A couple years ago, I was on the road with the Oregon baseball team on the same weekend as the NFL Draft. That Thursday night, instead of going with the team to practice, I locked my door, grabbed my laptop and hunkered down to watch the draft.
At that point, I knew I liked Twitter and decided to open TweetDeck to keep track of everything that was going on.
It was like having an extra set of eyes in my head. Except that the other set of eyes was in New York, behind the scenes, five minutes in the future.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was announcing the picks a few moments ahead of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Other well respected sports analysts were offering their opinions. Fans were reacting with their emotions and a kind of 'predict the pick' thing developed among the sports people I followed. The whole thing was just fascinating.
That combination changed the way I watched the draft last year and it has changed the way I watch sports.
For the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Civil War and Super Bowl, I had the game on my TV and Twitter on my mobile device.
I am pretty sure it annoys the people I am watching the game with, and I know it annoys my friends on Facebook because for four hours, I fill their timeline with posts because I linked my accounts.
If you don't know much about Twitter, ignore the fact that it has a goofy name and sign up for an account. Then, this weekend, keep one eye on the TV and one eye on what everyone else is saying.
(NOTE: No matter what Commish Goodell tells the media, Twitter will still be as compelling as ever. His attempt to contain the medium is evidence of just how game-changing it really is.)
My top 5 suggested sports follows for first-time Twitter users:
@NotBillWalton: Hilarious, sarcastic insight into the world of sports.
@DPShow: Posts from the best sports talk show in radio, the Dan Patrick Show.
@GeorgeSchroeder: Former Register Guard sports columnist, now with USA Today.
@TonyDungy: Wisdom from the world of sports and life.
Your favorite team, television show, athlete or media outlet has a Twitter feed by now, too. Find them, follow them and watch what happens when you instantly witness how people you respect react to the same thing you are watching.
It will soon make you profess the greatness of Twitter, like I do.