Twitter went a little haywire last night, just as there were nine or ten ballgames in progress. The fact that it absolutely drove me and a bunch of other people nuts was kind of surprising to me. I’ve been on Twitter less than two years. Surely I can enjoy an evening of baseball without hearing what a few hundred other people are saying about it in real time, right?
Well, sure I can. I survived last night. But it wasn’t easy, and it brought home just how integrated Twitter, blogs, real-time box scores and all of that are to my baseball watching and writing life. And, as more people plug in, it will become a part of their lives too.
Jason Fry has a great post up about that today, and about how sports lend themselves so comfortably and fully to social media and the Internet in general. In making his argument, he touches somewhat on a lot of the things I’ve been saying for a few months now about how the next-day story of a game and the weekly or semi-weekly column explaining What’s Goin On In Sports is becoming obsolete. Indeed, Jason notes that that stuff is increasingly unnecessary and probably inorganic to the nature of sports to begin with:
Sports is news, but most of it isn’t news the way a plane crash or a scientific discovery is news. I know the Mets are playing the Marlins tonight and one of the two teams will win, even though I have no idea which team it will be. Previously, accounts of games generally emerged only when all was said and done: We got a game story or a highlights package. But this isn’t how we watch sports – we do that in real time, constructing narratives as we go. Each twist and turn is good or bad, and we like to guess at how things will turn out, note potential turning points, and gloat, celebrate, commiserate or argue along the way. Twitter is a perfect fit for this: Now, beat writers can note significant plays, provide historical context, analyze decisions and so on long before their gamers are filed, and fans can talk to them and to each other as the game winds its way to a conclusion.
There’s much more to it, so click through. And if you’re interested in these topics, bookmark Jason’s page. He has gold like this quite frequently.