As you can see from above, this post is sponsored by the wonderful folks of Samsung and they've basically asked that we write about how technology has improved your fan experience for the next few weeks. Of course, there are other times that technology has made the fan experience worse, i.e. look no further than trying to figure out the computer formulas for the BCS (more on this in a later post).
As a young lad, the one thing that gravitated me towards sports was boxscores in the morning paper. Every morning, no matter whether it was basebal, basketball or football, I would pour over boxscores from the night before and make notations in my tiny brain as to who played well. This of course was before there was any substantial television options where you could watch any game on any given night. The other thing that I always bought and I'm sure that most, if not all of you probably did the same thing, which was anxiously await the Dave Campbell's Texas Football preview magazine prior to the football season.
Its strange how quickly things have changed. I'm 36 and although it makes it strange to say that 20 years ago, the only access that any of us had to our team of choice was limited by your local paper, or subscribing to the local paper where your team was located, the boxscores in the newspaper, and preview magazines.
How things have changed.
I can't remember the exact date, but I remember that this happened, slowly but surely. My parents always subscribed to the Dallas Morning News and it's been my newspaper of choice since I can remember. I mentioned my love affair with boxscores and there came a time, probably when newspapers figured out that they needed to save some money with something, and stopped posting the boxscores for every major-conference college football game. I don't think this happened all at once, but it happened over time and I remember being incredibly frustrated by my newspaper having the one thing that I loved. I can't say that this coincided with the explosion of the internet, but it happened. At some point, I could look at the boxscores from any game from any conference from any league with a couple of clicks of the mouse. The information was instantaneous and for a person that was infatuated with statistics and numbers.
More after the jump.
And as I've been writing on DTN, my purchase of preview magazines, and I would buy preview magazines for the NFL, NBA, College Football and College Basketball, has disappeared. So not only has the internets made a physical newspaper irrelevant, at least for me, as I haven't opened a physical newspaper on a consistent basis in a long time, but I've said goodbye to those preview magazines as well. Part of the reason was that I started to write my own previews of teams and the information was readily available to just about anyone. I didn't need those preview magazines for me to do what I wanted to do.
Perhaps one of the best side effects of the internets is that it opened the door for really smart and intelligent writers who didn't have to get a job at a newspaper in order to write. Of course, this also means that it's opened the door for anyone to write bad things as well, but at the very least, the information can be separated from what you enjoy from what you don't enjoy. I honestly don't know what I would do with my time if I didn't have DTN. Perhaps I'd just sit and watch more television my mind would turn to mush. I was a English teacher before the whole lawyer thing and the one thing that I always told my students, was that if you want to be "smart" then read as much as humanly possible. And with the emergence of blogs and smart websites, we are reading and writing more and I think that's a good thing.
And now, I think that fans are more informed than ever before, whereas 20 years ago, I thought I was informed, but I was informed from one voice, from one newspaper or publication. Now, on DTN alone, we have so many voices and opinions and thoughts that make this place so darned unique and interesting to read.
What about you? Did the rest of you have similar experiences growing up and newspapers and preview magazines? How how has technology changed the way you read and react about your team?