I've been a sports fan, namely NBA, since I was 9 years old—the earliest age I can personally remember sitting and enjoying the thrill of basketball gameplay. It wasn't until I took matters into my own hands, having learnt recording shows on VHS wih a VCR, that I began recording basketball games. To this day, I still own the hard copies, and watching the NBA All-Star Game in 1998 taking place in Madison Square Garden was nice. It was a Sunday, and sports like basketball made my weekends so enjoyable; Sports was also an escape from school, despite that I had one of the most strict teachers I ever had, and I was frightened going back to school, as she would yell at us periodically. In high school, I added the PBA—Professional Bowling Association—to my sports fandom, since I worked to better my bowling game (my highest score to date was a 265, back in August 2005). From legends like Johnny Petraglia to Mike Aulby, bowling was an underrated yet highly appreciated sport to this day. I didn't become an American football fan—NFL—until around 2016, and didn't become an NHL fan until about 2012. Currently, in part with sports betting, I'm exploring as much sports as I can, and with this current lockdown in California, I came to realize how terrifying reality can be.
My sports research led me to this book by author Dan Voicescu. If one were to judge by the title of this book, which unfortunately is still the case today, people would make a blatant reaction and say, "with a TV or smart device! Duh!" Nice of adults thinking their 'freshmanic' humor gives them a [false] perception that they're real comedians (they're not). Make this book, as well as this review, as a shoutout going to all the fans representing our love and admiration of sports, from the rivalries, to highlight plays, the game's histories and the legends who walked before our time.
Voicescu included a runthrough of technological advancements and how sports media companies and conglomorates capitalize on broadcasting the latest state-of-the-art presentation. How excited were you when high definition made its way through? Did you love and enjoy your games in widescreen, as opposed to the standard 4:3 "square" broadcast? Personally, in my case, I was patient over new technology since our cable provider added an extra fee to have HD channels; Even worse, another cost was added in for an HD DVR, and that time, I had no way to save my recordings from the DVR. (I was recording on a DVD recorder, but it couldn't record HD signals, which meant that throughout around 2017, I still was recording on DVD.) Now comes 4K, and immediately after, the new 8K format is the hot deal. I know video editing softwares like Avid Media Composer can accept 16K resolutions, if you're working in the film industry. However, with that being said, what will we see next year, 64K video?
Beyond halfway through the book, Voicescu talks about the different kinds of sports fans which made me smile. Where do I fit? I'm one who looks like stats, past and present, predicting what may happen in the future, along with checking the sports odds for hints. I'm also a bit of a skeptic, but nevertheless, I lay out the stats as a defense mechanism to prove my stance. As for one of my best friends, he's a true optimist, and even though I've laid down the cynic persona informing him about why certain storylines and teams are being pushed, he still believes that rooting for his team to "step it up" is the key to winning a championship. Yeah, sports conspiracies, sports odds slide off his shoulders easily. When reading the book, see where myself and my best friend fit in such categories. Another interesting note was Voicescu mentioning the "socialite" who is more keen to socializing and mingling as opposed to paying attention to the game. Personally, I've been an introvert my whole life, and I've had awful experiences interacting with people, given all these awkward stares and dirty looks leering at my direction (my fly isn't unzipped, and I don't have a booger hanging out of my nose, so what's the problem, putz?). If I were in a social setting, which to me feels like I'm laying down and sleeping in between horror dolls Annabelle and Chucky, I'd rather pay attention to the game than socialize with anyone else. In addition, I don't know what I'd do during commercial breaks had it not been for smartphones, let alone food and drinks.
One of the fans Voicescu mentioned, if I may add, is the contrarian. Whenever I think of the contrarian, I think of ESPN Sports Analyst Mike Wilbon. Wilbon said so back in July 2010 during the ESPN Special presentation—The Decision, when asked about what team LeBron James was likely to sign and play with, he answered to Stuart Scott (rest in peace), "J.B. [Jon Barry] likes it when I play the contrarian...but I'm not going to do that." Nothing wrong with that, Wilbon!
I can keep going with my sports fanaticism, and how I've read and reviewed three books on sports conspiracies since 2012. This book is an informative and gentle refresher on what it means to be a sports fan, and celebrating the love and the entertainment value we get from it (I'm sure fans of shows like Friends and Game of Thrones do the same thing, why can't sports fans?). Despite the madness and controversy that flies by sports, we still can't help but enjoy it. It's a pastime that's available for everyone, and they are all welcome to enjoy it with us and each other.
Although my skepticism still lingers, and as someone who once aspired to be a professional athlete as a child, I'm glad sports is still around. Whether you're rooting and representing your team, making bets or both, cheers to all of you and best of luck! Let the game(s) begin!
[FRONT] The Evolution of Fandom and Sports Consumption in the #postinternet Era
We live in the Golden Age of sports consumption. Millions of people are tuning in to the Super Bowl, World Series, World Cup, and Olympics. Using the recently developed tools provided by digital and social media, fans converse and bond using the omnipresent coverage of team and athletes like never before.
Social media has become the primary interaction channel between fans and the sports industry, the de facto home of breaking news and highlights, rendering the traditional television highlight show irrelevant.
We, as sports fans are more plugged in to the intricacies of sports than ever before. How is this affecting the fans, and even the players' perception of the game?
Analyst and sports commentator Dan Voicescu examines the new reality of sports media in this informative, humorous guide to the complicated relationship between fans and the sports they consume. Voicescu also provides an overview on the different types of fans in your life and why their consumption patterns matter.
In the book's final section, the author takes a glimpse into the future, examining the upcoming trends that will continue to change how fans interact with both the teams they support and with other fellow fans.
Library of Congress Control Number
Digital Book Info
File Size: 2.1 MB
Format(s): Kindle, eBook
111 (10 pages via physical copy)
Foreword, How We Watch Sports, The Highest of Emotional Highs Worlds Apart, We've come a Long Way Baby, The Television Era, The Live Stadium Experience in the Modern Era, The Golden Era of Sports, What We Talk about When We Talk about Sports, How Social and Digital Media Define the Modern Fan Archetypes, The Sports Savant, The Romantic Loyalist, Sci-Fi Utilitarian, The Contrarian Cynic, Social Butterfly, VI. A la Carte Sports Fan—Zipi Alex and the Leaders of the New School, The Future: How Will We Watch Sports?, Times, they are a changin', The #NextGen Craze—What Shall Ensue in Social Media?, Virtual Reality, "Your Call" and the Future of Broadcasting, Drones Nixies GoPros and Cons, eSports, October 22, 2017, Acknowledgements, About the Illustrator
July 21, 2016 (July 13, 2016 for printed version)
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
North Charleston, South Carolina