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How Twitter Changed My Sports Fandom

I wrote a piece about a year ago on how Twitter had completely changed the way I intake, view, and digest the sporting experience. I've done a little updating.

The day was December 6, 2009. I had recently signed up for Twitter and was finding my way around. The BCS Selection Show was about two hours from beginning. As a fan of Non-AQ football, I was excited to see where undefeated Boise State and undefeated TCU would be placed in the Bowl Championship Series. I was scrolling through tweets from commentators predicting where each team would end up. Then it happened. Pete Thamel of the New York Times and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports broke the story. TCU and Boise State were going to play one another in the "Separate But Equal" Fiesta Bowl. Instantly I had inside access. This has happened again and again.

In what other ways has Twitter changed my sports fandom?

1. I realized I wasn't alone.

I have always considered myself a poor man's sports analyst. Whether it be basketball, football, or hell, even tennis, I have never been short of opinion on matters of sport. Or anything for that matter. I have had the same four friends since elementary. Each of us are similarly constructed in this sporting fashion. Twitter has given me hundreds, if not thousands of new friends to associate with.

2. I understood I was not, in fact, bat s*** crazy

Additionally, I have also found people on Twitter who love to analyze every facet of sports with a fine-tooth comb. Where else could I join in the dismissal of yet another Gary Crowton play-call? Join in the derision! Expansion Crisis, which has probably evolved into a full-scale war by now, has dominated my timeline like nothing else. And goodness, every time I see BYU and B12 in the same tweet, I feel I understand a small portion of what it is like to be addicted to crack.

3. I have no patience for ignorant sports fans

Have you tried to have an in-depth sports conversation with a non-Twitterer? In my experience, they simply know the very basics of each story. And they are usually a week behind on the information train. Twitter is the encyclopedia that everyone enjoys to read.

4. I now associate teams with their respective Twitter followers.

Teams that I never before had a rooting interest in now find a place in my fandom. Florida State? @KilroyFSU @MikeBonfanti @NoleFan86 @SaintWarrick. USC? @brendanloy. Syracuse? @eric_theorange. Iowa? @KegsnEggs. Florida? @edsbs Louisville? @Mengus22. Boise State? @DrofDarb23 and @BadWillHunting. North Carolina? @InTheBleachers and @Yeggo. Oklahoma? @LandThieves. New Mexico? @albolte. Maryland? @SportsStilettos. UCF? @ChiUCFgal Michigan? @mccook2002. TCU? @jadaily. Washington? @krizoitz. Virginia Tech? @RachelDulitz Utah State? @TrueAggieFan Wyoming? @WyoNationFans San Diego State? @SanDiegoPoke. And it's helped my relationship with my Utah Ute compadres: @Fuegote, @Utebuntu, @HoyosRevenge are good people, bless their hearts.

5. Twitter is now my stand-alone news source.

Twitter has replaced every news and sports app on my iPhone. Simply put: By following the correct people/organizations, Twitter has completely monopolized my information gathering.

6. Mark Twain was referring to Twitter.

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." If Twitter were to be believed 100% of the time, John Gruden would be finishing up his recruiting class at Miami, we would be living in a world without Morgan Freeman, BYU would be a member of the Big East 12 West Conference, and San Diego State football would have soon-to-be access to the BCS. Wait, what? The last one is true. Wow.

7. Gameday will never be the same.
Watching and following my Twitter feed during major sporting events has become a part of my game-day ritual. I have become a better commentator by reading the opinions of those I follow.

8. Twitter has provided me great interaction with terrific people

Those on the outside of social media may think that Twitter is simply a vacuum of ideas floating in space with no personal foundation. While that might be the case for some, it has not been so with me. I have come to know and discourse with eight or nine individuals on Twitter on a personal level and I consider them friends. The ability to find people who share your endeavors is an underrated trait of social media. Through the Direct Message, I have been able to learn more about myself, and become a better person in turn, by the interactions I have had.

9. Twitter has its disadvantages

Sadly, the benefits of Twitter aren't wholly positive. I think I have an acute case of A.D.H.D when it comes to information gathering. If a story or news article is too long, I often move on to the next one. Because Twitter updates in RealTime, you get an experience which provides 140 characters of nuance at a moments notice. Books and long-form articles are so, well, 20th century? Not the best M.O. for someone who plans to practice law.

Sometimes I have to put the Twitter Machine down while the game is on as I seem to follow my timeline more than the actual game.

Also, I have been called this guy on more than one (or ten) occasions.

** How has Twitter changed the way you experience sports?**