The NFL season is finally upon us and for those who live and breathe football, our lives can finally have meaning again. For the (admittedly rare) combination of football fan and geek, this also means incorporating the technology we use every day to make this season even better. Last year was by far the most fun season I ever had, and not just because I won all three of my fantasy leagues.
Here's hoping for more this season:
DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket To-Go
Sunday Ticket is a no-brainer if you want to watch your favorite team play -- assuming you're not a Falcons or Jaguars fan. However, you're no longer tethered to your couch. DirecTV naturally has an app for that. Their Sunday Ticket To-Go app is available for free from the Apple App Store and lets you watch all the games on your iPad or iPhone, as well as on your computer. Sadly, you have to have subscribed to the Sunday Ticket package in the first place AND pay an extra fee of $100 to get this feature. Not cheap, but last year I happened to be traveling on a Sunday afternoon back from Greenville and, with the combination of this app and a Verizon 4G MiFi, I was watching games live while doing 80 mph down Interstate 95. No, I wasn't driving; yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.
We've come a long way since I was growing up, when you only got to watch one game at a time and only then if the antenna was getting a decent signal.
NFL Audio Pass
Don't have DirecTV and/or don't want to pony up all that dough? Check out Audio Pass from NFL.com. This service lets you listen to the live radio broadcasts from each team online or on the iPad/iPhone for just $24.95 for the entire season.
If you only care about your favorite team, you can get those broadcasts for $22.95. Not a bad deal at all. My only complaint about the service is that it's on about a 10-second delay, so if you are following the game online, you will see that someone scored before you actually hear it happen, which is annoying. This also keeps you from listening to the radio broadcast if you've had your fill of Phil Simms. However, it's still a great option, and there is something to be said for listening to your home radio announcers.
NFL Sunday Drive
Another audio option for listening to live games is NFL Sunday Drive on SirusXM satellite radio. For $14.49 a month, you get access to every NFL game as well as 130 other channels of music. You can also pay $3 more a month to have access to listen online as well as the SirusXM app.
NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet 2012
Speaking of apps, the official NFL Fantasy app is a life-saver for us fantasy nerds. You can use the app to set your draft board (and do so according to your league's custom settings if necessary), get up-to-the-minute player information, stat projections each week and lots more. It costs $4.99 in the app store -- probably less than you spent on that Fantasy Football magazine, right?
Enjoy the season everyone, and go Panthers!
Morgan Bonner is pre-press manager and a systems administrator for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.