New app designed for sports fans on Twitter


New app designed for sports fans on Twitter

From Comcast SportsNet
CHICAGO (AP) -- When Philip Sanford goes to his favorite bar to watch his beloved Seton Hall Pirates, he brings along his phone charger so he also can follow the game on Twitter. Heather Carleton looks to the social media website for clarification when there's a disputed call involving the San Francisco 49ers. David Foreman likes to communicate with West Virginia fans across the country. More and more these days, when the game is on, so is the computer. Or tablet. Or cellphone. Sports fans around the world are following along on Twitter while they watch their favorite teams in person or on TV, and a new application from a San Francisco startup is designed to make that experience even easier for them. "Since I can't really listen to it since I'm at a sports bar, I like to read about what's going on from a journalistic point of view," said the 29-year-old Sanford, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. "I can learn about what's going from several different sources." There are signs all over that sports fans are using Twitter even while the game is going on in front of them. Sporting events are responsible for the majority of the top moments measured in tweets per second. The Champions League match between Barcelona and Chelsea on April 24 peaked at 13,684 tweets per second, second only to the 2011 showing of a movie in Japan. According to a study by the Perform sports media group, 26 percent of U.S. fans use social media platforms to follow their favorite sports, up from 15 percent in a similar survey in 2011. One-third of those fans say they use Twitter to follow sports, trailing Facebook (89 percent) and YouTube (65) -- based on 1,002 online interviews of adults conducted during February and March. Colleges and professional sports are paying attention to those numbers. Sunday's Pocono 400 Presented by (hash)NASCAR marked Twitter's first official partnership with a sports league. There are all sorts of official hashtags that allow fans to zero in on everything being said about their hometown teams at key moments. "It's really interesting to get more perspective on the game or whatever, whether it's golf or football, because I get to learn more about the players maybe the announcers aren't talking about," Carleton said. "So I think it's becoming more of a tool or resource than the social media part." Carleton, 34, a stay at home mom in Portland, Ore., goes to Mike Pereira whenever there is a questionable ruling in a 49ers game. Pereira was NFL vice president of officiating from 2001-09 and will weigh in on some controversial whistles on Twitter. "It's kind of nice to have that third party to see if you're being biased or not and then you feel vindicated if he says you're right," she said. Foreman, 40, of Lewisburg, Pa., likes the community aspect found on Twitter during sporting events. "I'm sort of an expatriate so a lot of time as I'm watching the Pirates game I am communicating with people in California and other far-flung locations, especially watching WVU," said Foreman, who works in development at Bucknell University. Will Hunsinger knows exactly what Foreman is talking about. Hunsinger, 42, is a proud Georgetown alum and avid follower of the men's basketball team. He was watching a game with his wife last year while communicating with a friend from Switzerland over Facebook and receiving text messages from his father when he came up with an idea. "I was like God, if I could just have this in my hand, where I was watching the game and do all this and see what people were talking about on Twitter ... it would make the game even more fun because now I'm connected with all the people I care about being connected with while I'm in the moment,'" he said. That was the beginning of SportStream, a free application for the iPad that was just approved by Apple and is expected to go live on Thursday. The new program offers curated Twitter feeds for major games that focus on posts from the most popular users based on an evolving credibility database. Fans also can check into games on Facebook and invite friends, as well as talk trash with others in another area of the app. "The concept is to enhance the live sports viewing experience rather than replace it," Hunsinger said. "Sports are inherently social. We want to connect friends, fans and foes, if you will, around the game action and enhance the viewing experience by allowing people to connect on whatever and socialize and consume the game conversation at whatever level that they're comfortable with." Hunsinger received a big lift from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen right after he came up with the idea for SportService. The billionaire owner of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and NFL's Seattle Seahawks funded the new company with a 3.5 million investment through his firm, Vulcan Inc. Hunsinger and Allen are betting on sports becoming even more intertwined with social media in the future. "I think actually we're just on the front edge of a wave," Hunsinger said. "I think that it's going to continue to explode."

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After quiet day in Detroit, Redskins Pierre Garçon says 'we always try to go deep'

After quiet day in Detroit, Redskins Pierre Garçon says 'we always try to go deep'

DETROIT - Looking at quarterback Kirk Cousins' stat line from Sunday's game against the Lions, and the Redskins passer certainly had a good day. Completing nearly 77 percent of his passes and going over 300 yards, Cousins moved the Washington offense efficiently for much of the game.

Yet, receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon combined for 55 total yards. Jackson, arguably the best vertical threat in the NFL, had a long catch of 12 yards. Yep, 12 yards. 

Cousins' longest pass for the game went to Vernon Davis for 27 yards. In fact, Davis and Jamison Crowder combined for 13 catches and nearly 200 yards, though much of their work was done in underneath spots. With a depleted secondary, the Lions defense largely played deep zone, keeping the best options to move the ball short, and Cousins proved quite capable of completing passes, going 30 of 39 for the game.

But after a tough loss - especially after it seemed the Redskins and Cousins would pull off an extraordinary win - some might question if the 'Skins offense became too reliant on shallow drag and crossing routes and did not look down field enough. 

Garcon, however, refuted that.

"I guess that's just how the game flowed because we always try to go deep but you know things are called but we don't have time or they play a different coverage," Garçon said. "We can't really control it."

The deep ball does not always equal a win for the Redskins either. Cousins' longest pass this season (57 yards) came in a Week 2 loss to Dallas and in a win over Baltimore the QB's longest pass was also 27 yards, same as in Detroit. 

Moving the ball is moving the ball - and Cousins does it well. After a four-game win streak snapped by a dispiriting loss in Detroit, Redskins fans should expect plenty of fans about the long ball. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.

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Caps reveal Halloween costumes

Caps reveal Halloween costumes

Halloween is still a week away, but with the Caps preparing for a long road trip, Halloween came early.

The team had a Halloween party Sunday with many of the players dressing up in costume.

Halloween party in D.C. 👻🎃🎃🎃

A photo posted by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

Alex Ovechkin and his wife, Nastya Shubskaya, appeared to coordinate with Ovechkin dressing up as an inmate and Shubskaya dressing up as a cop. Orlov, who is tagged on the Instagram post as the second person from the right, is dressed up as...the Joker? I think?

Several other players and their wives also got in on the fun.


A photo posted by Gina Carlson (@gnacarlson) on

Mr. and Mrs. Smith 2.0

A photo posted by Lauren Oshie (@loshie17) on

Not to be outdone, Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky also joined in on the fun tweeting out their costumes. Fans of the movie "Step Brothers" will enjoy this.

And then there was Zach Sanford....

Rookies in professional sports sometimes have to take on...additional duties. For Sanford, that meant leading the party in a stirring rendition of the song "Sweet Caroline." Thankfully, Ovechkin filmed it.

Caps boys here👍💪

A video posted by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

Welcome to the NHL, kid.

RELATED: Caps' penalty kill has 'room for improvement'