NEWS reaches these shores from the land of the lawsuit about a baseball fan who is suing a pair of sports commentators for £6 million for mocking him as he snored his way through a televised match.
The New York Yankees fan claims he suffered mental anguish when ESPN's Dan Shulman and John Kruk dubbed him "fatty" and "stupid".
Now, I don't particularly want to draw attention to this suit, in case, in a fit of pique, the aggrieved napper decides to sue my sorry self while he's at it. What I will say is that in these strange times when everything and anything has at least three CCTV cameras trained on it, there is no such thing as a private moment outside your own front door. Even then, phones and webcams make the private public at the press of a button.
However, I do think the cameras are lurking in the stands more and more this weather. As well as some astoundingly good (and the odd cataclysmically bad) football, this World Cup coverage has been dominated by the stadium big screen. One minute a group of fans are utterly engrossed in the game for which they have travelled across the globe and paid a week's salary, the next, they notice their own rapt faces from three seconds ago being beamed around the stadium, ergo the planet, and all thoughts of the game are banished as they perform an impromptu Mexican wave in a moving, real-time selfie. The coverage of Brazil's drubbing was split between carnage on the pitch and personal meltdowns in the stands.
What worries me as cameras pan around stadia is who is not supposed to be there? How many fans, whose image is now being transmitted, have bunked off work or excused themselves from a dreary social occasion to sneak off and watch sport. How many are pictured with folk they shouldn't be?
New danger comes with the advance of palm-sized tech which turns man in the street into broadcaster. This week's Tour de France through Yorkshire was momentarily marred by a few eejits who stood in the path of the racers to take gurning snaps of themselves, causing a near pile-up. There seems to be a creeping belief that a sporting event is not exciting enough in itself, but has to be measured by the reaction it causes in ourselves and others. All of which leads to a quandary for the more philosophical social networker: if there is not a photograph of my sweaty fizzog posing in front of a historic sporting moment, did it actually happen?
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