Baltimore Orioles: Social media is ruining sports


Anyone who follows twitter during Baltimore Orioles games sees my live tweets of game highlights. It’s part of what I do, and it’s part of my job here with Birds Watcher. So in that sense I’m probably just as much to blame in terms of what I’m talking about in this article as anyone else. However as we all know social media has taken the country by storm over the last 5-10 years. And in many cases (including sports), that’s not the best news in the world.

Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

No folks, I’m not talking about people posting drunk pics on Facebook and getting in trouble with their bosses. (Although on that note I am a firm believer that what you post on your social media accounts is of no business of your employer – unless you’re calling your employer out in some manner.) With the advent of Twitter, sports reporting has taken on a whole new meaning. And in that sense it’s a great thing; the fact is that anyone who does what I do absolutely MUST be on Twitter – and active at that. It’s a great medium by which to dispense information quickly about what you’re covering – sports or otherwise.

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  • However while this might sound somewhat elitist on my part, the downside of Twitter and other social media is that literally anyone can be on them. I get numerous tweets during games, and I see many others, all of which are incredibly crass and/or negative. Now if the team’s playing poorly, I suppose that to a certain degree I understand that. However it’s not so much a matter of how the team’s playing or what they’re doing. Anyone and everyone can now have their opinions heard about anything in truth.

    Again, I recognize that what I’m saying here sounds a bit like I have my nose in the air. However look at this year’s Orioles season and compare it to 1998. In both cases the team had a fairly disappointing season, although at this moment right now the 2015 O’s are still in contention. In 1998 however, social media literally didn’t exist. Heck, the internet itself was still somewhat in it’s infancy – at the very least it didn’t exist in the manner it does today.

    In 1998 there was no medium for people to call for the GM’s head, or even that of the manager for that matter. Yet I routinely see fans tweeting, and heck even tweeting at me, to the effect that Dan Duquette needs to go. Mind you now, I’ve never had anyone physically say that Showalter should be fired, but people have said that nobody is without blame in this.

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    But forget the Orioles for a moment, as I’m talking about sports in general. If not for sites such as twitter, facebook, and even internet memes, would we really care so much about Tom Brady possibly deflating footballs? Heck, would we love to build up and break down our sports hero’s as much and as abruptly as we do (see RGIII)? The answer is probably not. There were plenty of stories such as “deflategate” until the invent of social media – look at wide receivers in the NFL using stickem in the 1970’s and ’80’s. If social media existed at that time, would those players not have gotten the Brady treatment of today?

    Nevertheless, my point here is that now with the invent of social media, anyone can have an opinion and get it out there whenever they’d like. And make no mistake about the fact that I’m in no way suggesting that fan bases should become apathetic. However I suppose in sum, what I’m saying is that much of what gets spewed over social media is by nature negative. And the fact is that the business of sports is there for people to have fun, enjoy, and relax. If work’s tough or life is giving you lemons, is there anything better than heading out to the ballpark or to an NFL stadium? Win or lose, we should never allow social media to influence us to the point that it turns into a chore as opposed to an outlet. And this is coming from a guy who makes a living on it.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: Some events rock the world

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