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Have Blogs Improved the Fan Experience?

Hello there, and welcome to sponsored-ville.  This post is the first in a series, sponsored by Samsung, that will pertain to the intersection of sports and technology. For the first in the series I thought I would pay homage to the most obvious way technology has impacted how I consume sports information, tentacle porn sports blogs.

Oh remember the 90's, and every decade before it?  The time when the only opinions we heard about our team (and other teams) were through interactions with our friends, and columns in the newspaper. As much as I respect the opinions of writers like Bill Haisten and Brandon Chatman, as well as the thoughts of my buddies Kush, Hambone, and The Gizz, I must say that I don't want to have to get all my information from these sources. But, before blogs (and message boards for that matter) became mainstream, the only place to get your team info was from those writers whose privileged access to that info was based upon not writing anything too derogatory about the team they cover, and from watching the actual game and talking about it with your buddies.  And getting info about other teams?... you were lucky to read a preview article in the week leading up to when your local team was playing them.

Jumpy for more...

Nowadays, we all have access to the minds of people whose primary interest in life seems to be coming up with interesting ways to compile stats, hundreds or thousands or even millions of people who have watched the same event or team that you have but may have a different perspective or be more knowledgeable about certain facets of the game, and even a bunch of over-reacting lunatics who can entertain us with their crazy hyperbole and ridiculous theories.  Sure there is a mixture of good and bad to this, but overall I will always believe that being exposed to more information is better. And for every ridiculous "firecoachX" domain name that is registered just for the purpose of slinging unnecessary hate, there are are plenty of EDSBS, Football Outsiders, and Daily Thunder that open us up to information and viewpoints we never would have considered without them.  20 years ago, Spencer Hall would have just been the funniest guy at his local sports bar... now we are all privileged to all the shiz that comes out of his head and fingers (hott!).

And furthermore, sports blogs and message boards have bonded fanbases in ways that were not possible before them.  Now fans from around the world can read viewpoints they would not have otherwise been privy to, and then comment and interact with a community that shares their interest.  Almost every piece of information is available, and about every viewpoint you could want to read (good or bad) is out there for you, all thanks to the maniacs that love to write for sports blogs and participate in message boards.... and I love taking in all of it... even the lunatics (like Cincy Joe).

So what do you think?  Have blogs and message boards and all the other avenues of access we have to what tons of people think about our team improved the fan experience? Or do you feel like they have over-saturated us with needless info and lunatics that have robbed some of the intimacy of following your team?