Editors Note: Over the next three Firday's Samsung is sponsoring a series of posts surrounding technology in sports here at SBNation. What I like about this is it's pretty much a blank slate. We've got a broad topic, but I've got all the freedom in the world to work this back toward our teams, our coaches and our players. With that, here's our first topic and one I've actually been curious about for a while. Obviously it's an area that applies directly to this site.
Technology is one of those things that increases at a pace of a mile a minute. The impact of that on sports is no different. At every turn there is some change, some improvement and some other avenue that helps us follow, watch and keep tabs on our team. Might this play a factor in the level of scrutiny that Turner Gill is facing?
Yes the lack of wins and manner of the losses has a lot to do with it, but even 10 years ago when Mark Mangino arrived at Kansas he could go about his business and a 2-10 season without much of anyone knowing what was going on. KUSports wasn't committed to football coverage, RockChalkTalk, The Shiver and others didn't exist and Jayhawkslant was up and running but hardly the 300 pound gorilla that it is today.
Technology and specifically the internet and fan directed sites have taken teams that might otherwise be obscure or forgotten on a national stage and pushed them to the forefront with their fans. Kansas fans devoted or fair weather know what's going on with Jayhawk football. Perhaps even more damaging to GIll is the casual Missouri or Kansas State fan knows what's going on with Jayhawk football. That makes it just that much harder for Kansas fans to ignore the problems.
Yes the drop off was dramatic this year and because of that Kansas probably would have seen some amount of national embarrassment, but at this point that certainly would have subsided. This week the Jayhawks begin a two week stretch without television coverage. It's a stretch that could go further and in the past that would have meant that Jayhawk football becomes an afterthought.
That just isn't the case anymore. Internet feeds, streaming radio and coverage from every angle means that no matter where he turns, people and fans will know how Turner Gill and his Kansas Jayhawks perform.
Beyond that you even have the advent of HD television, DVR and wall to wall commentary that just further expounds on the decisions, playcalling, gameplan and play of every team on any given week.
Technology has been a GREAT thing for the sports fan. I can always remember following Kansas basketball and getting every opportunity to do so because of the program profile. But finding Kansas football while growing up, that proved much more elusive.
Now Kansas fans most anywhere can find a way to better follow their team, but that might just be to the detriment of first year head coach Turner Gill who now faces as much scrutiny as any new head coach taking over at the University of Kansas. Of course when you're being paid $2 million a year, perhaps that scrutiny is expected and deserved.