I will smash laptops to save sports.
The predator is Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity). Used in hotels, airports and upscale coffee shops, the technological breakthrough allows users in a specified area to access the Internet without plugging anything in.
But this invisible innovation is transforming sporting events into Nerd Festivals.
The latest victim is the NBA expansion Charlotte Bobcats, who open their $265 million arena with Wi-Fi next season. The team's executive vice president for arena operations explained to USA Today the reasons for implementing the worst thing that has happened to sports since women first started blabbering on cell phones during games.
Some people will think this is the geeky thing, the nerdy thing, Silberman told columnist Michael Hiestand about the fans' ability to play on the internet during a professional basketball game.
But (the same critics) were probably saying that 10 years ago, Silberman added, when other people were going to Web sites and using e-mail.
I use the Internet at home. At football games, I watch football.
The San Francisco Giants already have Wi-Fi at their baseball stadium. In an interview with USA Today, the Giant's chief information officer had the audacity to compare his team's venue to a coffee shop.
It's like walking into Starbucks, Bill Schlough told Hiestand.
Remind me not to travel across the country to watch baseball in California when I can find the same satisfaction by driving two miles to sip on a lattŽ.
(The only difference is) our Wi-Fi is free, Schlough said.
Far from free. The consequences could include my imprisonment.
Because I will have a hard time controlling my anger the first time I see a computer in Neyland Stadium's student section.
If UT is losing to Georgia at the time, I won't hesitate to unleash my rage on the most expensive thing I see.
There's a lot of purist fans who scoff at anybody bringing laptops to games, Schlough said to Hiestand about my sports-loving type.
Glad I'm not the only one.
I've been heckled when I go in the stands,the proud dweeb added. But then (the purists) will end up wanting to look over your shoulder.
The only reason I would peer over any nerd's shoulder is to make fun of him in hope that he leaves early.
Then everyone can watch the game without having to hear about theories posted on a Star Trek Web site from a four-eyed Web geek.
But I need help to control the world's plethora of dorks who claim to like sports.
Note to nerds: If you care more about the instant message from your online girlfriend than you do about the slam dunk on the court, you shouldn't tarnish the reputation of my passion by calling yourself a sports fan.
Wi-Fi has me worried.
The whole world is going wireless, Silberman told Hiestand to garner support for the Bobcat's decision to ruin their home atmosphere before their first game. We want to create a building that's nothing but a series of technological wows.
Yes, sparks will fly when laptops crash on the aisle thirty rows below.
Matt Giles is the sports editor of The Daily Beacon and a senior in journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports venues transform into Web world
Published: Tue Jun 15, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 06:09 p.m.