The last in the series of three posts concerning the intersection of sports and technology. In the first I talked about how horny I am for blogs and message boards, and the second was about fictional future technologies like fan cams. Since the first two were basically gushing over technology, I thought I would dedicate this one to some of the inevitable negative side effects that have spawned from the technology we love.
Let's go with the list approach... what follows is a brief list of a great technology that we all love, and the unfortunate side effect that came from it:
Great Technology: ESPN.
There was a time when the only sports info we got was in the paper, and for 3 minutes on the news. ESPN brought it 24 hours to everyone that can afford cable.
The Negative Side Effect: Having to fill those 24 hours
There are only so many games that ESPN and the other 24 hours sports networks can get the rights to, but they have to be on the air all the time. So what we get to fill the void are shows where 4 guys yell at each other, shows where 4 guys yell at each other and are scored based on their yelling, hour long sportscenters where 15 minutes of it is actual scores and game recaps, a College Gameday that is 90% fluff and 10% insight into games, and so on.
Jump for more examples.
Great Technology: Stadium JumboTrons
Great for watching replays at the stadium
The Negative Side Effect: Everything else they are used for.
Advertising, starting pandering DE-FENSE chants, telling the crowd what to do.
Great Technology: Super-realistic Video Games
Makes the games themselves more fun, and they can actually help with your football knowledge. The most famous example being when Antonio Gates (who primarily played basketball in HS and college) learned how to read defenses mostly by playing Madden.
The Negative Side Effect: YouTube being so littered with people posting their video-game games, that a search for real game video requires wading through multiple pages of digital games that a bunch of dicks thought people might actually want to watch. "Dude, why wouldn't everyone want to see me get Dez Bryant 500 receiving yards in one game?"
Great Technology: Improvement of Fantasy Sports Stat Tracking
They have made sports more entertaining and more personal, given good players on bad teams some notoriety (would a casual fan know who Kevin Martin or Frank Gore is without fantasy sports?), and have given us sometthing else to do with our friends.
The Negative Side Effects: I have to hear about your fucking fantasy team.
Well thats all I can think of... those are the only bad side effects from all the technological innovations in sports. But feel free to add more if you have some thoughts.