How Does an American Sports Fan Handle Living Abroad?

How to Watch Sports Games from Overseas

Okay, most of you know that I am HUGE sports fan, particularly with NFL football and men's college basketball. Chiefs and Jayhawks!

But in general, I enjoy watching many types of sports and many different teams, especially in the peak of the seasons. For example, March Madness is coming up - which means there will be tons of games to watch, most I would normally watch. In fact, for the past few years I have taken a whole day off to watch us play in the Big 12 Tournament.

I told you was a huge fan.

So, between a substantial time difference and a foreign internet provider, it took me some time to get back into my fandom routine. But I got there - and I will tell you how!

Time Difference

Our time is seven hours ahead of US Central Time, where most of our favorite games are played. Weekend daytime games are a breeze; it is like watching a night game.

The night time games, however are a challenge. For regular season games, I typically woke up and read about the game the next day. A bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) happened, but it was manageable. More pressing games, however, required a bit more dedication from me.

Sporting my Chiefs shirt in Croatia!

Sporting my Chiefs shirt in Croatia!

When the Chiefs played in the playoffs, I stayed up to watch all of the games leading up to it. Sometimes, I took a little nap on the couch then woke up for my game. Sometimes I was able to power through.

For the Jayhawks, though, I took a different route. I found a website that streams the games on my phone (shared below) so I could watch the conference games in bed. To avoid missing it (and avoid being a zombie the next day), I went to bed at a reasonable time and then set an alarm for 2:45 am. After a two hour game, I end up with about an hour-and-a-half more of sleep.

Wahhh then don't watch the game, you say. Sports are not that important, you say.

I know. And most people in the Foreign Service lose their sports-watching habits after being abroad, starting a family, etc. etc. etc. Eventually, I may move away from it as well. I mean, once I start working I will definitely need good sleep. But for now, I am enjoying the stress and joy of the seasons.

How can I enjoy it from seven time zones away?

Online Streaming Platforms

Now that we do not have a cable subscription, it is harder to stream live sporting events. Our internet is pretty awful, and times do not always align, but I have found a few websites that allow me to live tweet during the games with the best of them.

1. First Row Sports - http://ifirstrowus.eu/

Sadly, yes, this site has tons of pop-ups before you actually get to the video. And sadly they have been lacking in college basketball games of late. But for popular sporting events, it was really nice.

I found this site when we lived in DC, actually, because local channels did not play the Chiefs. Sometimes it works on my phone, sometimes not - moral of the story is this site is great when it works.

2. VIP Box - http://www.vipbox.me/

This website was a recent find. When First Row Sports did not have college basketball games, I searched on Google for live streaming and this came up. The best part? I could stream a channel instead of a just a game, so I could catch multiple games.

This website is also mobile friendly. I must admit that for the second Sunflower Showdown, the sound was all wonky so like First Row Sports, this site is not consistent.

3. Phoenix

There is an application called Phoenix that culls hundreds of sports streams in one place. We have it on our Amazon Fire Stick. I have only watched a couple of games on this platform because 1) there is a lag of about 2 minutes and 2) it is not easy to find your actual game.

4. Twitter - www.twitter.com/morganlecheeseman

Okay, so you cannot watch a full game on Twitter, but when I absolutely cannot find a stream I can stay up-to-date on the game through Twitter. I follow dozens of fans, reporters and sports websites, so I can see score updates, big plays and video clips.

For other events, like press conferences and news events, Twitter has also been invaluable. The Moments function allows you to see the most popular source.

5. Source We Do Not Use (But You Can)

Okay, I know there are other ways to keep up with sports games overseas. I will list the ones I know of here, even though we do not use them right now.

Sling TV - www.slingtv.com

If you have cut cable, Sling TV is a good solution to get some of the most popular channels like ESPN, CNN, AMC and Comedy Central. There are different price options for different amounts of channels, and Sling can work with entertainment systems you already own like Apple TV and Amazon Fire Stick.

A Friend's Cable/Dish Login

Okay, I have friends who are able to just log into the account of a friend or family member's cable or dish apps. By doing this, you can use sports apps like ESPN, Fox Sports and March Madness.

A VPN is necessary to make it look like you are logging in from the US, but most people overseas have a VPN anyways to use Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now.


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