You can watch television on the plane now. Proper television, you understand, not just a sad showing of the latest Adam Sandler comedy, but actual live broadcast telly complete with full complement of basic cable channels.
If you’re prepared to pay you can have have wi-fi access too and you need never worry about just what is happening 32,000 feet below. I discovered this when a 6 hour flight to SFO I was on coincided with the San Francisco 49ers versus Atlanta Falcons NFC Championship game. The plane was, unsurprising considering its destination, filled with 49ers fans all of whom were able to watch the game live on Fox.
That may seem wonderful (I was indifferent), but I was at the back of the plane and sat next to a pair of utter gits. I wasn’t meant to be sat next to both of them, but as they didn’t have tickets next to each other they played an annoying game of musical games with other passengers so that they could be together. Lucky me. Overgrown frat boys they called each other “bro” and spoke about the awesome night’s clubbing they’d had in South Beach. “It wasn’t just cool, bro, it was ice-cool.” Shoot me. Sat at the back of a domestic flight you’re not exactly blessed with personal space, and when you’re strapped in due to turbulence and the passenger next to you is getting progressively rowdier as his team’s fortunes improve and his Heineken consumption increases, your personal space becomes non-existent. Come, come, come, nuclear bomb.
Sport is intensely irrational; it’s tribal. You don’t need to provide justifiable reasons for your disdain. Though, in mitigation, once the game was over the two gits watched Bad Boys and found Martin Lawrence so hilarious that they laughed so hard they were actually slapping their thighs – my disdain, in this case, seems merited. I’ll be cheering Baltimore in tomorrow’s Super Bowl.
* During a London to Paris Imperial Airways flight on April 25 The Lost World was shown to passengers. I’d be still be more than happy with that as my choice of in-flight entertainment.