Watching Super Bowl XLVII Without Watching
Sports fans watch sports. Social media fans watch social media. But what if you’re both?
I am both a sports fan and a social media fan. My blog is all about sports and social media. Even Cupid.com could have gotten this coupling right. It’s a match made in heaven.
You can’t watch a sporting event in this day and age without social media being a part of it in some way. Whether its Twitter handles, Facebook comments, or fan tweets, it’s seems to be a very part of the fabric of broadcasting sports now.
I’ve watched this relationship grow exponentially for almost four years now. Things I used to do in the past on my blog about sports and social media are commonplace now. It’s getting more difficult to be on the cutting edge, to be different or to stand out from the crowd in the social media-sports circle. So I had to come up with something different. And I did.
My theory was off the wall. My idea was bordering on nuts. But, who ever said geniuses were sane, right? [Shh. Don’t tell me I’m a genius or insane until after you read this, okay?]
But I did the unthinkable. I watched the Super Bowl without really “watching” it.
I watched it….but only on Twitter.
Yes, I’m serious. I let the tweets tell me the story. No pre-game shows, no game, no halftime show for me. Just tweets.
Part of my reason was to be unique. But the other part is my job as a social media/sports reporter. I curate news and reaction to sports solely through Twitter. And because of the magnanimity of the Super Bowl, I knew I would miss a story or a key tweet by watching the game. Heck, I had to be on Twitter anyway to curate content so why not let it tell me the story, right? It made sense at the time, at least.
Because of the nature of my job, I am unable to share everything with you today. There are many tweets and stories I found (and still finding) that will either be seen on the ESPN show UNITE or I’ll have to add them later (which is true). Between my retweets during the game and tweets I’ve gathered, I have an overabundance of tweet reaction to this game. Without further ado:
You are looking live… pic.twitter.com/dGBNDdpx
— Sam Farmer (@LATimesfarmer) February 3, 2013
Bank of monitored great for replays http://t.co/seUSZUXO
— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) February 3, 2013
Alicia Keys before the National Anthem
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) February 3, 2013
I saw the fireworks:
SUPER. BOWL. FIREWORKKKKKKKKKKKS pic.twitter.com/k251wnhJ
— BuzzFeed Sports (@BuzzFeedSports) February 3, 2013
I even got to see the Super Bowl program:
Super Bowl XLVII game program pic.twitter.com/0ixO6bMF
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 3, 2013
Do we really think he means this? I don’t.
Beyonce I love you and all but it's Super Bowl Sunday, can't wait to watch football!!
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 3, 2013
Other pregame chatter (including an RT with a comment I made):
Don't know how this is possible, but it just got about 10 degrees colder–and 5 mph windier?–up here atop Mt. Superdome.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 3, 2013
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) February 3, 2013
I think Ray Lewis just implicated God as an accessory to murder.
— scott feschuk (@scottfeschuk) February 3, 2013
Shannon Sharpe had the ex-teammate factor in his favor but does grill Ray Lewis with two questions about the murders in Atlanta. #SuperBowl
— Mike Sullivan (@MrSportsBlog) February 3, 2013
"Great stories win Oscars, they don't win Super Bowls," –Shannon Sharpe to Ray Lewis. SS pretty good interviewer.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) February 3, 2013
Good for Shannon Sharpe asking Ray Lewis about the murders. Good for Boomer expressing skepticism at Ray's answers.
— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) February 3, 2013
Judging by media reax on my timeline there isn't a more polarizing great player in sports than Ray Lewis.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 3, 2013
— Sunny Cadwallader (@CadChica) February 3, 2013
— Howard Fendrich (@HowardFendrich) February 3, 2013
Who needs to “watch” the Super Bowl when people tweet out this (You Go, Southern!):
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) February 3, 2013
Click this link to see the video: telly.com/1IHVU4
Twitter told me who the captains were:
49ers captains go to midfield for coin toss: Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, C.J. Spillman … and Alex Smith.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) February 3, 2013
Bunch of captains for today's coin toss. They are Flacco, Suggs, Birk, Lewis, Ngata, Rice.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 3, 2013
The pregame music was astounding:
Have a TV-amount of mascara on, almost positive this will not survive Sandy Hook choir. Prepare for post-game raccoon face from me.
— Jennifer Floyd Engel (@engeljen) February 3, 2013
The Sandy Hook Elementary Choir already won Super Bowl MVP. What a moment.
