Sunday, January 1, 2012

How Twitter Changed my Life. Well... My Sports Life.

When I was in the 4th or 5th grade, way back in the days before iPhones and texting and Facebook, back when my house had a land line and the phone receiver was connected by a long and twisting cord, I had an afternoon routine I religiously followed.  I'd get off the school bus, go inside, and call my best friend, Christel.  Together, via rotary phone, we'd watch Family Feud. 

We were badass at Family Feud.

We'd throw out answers and usually, Christel would have some snarky retorts about what the families were wearing and she'd shout things like, "Makin' whoopee!  Don't you freakin' idiots know the top answer is always 'MAKIN' WHOOPEE?'"  It was hilarious to me, but our routine was probably sort of obnoxious and weird to everyone else in my household.

You're probably thinking right now, "That is so weird."  Don't worry.  I'm going somewhere with this Family Feud intro.

While I don't watch the Feud so much anymore (unless I'm at my mom's house), there are still things I'm just as passionate about on t.v.  Most notably -- sports.  Even more specifically -- Duke basketball and Rangers baseball.

I have a rule that I don't watch a sporting event in which I'm emotionally invested in public.  It's just not pretty.  It involves a lot of hand-wringing and second-guessing and talking to myself.  And praying for things that really aren't on the good Lord's to-do list.  I am also highly superstitious, which sometimes involves wearing "lucky t-shirts" that may or may not be clean.  And that may or may not make me crazy, I realize.  Oh.  And swearing.  I swear a whole lot.  Good things.  Bad things.  All of it is usually met with highly inappropriate language.

People try to get me off the couch and out into the public eye.  In 2010, when Duke played Butler in the National Championship, my friends and I were at Fuzzy's Tacos for dinner.  A) I nearly got in a fist fight with a loud and drunk Duke-hater.  And 2) I taught some little cherubs at a nearby table how to use the F-word as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and interjection.  I forced my friends to leave at a commercial break because I couldn't "concentrate properly".  It's a good thing too.  At the house, I enforced a no-talking rule, and I'm pretty sure I'd have fallen off my bar stool at the last shot.  God Bless my friends and the fact that they all know CPR.

This season, I took to watching the Rangers in the playoffs via texting and Facebooking with my fellow metroplex fans -- and after 30 years of misery, it's hard to find anti-Ranger sentiment around here.  My friend, Courtney, lured me to her house for Game 7 of the World Series with the promise of stiff drinks and cute children who'd be in bed before the first pitch.  I made it all of 5 and 1/3 innings before I ran out of the house apologizing, "I just can't do this.  I have to go home."  I raced home, threw on my lucky t-shirt and screamed obscenities at the St. Louis Cardinals.  I still question whether things would have turned out differently if I'd just stuck to my original plan.

Needless to say, I am sometimes the loneliest sports fan in the world.

But now, I've discovered Twitter.  Well, I discovered a whole lotta Christel Green-like "friends" on Twitter.  Devoted.  Hilarious.  Slightly skewed.  And ready to scream obscenities at the television.

Most of them are rabid Duke fans, players, and former players.  As a lifelong Blue Devil fan who usually finds herself in a swirl of anti-Duke sentiment, it's been a pleasant find.  I'm continually updated on stats, game times, broadcasts, and loads of pro-Duke passion.  And snark.  Viciously delightful sarcasm that, for the most part, I cannot match.  Every game, even if I'm not watching, I can follow the action (although it's oh-so-much more fun to monitor my timeline while watching) via bitter taunts and delighted crowing.   I love the crowing.  They're no basketball slouches either.  Their commentary is as pinpoint as any coach and decidedly moreso than your average announcer.  Don't be fooled, though.  When the team screws something up, the barbs fly just as often.  But it's a very "it's my team, so I can say it" kind of attitude.  Very similar to a big brother/little sister relationship.  Although I do not know a single one, I can guarantee they might be the only people I'd ever venture off the couch to catch a game with. 

They might even let me wear my smelly t-shirt while we're at it.

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