Barack Obama will start posting updates himself on the @barackobama twitter feed. My response to that is, what took so long?
Back in April of 2009 I was quoted about the Obama twitter feed by Christina Bellantoni (who was with the Washington Times at the time). I said at the time that the Obama White House should have been using social media more to vouch for their agenda. The White House has done a good job embracing technology with putting up video of the weekly addresses as well as the Flickr feeds but they have not used Facebook and Twitter like they could have. Yes, his staff has made their presence felt on twitter but I have thought for a while that Obama should have been chiming in from time to time. As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or .
If at some point in the next 24 hours you notice that Facebook and Twitter are facing major downtime you should point your fingers towards the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Chandigarh, India. The PCA is the venue for one of the biggest sporting events in history, a World Cup semi-final clash between Pakistan and India. I’ll do my best to not to make too much of this post about Cricket statistics as most of the people who read this blog regularly are not cricket fans. I just wanted to give you guys somewhat of a background on what is transpiring half way around the world.
Cricket just may be getting bigger exposure in the US. ESPN just secured a deal to stream games online as well as show on TV.
While the media and fans on either side of the border hardly ever think or act rationally the players have become far more friendly over the years. Perhaps it is the circumstances that have made that way but the men on both of these rosters serve dual roles as ambassadors of their countries while the two governments are knocking heads. Cricinfo writer Sambit Bal looked back at an incident from 2007 earlier today.
I remember a conversation I had with Younis Khan, then captain of Pakistan, a couple of days after his team had beaten India in a Champions Trophy match in Pretoria in 2009. Younis spoke of chiding a couple of Indian television journalists who’d been chasing him for a quote that would damn MS Dhoni. “Why are you after Dhoni,” he asked them. “Winning and losing, it keeps happening. Today it is his turn, tomorrow it could be mine.”
The pressure to win is extremely high in both countries. Heads will likely roll in whichever camp comes out short on Wednesday. It is the nature of the beast and all parties involved know this going in. Lets not forget that these two countries have been to war three times, have had many more border skirmishes. Sometimes the fan base tries to equate cricket to war. I can’t think of many sports rivalries that are bigger. I’ve tried to explain to American friends how much more intense this rivalry is compared to pretty much anything in North American sports. Pakistan/India cricket matches make the Yankees/Red Sox, Redskins/Cowboys, Lakers/Celtics, UNC/Duke, etc. seem like minor league stuff. It is a rivalry that goes even deeper then sports. Saad Shafqat of ESPNCricinfo put it to words better then I can at the moment,
Sports ultimately are a form of make-believe, but here we have a sporting rivalry with roots so deep that it is no longer clear which is the genuine conflict and which is the proxy. If you took a survey of Indians and Pakistanis today, they will not be clear whether it is more important to defeat your neighbour in cricket or war. Quite likely, a majority will prefer victory in cricket. To this extent, the goal of any cricket diplomacy has already been achieved.
The hype surrounding this match has been immense but unlike the hyperbole that gets used a lot in sports this match really is that big of a deal. I am as big a sports fan as any and I honestly can’t think of a more highly anticipated sporting even in my lifetime. Just how highly anticipated is this match? All hotels within a 25 KM (15.5 miles) radius were sold out a week ago. As this article goes on to mention, tickets are selling for well over face value by scalpers. This part really caught my eye though,
According to the Times of India, space at Chandigarh airport is limited so private jet owners have been asked to arrange for their planes to drop them off, then head off to places like Amritsar or Delhi to park for the day, before returning to pick them up after the match. Those fans who have to fly commercial airlines should be prepared to pay a huge premium, reported Mint, a business paper. Business-class tickets are sold out, and an economy ticket for the 30-minute flight between Delhi and Chandigarh will cost between Rs 7407 and Rs 10,482 on March 29. A flight to Chandigarh from Delhi on any other day costs about Rs 3200.
