near me snarled, “Jesus!!! Do they even know how to set picks???” Relax, dude. 


Okay, this one was tough for me, because I love to snack and I have to pee all the time. Having a middle seat (seats 7&8) was rough because I wanted to get up but didn’t want to ruin the game for the people who were sitting around me. It is definitely easier and better to eat and use the bathroom at home.

Player Size

WOW those guys are huge. My boyfriend is 6’4”, so it was nice to have someone to reference their heights to. But, like, Porzingas is literally 7’3″. That’s like taking a ruler and standing it on top of my boyfriend’s head. Really crazy in person, really. The guys are  just really big.


Commercials are SO BORING at home, but at the game they are so much fun! I LOVE to watch the Celtics Dancers, and when they aren’t performing one of their routines, the jumbotron is displaying a wide variety of fans dancing, playing interactive games, etc., which is way better than the commercials we watch on TV at home


The obnoxious family sitting next to me kept continually talking about how they were confused about where Kyrie was during warm-ups. After the mom complained for like the 5th time, I politely turned and told them that Kyrie was out with a right quad contusion. They would have definitely known this if they were at home because the commentators would have been talking about it and it might have even been on-screen somewhere. In a different occurance, the men to our left were looking up the Celtics roster during warm-ups, too. I thought that they didn’t know who some of the lesser-known players were (like Nader, who had a lot of playing time), but my boyfriend Anthony thought that they were looking up the players’ heights. Either way, it is hard to research and find stats while at the game as they aren’t being explicitly said to you by the commentators. Finally, and probably most importantly, it was really exciting when Rozier made his shot finalizing his triple-double status, but only to the people who actually noticed. I would say about half the Garden erupted with “extra” applause, but people at home were probably more excited as it was probably explicitly cited as the shot/play that got Rozier his first triple double.


This was truly sad to see, but also very different in person. At home, the TV usually goes to commercial or they just show a video or picture of the player going into the locker room. In person, it’s harder to watch the agony of the player laying on the floor in pain, along with the teammates stressing out. When Morris went down, every single person at TD Garden stood on their feet until he stood up, and then clapped and cheered when he walked to the locker room.


If you have any other at the game vs at home experiences, let me know! My Twitter and Instagram are both @NinaLeeCamo. I will be attending Celtics/Hawks in April, so I will be sure to pay attention to the differences ya’ll point out.

The Celtics play the Atlanta Hawks, who are 15th in the Eastern Conference, tonight at 7:30pm.


Nina Lee


Nina is a 21 year old college student from Massachusetts studying Elementary Education and Political Science. She has always been involved in playing and analyzing sports her whole life and is an avid fantasy football and basketball player. Her favorite teams are the New England Patriots and the Boston Celtics, as well as wherever Aaron Rodgers and Kelly Olynyk are playing!



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