My new how-to on who to boo; if you do boo, it's all true.
During the very weird empty-stadium-and-soundstage sports seasons of 2020, conducted largely without fans in the stands, there was a lot missing, but perhaps the most notable absence was the sound. Even if you could squint and pretend things looked normal, there was no getting around the jarring auditory experience. NBA games were largely soundtracked by the squeaking of shoes on hardwood, and regular-season baseball reached a level of sleepiness unacceptable even for the most nap-friendly of the major sports. If it felt strange for a good play to occur with no roar of approval, there was something much stranger to process.
There were no boos.
As someone who often watches sports as a second- or third-screen experience, I realized how much I rely on crowd reactions to tell me when to pay full attention; the roar of anticipation as a ball-carrier breaks free, for instance. It was very strange to have games pass without negative crowd comment, bad plays or outright e…