If there were any doubt which sport has done the best at locking down America’s collective attention span these days, there should not be. Just check your social media accounts. The moment the clubhouse attendant shows up to unlock the facility for pre-season workout, Twitter and Facebook go bonkers.
“Another awesome catch by Watkins,” we read.
“Four absolute bombs in a row by Rodgers,” a fan tweets, complete with pictures and videos.
And this is just for practice!
Yes, before players even strap the pads on, it seems, twits and facebookers are already stoking the season’s fire. Not that there’s anything wrong with the eager beaver approach. It simply jumps out at us – into our inboxes, feeds, streams etc. - much sooner than we used to see it splashed across the daily newspaper.
In days gone by, you would pick up your weekly NFL periodical sometime in late August, to get caught up on the newest roster additions to your favorite team. Today, you feel like you already know everything about the guy once Independence Day rolls around. Technology is a wonderful thing, and sports fans are all the more knowledgeable and entertained because of it. The point is, we know more now by 7am from our smart phone than we knew by Opening Day just a decade ago.
Still, you have to laugh. With other meaningful sporting events going on, our daily feeds and streams continuously populate with excited messages about this player being “so full of energy” or that guy “really letting it all hang out on the practice field today.” As fans, we never gave much thought to such things in August, as baseball pennant races were taking shape. We never bothered to consider whether that star running back was so full of energy during a Tuesday in August. Shouldn’t he be? We kind of just assumed players always let it all hang out, whether we know about it instantly or not.
The big difference is not only what we know, but how fast we see and hear it every day. And to think how much that has changed in just the past ten or twenty years. One has to wonder just how much more instantaneous the Twitter and Facebook of 2030 will make the pre-season for NFL fans.
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