Monday, May 9, 2011

#TwitterSports AKA Sporting Schadenfreude

For those who follow on Scribe on Twitter, it’s sincerely appreciated. It has allowed for the growth of the blog and a great launching pad for The Exchange. Coupled with exisiting relationships, Facebook and sheer persistence, Twitter has done wonders both professionally and personally that make the journey worthwhile. Sadly, for the good that comes from it must follow the bad, or in the case of last night, the utterly awful.

You may have run upon the hashtag, #TwitterSports, quite often. No, the social media network has not launched a sports division (thank the tech gods for that) nor have major media outlets launched dedicated Twitter-based apps. As long as Twitter exists – who knows how long that will be – the tag is the strongest use of sarcasm and criticism you’ll ever see from this Scribe.

It speaks to a level of irrationality, bias and sheer stupidity which spreads in ‘real-time’ across a given geography. If you thought those inappropriate comments and inane proposed trades in your barbershop or work lounge were bad, take a dip into #TwitterSports. Overreaction is the name of the game here; shock tweets, bad rumors and unverified stories run amok and catch like wildfire. Despite the good folks that are on Twitter to enlighten and more importantly, be enlightened, there are unfortunately, far more vocal, if not numerous idiots as well.

#TwitterSports, friends, is sporting schadenfreude.

Last night, #TwitterSports was in top form. The story of last night’s Game 4 is not about the Dallas Mavericks finishing the job, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers being swept out of the American Airlines Center a broken mess of bad coaching, listless play and one absolutely DUMB elbow thrown by Andrew Bynum.

This was expected. After all, a franchise with the rich history of the Lakers will have as many detractors, jealous fans and uninhibited ‘haters’ as they do fans, homers and star-hoppers (to put it lightly). We can just begin with the fact that they play in Los Angeles; the entertainment capital of the world juxtaposed with so many conflicting factions of daily society of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

And I haven’t mentioned the key players in this stage act. Phil Jackson’s leaving (and Knicks fans better stop running with speculation RIGHT NOW!), the Dwight Howard cloud hangs over Bynum’s head once again, Pau Gasol’s toughness is questioned with more fervor, Ron Artest’s suspension in Game 3 adds to his psychosis, Lamar Odom is caught up in his fragrance and this below [blurred out handle b/c this is enough attention to the stupidity] …

No matter what you believe about Kobe Bryant and the alleged rape a few years ago, is such a cavalier reference to sexual assault necessary?

So instead of giving much deserved credit to Dallas for better coaching and even better execution, we’re using the Lakers’ folly as the warm-up act for the biggest #TwitterSports show soon to come; the eventual end of the Miami Heat season. Whether they win the NBA championship, lose in the Finals or lose before getting to the Finals, the Heat’s narrative for the 2010-11 season was set up for some of the most biting, vitriolic, and vicious commentary we’ve ever seen.

The chatter will be as if LeBron James literally spat in everyone’s face last July.

At its core, #TwitterSports is a phenomena replicated from what you’d hear on a normal day before we go to work or class. It’s what we utter in inebriated tones at the local watering holes after a long day of mounting frustration with the world. It’s an arena of social media where the more brutal, the more immediate attention received. These are the rowdy kids in the school cafeteria that throw food while the principal stops by to make an announcement.

Sometimes, you look and just think “you can’t be serious?”

So, friends, if you thought last night was bad, we have yet to see the nadir of social media and sports. Brace yourselves.

Pluggin’: if you missed the mentions on Twitter and Facebook, tomorrow’s edition of The Exchange will not only feature friend of the blog, Paulsen from Sports Media Watch, but will be extended to 90 minutes. We’re going to truly break down the hackneyed discussion of sports ratings, big versus small markets and, of course, talk about the latest happenings. We’ll be looking for your questions, comments and concerns through the chat rooms, Twitter and Facebook, so let your minds churn. If you haven’t done so already, follow The Exchange on BlogTalkRadio.

For those who missed out on the great November interview from Paulsen, BOOM!

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