What’s the NFL’s Beef Against Twitter?

Social media has hit the big time. Since 2005 when MySpace really took off, more and more individuals are bypassing traditional sources of information (T.V., radio, newspapers) in favor of cutting-edge websites that radiate “hip”, “chic”, and “in”.

How else to explain the growth of YouTube, Facebook, and the latest social media darling, Twitter?

On the surface, Twitter use appears to be as harmless as its bird logos. Yet in the summer of 2009, the microblogging phenomenon has drawn the ire of officials within the august National Football League (NFL). In particular, some coaches, managers and league office types fear that one-hundred forty character “tweets” can compromise confidential game plans, injury reports, and sensitive marketing information. Certain NFL teams are even banning tweets during training camp, threatening players with fines and suspensions if they do not fall in line.

What the Controversy is really about.

Twitter’s speed and mass instant messaging capacity scares head coaches. Whereas a team can manage press conferences and dictate press releases, Twitter gives football fans unfiltered access to its gridiron heroes. It represents a transition from command-controlled media to a raw type of ufabet เว็บหลัก citizen inquiry. While professional sports journalism still has its place, modern technology (laptops, notebooks, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs)) allows regular folks to bypass the local sportscast, ESPN, the NFL Network, and even the teams themselves to get what they want.

The NFL in a Web 2.0 World.

NFL franchises are understandably sensitive about their on-field operations, but media leaks and other breaches of confidentiality will occur with or without Twitter. In the era of 24/7 news cycles, a fragmented multimedia environment exposes professional athletes to an array of “independents” (bloggers, freelancers, paparazzi, etc.). For better or worse, the NFL office cannot prevent intrepid reporters and investigative journalists from hunting down good stories.

The NFL and other sports leagues must maintain the highest level of integrity to survive. As America’s number one spectator sport, football is particularly susceptible to issues that can compromise it image. However, instead of attacking Web 2.0, perhaps it should take a look at gambling’s increasingly presence around the game (fantasy football leagues, weekly pools, sports betting etc.) and the effect it has on society.