— ESPN (@espn) February 3, 2013
I didn’t realize how astounding until I watched it just now (note: prior video was deleted by user. I have updated with the one below.):
Ah yes, where would we be without commercials? One, in particular, dominated my Timeline early:
That Go Daddy commercial… Was Worse Than Crocs
— Worse Than Crocs (@WorseThanCrocs) February 4, 2013
That was actually Ronaiah Tuiasosopo pretending to be Bar Refaeli.
— Jerry Brewer (@JerryBrewer) February 3, 2013
— Bar Refaeli (@BarRefaeli) February 4, 2013
But apparently, GoDaddy wasn’t the only commercial I needed to see:
— Ron Marshall (@Ron_Marshall) February 4, 2013
— Cindy Hval (@CindyHval) February 4, 2013
Umm, yeah, okay, where were we. Yes, on to the game. The things you learn without watching:
— trey wingo (@wingoz) February 4, 2013
QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) February 3, 2013
Just got a note from @NFLNetwork research that we all just witnessed the first fake field goal in Super Bowl history.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 4, 2013
It was a fumble. Right call was made.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) February 4, 2013
LaMichael James' Twitter mentions are ugly right now.
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) February 4, 2013
San Francisco is abusing Ray Lewis in pass coverage.
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) February 4, 2013
49ers have attached a flashing red light to Lewis' helmet.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) February 4, 2013
And the fake FG wasn’t a good call:
— THE KEY PLAY (@thekeyplay) February 4, 2013
Not sure I get this decision
— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) February 4, 2013
I don't think that's the risk you want to take if you're gonna take one.
— Patrick Crawley (@pecrawleynfl) February 4, 2013
LES MILES IN THE BUILDING BOYYYYYYYYYY
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) February 4, 2013
And then along came Beyonce:
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) February 4, 2013
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 4, 2013
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 4, 2013
Realtime screen video of people talking about Beyonce and Illuminati: http://t.co/DaM03iy0
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 4, 2013
Again, who needs to watch the halftime show when…:
(Thanks SB Nation)
(NOTE: Prior video was replaced with the one below as the user’s account was deleted)
Play resumes with a TD by Jacoby Jones:
Holy Cow Jacoby Jones!
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) February 4, 2013
Lights went out (I blame Beyonce) –
Great job on this GIF:
Animated: The moment half the lights went out at the Superdome http://t.co/RbGci44P
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 4, 2013
Typical younger brother. You start losing and you resort to pulling plugs to reset the game…
— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) February 4, 2013
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 4, 2013
Everyone in the Stadium is acting like its Dark? We play in this dark grey lighting everyday in Seattle!! Where's the rain!? #GoHawks
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 4, 2013
Now after Beyonce and the lights going out, Twitter suddenly became a blur. That, or typing this at 11:30 at night, has made it that way. By then, it was just a matter of retweeting what folks were saying under the Twitter accounts I work for. [I tweet under other accounts, not just mine.)
The task to continue to actually favorite or copy links to tweets and videos became overwhelming. Mostly because I got caught up in the game itself…still on Twitter. The 49ers, after the long, drawn-out, lights-out delay, came back with a vengeance to make it a game. So much so that they had a chance to take the lead in the waning moments of the game with a first and goal.
First and goal, game on the line, end of the Super Bowl?
It was at that moment that I blinked. I caved in to the Twitter peer-pressure of “best Super Bowl” ever and turned it on. I watched the last two 49er plays and as well as the Ravens’ taking over on downs and ending with a safety and punt.
I FAILED. MY TWITTER EXPERIMENT OF WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL FAILED.
Or did i? I “saw” the fumbles, the interception, the momentum shifts, the commercial commentaries, the amazing GIFs, the snide commentary, the whining, the celebrations, the gaudiness, the sorrow…I “saw” it all. For someone with no real rooting interest, it was fine. It’s not for everyone. Lord knows I won’t do it again for another major event unless absolutely forced to.
And especially NOT for “March Madness”!!!
I’ll leave you with some pictures I just came across to end this little adventure:
Jacoby Jones and Jacoby Jones Jr. pic.twitter.com/WxglpXNN
— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) February 4, 2013
Scene on Charles Street, still lots of celebrating! pic.twitter.com/dnis4dTW
— Stokely Baksh (@StokelyBaksh) February 4, 2013
— Leigh Anne Tuohy (@LeighAnneTuohy) February 4, 2013
Before blasting my experiment, NFL Network is re-airing the Super Bowl tomorrow (or today, Monday). Guess I really didn’t miss anything then, huh?