Tag Archives: social media

MLB Stadiums Without Crowd Noise?

my yard bloomg flowers 024There’s a point in any game where everything changes. Every player feels it. It’s when the crowd is so loud, player’s emotions and abilities swing on a dime, for better or worse. That’s exactly what players compete for, that rush, the roar of the crowd, the adulation to prove they’ve done something great or are important people. So, can you imagine NFL, NBA or NHL games played in empty stadiums? Major League Baseball may be headed that way.

The current average length of a Major League Baseball game is 3:02, of which only eighteen minutes is actual action, meaning there’s almost three hours of non-action. The current human attention span average is eight seconds, one second less than a goldfish. (And, yes, these figures come from credible research study).

Can you imagine a kid today going to his first live baseball game? He’s used to thrill-a-minute stimulation from his device, or television, or anything nowadays. The kids of this and future generations are tomorrow’s MLB fans – also known by team owners as “fannies in the seats,” the people who pay most of the player’s salaries.

But wait, young people aren’t the only ones distracted by modern-day living and technology.

The average worker today checks his email thirty times an hour. Typical mobile users check their phones 150 times a day. From 2011 to 2013, social media sharing doubled.

This is trouble for MLB. Look at the trends. The average length of an MLB contest in 1980 was 2:39, and we had far fewer distractions then. With the average 2014 MLB ticket price at $27.93, plus expensive concessions, plus travel time, plus the fact the game is available on cable, one might ask why go to baseball games at all?

Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, says he realizes these problems and is implementing new rules this season to speed up play to lure younger fans. No more forty-five seconds between pitches for batters to readjust their jock strap or pitchers to circle the mound two times. That’s just enough time to tempt fans to reconnect with friends, co-workers and social media outlets on their devices. Or just time to get bored, and the stadium goes quiet again.

Anyone who thinks crowd noise isn’t crucial to the excitement of sports is wrong. The NFL’s Atlanta Falcons were recently fined for pumping crowd noise into their stadium during games the past three seasons. Anyone who thinks the attention span issue isn’t crucial to sports is also wrong. The NFL has had to implement rules and fines for players and coaches from texting during games. It’s a different world today.

Major League Baseball’s official Opening Day game is April 5 in Chicago’s old Wrigley Field, ironically a night game. In 1988, Wrigley was the last MLB franchise to install stadium lights for night games.

I worry what MLB stadiums will look like in another twenty-seven years.

P.s.  The solution here in northern New Mexico: Go to our Triple A Albuquerque Isotopes games. Bring all your kids. Leave all devices behind. Baseball is too beautiful a game to miss.


Filed under Blog, The Daily Thought

Writers Writing and Their Online Parade


Gee, look at me.

I’m a writer – fresh off finishing a memoir – who’s also on several social media platforms. And, thanks to WordPress, my website looks slick. Digital cameras produce top-notch images for all my blogs and various online platforms. These tools of the trade (practically unheard of only fifteen years ago) can often make me – or anyone – look spectacular. It seems just about every writer these days has a professional-looking website, large following on some social media, or book in print or online. In fact, after Googling Mike Andberg, people may even think I’m fantastically successful.

Hm-m-m. Roll back the curtain. Let’s study this closer.

What do writers look like when they’re writing? I’ve always wanted to know. What’s the image of them as they write?

A second winter cold wave has just hit Santa Fe. I’m writing today in the nicest piece of furniture I own, an easy chair inherited from my mother’s estate nine years ago. If it wasn’t for the space heater beneath my feet (a thrift store bargain), I’d be freezing. There’s a blanket over my legs. I’m writing through fancy horn-rimmed glasses I bought many years ago, then lost, then miraculously found a year later in the dirt near my parking space. They are no longer fancy. I continue to dress in yesterday’s sloppy clothes, which, for me, are everyday attire on weekends – sweat pants and fleece top. I’m also wearing a stocking cap. My quaint condo is cute but has lousy heat, forcing me to do things like wear stocking caps. A small desk lamp (another thrift store bargain) illuminates my surroundings enough that I’m comfortable writing. The room is quiet – I hate any background noise. I prefer that all window blinds be closed – brightness is too distracting. Eating is a chore – stopping for it could mean I’ll lose writing flow (assuming I’m actually flowing, a phenomenon that coincides with hunger without fail).

After a long period in which flow has been achieved – but quickly turned to trickle status – I take a break and walk outside to the mailbox. Once there, I realize I’m wearing skuzzy sweat pants and fleece top festooned with an unfathomable amount of pills, an image of me neighbors weren’t prepared to see. Still enough in the writing zone, I don’t realize what crap I’m wearing.

Writing is not relegated to the freezer that is my condo. Because I absolutely cannot – cannot – waste time, I write wherever I go. Waiting in the Discount Tire lobby for new tires to be installed on my 2000 Prizm yesterday, people picked up whatever they could get their hands on to keep their bored minds occupied – Auto Trader, Muscle Car magazine, etc. I couldn’t bear to think of the time I’d have wasted if I hadn’t brought my laptop. I felt good and, in case you’re wondering,  was better dressed.

There was me at work a few days ago, sitting in my car with laptop, trying to scrunch twenty-two minutes of creativity into my half hour lunch break. Avocado fell on the keyboard and I went ballistic, the clean up process diminishing my writing time to seventeen minutes.

But my work ethic is paying off. Reading today’s Sunday Albuquerque Journal, I discover the humor piece I submitted has been published. There I am in print, taking up 500 words of space. Surrounding the big gray block of type is a color image I took for the article, not to mention a bio photo I sent of me sporting hip clothes and a handsome smile, both qualities rarely – if ever – seen together in one shot. Hm-m-m…. Roll up the blinds. Shine light on man’s fervent inclination to always put his best foot forward.

Now I wonder this: Were I a writer who suddenly became known all around the world and had money to burn, would I do or look any different from the Mike Andberg who writes now?

Probably not. Those fuzzy clothes brought me good luck!


Filed under The Daily Thought