It’s obvious that Twitter has taken the world by storm. Over recent years it has become increasingly popular and now it is at the point that sports watching and tweeting go hand in hand.
This is my first year that I have tweeted about, and during my favourite teams’ games. I have interacted with some great people who are fans of the same teams as me, and even some with similar views and opinions. It wasn’t until Snider was traded, however, that I realized how much Twitter has shaped me as a fan.
Take Snider, for instance. I never realized just how popular Snider was (still is) with the fans until I started to tweet. To be honest, I was never a fan of Snider’s and I had assumed that many people felt the same as me. I had become a huge Thames supporter over the course of the 2011 season and had made it known that I was part of “Team Thames” in Spring Training. I was eventually called out by Snider fans and that’s when I learned to keep my mouth shut on numerous topics regarding the Blue Jays. As the 2012 season went on, and as more fans became increasingly upset with the delay in the Snider call up, I began to understand the impact he could have with the team, especially with the injuries. Snider became more than that guy who I didn’t like because of “that one time I met him” (bad excuse, I know) and I began to look at him at an unbiased light, brought to me by the people I follow. This may be one case, but it has helped me become much more neutral on players which helps me be a more rational fan than I was, or so I try. I’m not the same girl who cried over Hill and Johnny Mac being traded!
J.P Arencibia is also a good example. He is a topic that gives me a lot of joy (in many ways), and a lot of anger on Twitter. It’s obvious that he is one of my favourite players. Believe it or not, I like him not for his good looks (shocker, I know) and have legitimate reasons despite how a lot of people feel. I’ll let you in on a secret. I was not an Arencibia fan at the start, although you wouldn’t be able to tell now. Was his debut fantastic? Of course! But the 2010 season didn’t turn me into “J.P’s biggest fan”. It was his Twitter that got me started. Twitter gives fans the opportunity to have a feel for their favourite players off the field. This is the reason why I originally joined AND is one of my favourite parts about the site. Anyways, I found J.P incredibly funny, nice, and has a similar love for country music. This all spurred a chain of events. I became familiar with his performances in the minor leagues, his history, and became optimistic of his capabilities prior to the 2011 season. I admire the way he plays the game, and how he conducts himself off the field. I’m aware of his strengths and weaknesses and remain a supporter and optimistic. All in all, it has turned me into a super fan, you could say. He’s a guy who gets a lot of hate on Twitter (especially for his not stellar, but improving defense) but having to defend him has helped me become both a more informed, and passionate fan.
Don’t get me wrong, the whole “Twitter experience” has not been all unicorns and rainbows. I think it takes away from actually watching the game, and at times prefer not tweeting about sports (well mostly the Jays and Leafs) at all. It can be a negative place, no doubt about that. I mean, I have blocked people who are not willing to have a rational debate on J.P’s contributions to the team, people who tell me I only watch baseball for attractive men, and people who claim I wish failure upon Snider (which I never did). Do you know how many different times the Blue Jays season has been deemed “over”? Probably since April 9 when Santos blew the save in the home opener. The downers put a bit of a damper on the season but I’ll say that they “still have a chance” until they are mathematically eliminated. Maybe if these people make me more positive, it is all unicorns and rainbows after all.
If you’re a sports tweeter, I’m sure you too have had experiences that have helped shaped you into the fan you are now, or at least experiences that you laugh about now. Perhaps your opinion on certain players has slightly changed, like me! Either way, it is a much different experience than watching the game by yourself. Heck, it’s almost like you’re watching the game with hundreds of lovely (and the occasional idiotic) strangers. 🙂