After reading Goldsmith’s article about how social networking is going to kill the “armchair sports fan”, I started thinking about how that particular fan existed before web 2.0 and social networking. First, to define an “arm chair sports fan” I think of someone like my dad. He watches almost every Cowboys game from his couch in his own home. He has said multiple times that he prefers to watch it there either by himself or with one or two other people (usually me or my mom). He doesn’t like going out to the sports bar and watching the game with a large raucous crowd of strangers, and he’s not big on going over to someone’s home and watching the game there with everyone putting in their two cents after every play.
While reading Goldsmith’s article, I couldn’t help but think back to the beginning of the semester, when we talked about the fears that the alphabet would be the end of oral culture and that we would never leave our homes because of the internet. Neither of those things have come true. Because of that, I’m skeptical of the article’s claim that social networking would kill the “armchair sports fan”. If the sports bar or watching didn’t, why would social networking?
I get the argument; that when you’re watching a game alone, you’re not really alone because you can go to Twitter or Facebook and comment on the game to potentially thousands of people. For example the other day I was work, watching the Brooklyn Nets play the Miami Heat. Because I was bored and no one else was in the bar at the time, I went to my Facebook page and commented about how all of the players had cool haircuts.
For example: Chris “Birdman” Anderson
If it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t be able to comment about the neat do’s to as many people as I did, because I was stuck at work and no one was there.
But it was my choice to make my status about the game. I could have also chosen to keep my comments to myself, like I do when I watch other games. There are several reasons why I do, the main one being that I don’t think I know what I’m talking about and don’t want to embarrass myself. Also, sometimes I just enjoy watching the game and not thinking too much about it. I think that as long as there are some fans who just like having the game on and chilling out while watching it.
Then again maybe I’m missing the point, because a true fan would want to comment and know everything that’s going on. If that’s true, then was the “armchair sports fan”, really a fan?
What do you think?
Am I really a Mavericks fan if I just enjoy watching the game, but don’t participate in the twitter feed of the game?
Do you think that live tweeting and other things of that nature take away from the actual sporting event, or add to it? Why?