You have to check out this border ceremony that happens every single day. It is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The two nations have been at war 3 times and tensions are always high politically but this ceremony at the border draws a crowd from both sides of the border.
I always laugh at people to claim that a billion people watch the Super Bowl. Sure, there are 100 million people in the US who watch it but where are the other 900 million people coming from? A lot of Americans seem to forget that not everyone cares about American sports. Soccer and Cricket are a bigger deal around the world (in terms of audience). This game tomorrow will most likely be watched by well over a billion people. How am I coming up with that number? There are approximately 1.5 billion Pakistanis and Indians around the world. A large majority of those (including me) will be watching this game Wednesday. Add to it people in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Canada and right here in the US and it adds up to a fairly large audience. Twitter faces several down periods throughout the course of the average day, I am expecting it to face even more troubles Wednesday. So if you’re logging in from work in the morning hoping to get on Twitter……sorry! The game starts at 5 AM eastern time and should last until about 12:30 PM. I would expect Twitter issues for far longer then that.
This brings me back to my original question. Will this go down as the most watched sporting event ever? As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or .
It is a good step forward from Facebook and Twitter. It has become an issue that needs to be addressed. I went to Middle School with someone who passed away a year and a half ago. For a long time after her death, her Facebook page was still sending out notifications from “Mafia Wars” and other games people play on Facebook.
I absolutely HATE NBC Sports right now. It is a long weekend here in the US for most and with that of course comes lots of sports. One of the biggest worldwide sporting events of course is Wimbledon. There is a potentially great semi final going on right now on the other side of the pond between American Andy Roddick and the local favorite Andy Murray. The match up has all the potential to be a great one. But me and lots of other people who live in the US aren’t watching the match right now.
Yes, apparently they can’t skip Martha Stewart’s show for a day. I’ve mentioned in the past and I’ll say it again, I love the NBC does sports. I love their broadcasts from the top down. But, tape delay….in 2009? Seriously? I hate it when they do this with the Olympics, but I’m willing to excuse them for that most of the time given how big of a time difference there is and the good events happening in the middle of the day US time. Fair enough. But today is just inexcusable. Like I mentioned before it is a long weekend here. Most people have access to a TV, especially if you are in the Northeast with all this rain. Why kill the buzz to what could be a great sports day?
The Roddick/Murray match up started around 10:30 AM eastern time. ESPN is not allowed to show it because under the TV contract they sign along with NBC sports they each get to pick one semi final to show. Fair enough…..but someone forgot to mention to them they should be showing it live. Again, its 2009….it shouldn’t be that complicated. NBC will start their coverage on the east coast at noon. That is a full 90 minutes after the match started. Do they jump right into the coverage of the match or will they show the Women’s doubles semi final from earlier today involving the Williams sisters first?
If you were like me and thought to go to nbcsports.com and try to catch a live feed there…well it turns out NBC can’t air the match there either until noon eastern because ESPN still holds the Wimbledon rights until that time even though their match ended over an hour ago and right now they are showing the 5th set from last year’s epic final. Why couldn’t they put tennis on USA Network until they were ready to go over to NBC? Was a NCIS marathon really that important? Don’t even get me started on what is on the other NBC Universal networks like Bravo and Scifi.
I really can’t believe that these 90 minutes really help NBC that much. I can understand not wanting to cancel the “Today Show” but airing Martha Stewart’s show is just insane. So an idiot like me who actually wants to watch this match up in its entirety is supposed to cut off from the world, not go to any news or sports website. Can’t turn to any sports channel or even news channel. Can’t go online because I’m bound to get the result spoiled via Facebook or Twitter. Once again…epic fail in the year 2009.
Sucks even more if you are in the west coast. NBC won’t start their broadcast there until noon local time….which of course is another 3 hours later. Pure genius NBC. Let your audience go get the results elsewhere so they don’t tune in. What do you know, I thought the NBC was gonna hurt me this weekend was with lack of news on MSNBC. This my friends is reason #345321143 why I want to be back in Canada.