Last night I had a glimpse of the future. We were watching the hockey game in a sports bar that had a TV everywhere you looked (we actually had our own TV on our table). Unfortunately, by some mystery of the satellite gods, not all the TVs were in sync. Some of the TVs were broadcasting the game with a few seconds delay from other TVs. At times, the delay was up to five seconds. Of course our TV was behind, and the table next to us had the current version.
You’d think this wouldn’t be a big deal. But we’re not watching Oprah. This is hockey. When the home team scores, the place goes nuts. So we’re watching and suddenly the guy in the table next to us starts cheering. I look up from potato skin to my five-second delayed TV and see a perfect pass, shot, and goal. Exactly five seconds after the first cheer, another cheer erupts across the bar. Then we all exchange odd glances at what just happened. It’s a cheap way to travel in time.
So while we were watching hockey last night, we effectively saw the future. We knew when the Wild would score before they actually scored. In overtime we knew when it was over before it was actually over. I wouldn’t say knowing the outcome ruined the game, but it certainly changed the dynamic. You end up not waiting for life to happen, but waiting for what you know to come to pass. It’s a bit disconcerting.