Thursday, March 13, 2008

Twitter Renews Interest in Basketball

The night before I was born, my mom attended a Duke basketball game. One could literally say that I was born a Duke basketball fan. She also attended another game just a few days later, so one can infer how strong her loyalties were to the team at that point.

As I got older, I became fairly obsessed with basketball this time of year, as most kids who grow up in this area do. I believed that an afternoon watching Duke lose to Carolina should also be accompanied by a Coke (with ice) and popcorn. Duke actually became really good at playing basketball. In 1986, of course, they went to the final game and lost to Louisville. I was completely traumatized.

As I got older, when I was about 12, I reveled in the joys of arguing about basketball on local bbses. In those days, such arguments usually ended up with people's criticizing each other's grammar and I was always happy to jump in. Godwin's Law wasn't coined until 1990.

Duke kept getting better and better. I think that this was actually when I first started losing interest, just the teeniest bit. It's a little more fun to watch when a win is impressive, rather than expected. The local rivalries eventually weren't quite as strong, for a while, particularly with NC State.

The more college basketball, and college sports in general, seem like an entertainment industry rather than intercollegiate athletic competition, the more distasteful it seems to me. In the last few years, I've gradually lost interest in television all together. While part of it is because I think of watching television and sports as a social activity, the other part is that I'm not always convinced that spectator sports are beneficial in any way. Couldn't I be learning something instead? Filling out a petition? Speaking out against something wrong in the world? Writing about food? Wait a minute. Then I remember the importance of vegetating after a long day at work.

The point of this unusually long-winded post is that, thanks to Twitter, I have renewed my basketball interest, at least partially. As I started following other people on Twitter, for some reason I ended up following primarily UNC fans. That was fun at first because it was neat getting reports of what was going on in various games and it was wild to see UNC fans complaining about all the same things that Duke fans complain about: the perception that the refs are officiating poorly and Billy Packer. As long as I've been following Wayne Sutton, from WNCN - NBC17, he's been advocating the use of Twitter #hashtags, which I wrote about here. For the last Duke vs. UNC game, he told Duke fans to include the #dukeunc tag and UNC fans to include #uncduke in their tweets. Those terms can then be tracked, either together or individually, so it's almost like being in a bar with a lot of like-minded fans, except you get to avoid being around rowdy drunk people!

That's enough of a recommendation to get those who have never been sports fans into it, right?


  1. Waitaminnit... they hate Billy Packer too?

  2. It know, it does seem strange. I just searched for the tweet I was thinking of and couldn't find it, though.

  3. Thanks for the explanation of the number sign before words on Twitter, I'd been wondering about that!