UEFA Euro 2012 is well under way, and with it comes the fanatics who like to spout their football knowledge. But now that you can get all the facts from your smartphone, is our enjoyment of live events being stifled?
I remember watching football matches in the pub when I was a lot younger – only drinking a lime cordial of course – and being in awe of certain older people who knew anything and everything about the game.
If England were playing someone like the Faroe Islands and the opposing team made a substitution, they would not only know how many times the new player had played for their national team, but would also know what they did as a part-time job and how many pets they had.
But now if someone has a question during a game, instead of the know-it-all rattling off the answer (let’s be honest, these people were as annoying as they were knowledgeable), there’s a mad rush to see who can pull out their mobile phone first to consult an app or Google.
Are smartphone football facts offside?
It would have taken years and more than an little effort to become obsessed enough to know the date of birth of the Ukrainian team’s Bohdan Butko. But now it takes no more than a smartphone and the free official UEFA Euro 2012 app. (Butko is 21 by the way).
Today we have more information than we could possibly absorb available to us during a game. It’s great to be able to find out how many goals the striker you’ve never heard of has scored as he comes on against your team, but I’m starting to notice people spending more time jabbing at their phone during a match than watching the actual game.
Do you think having access to all this information is enriching our enjoyment of live events, or stifling conversation and distracting us from what really matters?