When my dad watches baseball, basketball, or football, he turns off the volume. It drives my mom crazy. My husband finds it odd. My kids make up for the lack of noise.
Dad really enjoys watching sports. Other than John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies, sports (and the weather) are all he watches. People will often ask him why there is no sound on the game. Dad’s usual reply has to do with the absurdity of the commentary announcers, but I know that Dad really just doesn’t need the volume to understand the game.
He loves the game for the strategy and the athleticism. He just wants to see how the players solve defensive problems or convert teamwork into points. He doesn’t want to hear about how the guy on defense bought his girlfriend a dog and it ate his playbook or who the announcers think is a better prospect for a trade. Dad simply wants to watch the game.
I think there is escape in turning off the volume too. When there are no play-by-play commentaries coming at the viewer, it is necessary to really pay attention to what is happening in the game and everything else is turned off. The focus is solely on the field or court and not on the craziness outside the game.