The Twitter Super Bowl

Why is it that during major events such as the Super Bowl, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are just absolutely popping off?

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During yesterday’s big game, there was 27.6 million tweets using #SB51, while 64 million people posted on facebook about the Super Bowl. The twitter numbers are up from last year’s Super Bowl, but they were unable to eclipse the record of Super Bowl 49 where 28.4 million tweets were posted during the game. This could be explained by the fact that the first half of the game was pretty boring because it looked like the Falcons were going to blow out the Patriots, but the ending to the game made for one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time with New England mounting the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Patriots were also the winners of Super Bowl 49 so it doesn’t surprise me that the two biggest Twitter Super Bowls were during their victories since the Patriots fan base is objectively the most annoying fan base in all of professional sports. Everyone and their grandmother claims they’re die hard Patriots fans even if the only time they’ve been to Boston is to change planes in Logan airport. Needless to say I stayed off of twitter once the Patriots started their comeback…

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It’s obviously much more than the Patriot’s bandwagon that creates the immense social media activity during the Super Bowl, but I’m still bitter about them winning so I needed to have that rant. In the age of the Internet, video streaming, and DVR capabilities there’s now rarely times where millions of people around the globe are watching some event live at the same time. Events like the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and the Presidential election are some of the times where millions of people are not only watching, but also have an opinion on the outcomes and want to share that opinion with everyone they know. When it comes to the Super Bowl you could essentially not be watching the game and know exactly what is going on due to the fact that every somewhat substantial moment in the game is documented on social media through tweets, memes and videos. In my eyes, this presents a lot of pros and cons. The positives of this are that football can be a slow moving game at times and you really could scroll through twitter as the game is going on and not miss any of the action while being entertained as to what people are saying about it. Social media posts also give people with little knowledge about football the ability to see what experts are saying about certain parts of the game when normally they wouldn’t be able to see explanations about what is happening in real time. My major grievance regarding the heavy twitter use during the Super Bowl comes from the fact that as a lover of the game of football it kind of makes me mad that during the biggest game of the year, so many people are glued to their phone for 3 hours. For example, during our Super Bowl party yesterday, my dear friend, and our handsome classmate, Ciaran Cleary was ripping through twitter like it was his job. Ciaran’s the epitome of a football guy, so it was interesting to me to observe he and my other friends perusing social media throughout the game. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about whether Ciaran is more of a football guy or a twitter guy, so feel free to comment which one you think he is. Now don’t get me wrong Ciaran is my absolute boy and people forget that he’s the greatest club hockey player of all time, so I’m not trying to call him out I’m just saying I personally think that it kind of takes away from watching the greatness of the game with a big group of people when you’re on your phone the whole time.

I’m now trying to decide whether I should try to start beef with Ciaran through these blogs so you can also let me know if I should call him out in every blog.

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When I saw the stats about the amount of people who use twitter during the game it made me think that there’s probably a lot of people who are trying to post funny pictures and memes in order to have that post that blows up and makes them famous on twitter for 24 hours. I really do think it’s awesome that we have a platform that can connect millions of people during a single entertainment event, but there are aspects of social media that make me think technology has made people so lame in that the fame some people desire is through their meme getting retweeted thousands of times. Go Falcons.

9 comments

  1. Hey Michael, I really feel the vibes that you’re putting out. I agree with what you’re saying in a sense that the super bowl has become two events: the game itself and the commentary online about the game. Call me old fashion, but I miss the days when the only commentary was with the friends and family around you… unless of course they are a Patriots fan. I even had a friend go live during the end of the game which makes no sense because who would take the time to watch a live stream of a reaction while also watching the game live. As for your handsome friend, call him out. True fans don’t need additional media to enjoy the game. #SkolVikings

  2. I definitely agree with what you’re saying here. It kind of goes back to a comment I had on another blog last week about having a hard rule about not taking videos or pictures at concerts or sporting events so that I can actually enjoy the moment. I can’t imagine how many times during the game, a big play happened, everyone yelled, and then somebody had to ask everyone what happened because they were looking at their phone instead of the game. For people that aren’t as big of sports fans, I guess Twitter could be a good alternative while they’re sitting at a Super Bowl party but I would much rather watch the actual game.

  3. I enjoy using Twitter while watching football, because it allows me to feel like I’m watching with a big crowd of people even when I’m comfortable in my own living room. It’s particularly good when you’re playing against teams when you have friends who root for the other side (I’m from ATL). Be wary of FB though, as newsfeed is often delayed. I was getting a bunch of posts from my ATL friends last night that look like they were posted about halftime. Oops.

  4. I agree with you that social media definitely allows you to know about the game without even watching it. This is similar to when someone misses an episode of their favorite TV show and then using Twitter would easily spoil any plot twists that might have happened!

  5. I find what you say to be true in a number of other applications as well, like when people take pictures and videos on vacation and fail to actually enjoy the experience. I also enjoyed your photo of President Bush 41. For me, seeing a nation come together an honor a war hero and public servant regardless of their political beliefs was a refreshing relief from the current political climate.

  6. This year’s Super Bowl was certainly portrayed through many different lenses. The amount of snapchats, Facebook live events, and football related tweets that went out on Sunday were unbelievable. I agree that social media can enlighten people about the rules and ways of the game, but it can also spread inaccurate information. There are definitely plenty of experts that give their opinions over social media, but there are even more users that know very little about football and feel the urge to express what they consider accurate information. Lastly, I watched the game at my house with several people and they were constantly plugged into their phones. I might have been as well, but I took notice to this phenomenon and wished we were all more interactive.

  7. I definitely agree about the pros and cons of everyone constantly on their phones while watching the Super Bowl. I was one of those people this time around, tweeting and trying to find articles to write about in my blog on Super Bowl commercials. One thing that I did like about that, though, was that as the commercials aired and big plays happened, there was a new stream of information (when the refs weren’t speaking) or extended versions of advertisements. I wish I wasn’t the one on my phone during the big game, but also I was able to share a lot of information with my friends that wasn’t being told to us on the actual TV.

  8. I guess for a lot of people Twitter is the place for instant ego gratification and a safe place for bravado and I confess I did look at my phone between quarters and at half time. After the game I used Twitter to reach out to a couple of Falcon fans to congratulate them on an amazing performance and to say they are a young team and they will see them at SB again.

    I’ve been a Pats fan since the days before it was something to feel slightly apologetic about (apology being the British response to success LOL) I feel that living just outside Boston for two years and supporting them as far back in the day as when Bledsoe was still QB means I really do get to call myself a fan. I understand how annoying the Patriot Nation is, but we were rubbish for a really long time before that don’t forget.

    More than anything I just love football and this Super Bowl we got to see some amazing football played. I will never forget how Atlanta shut us down like no other team managed all season and I will never forget how we came back. And what I like about social media is that even miles away from home and not really knowing many people here, I still got to be part of something bigger for a few hours.

  9. Great post, Mike. It is always interesting to see how tens of millions of people all tune in to watch the same sporting event. I wonder exactly what it is about football that brings people together. While spending time on Twitter during the big game is something I certainly do, it is absolutely not something my parents or their friends are doing during the game. Two different generations watching the same game with completely different perceptions of the game with the help of social media.

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