Pony Request: Sports Fanfare May 8, 2016 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I'd love a sports section like fanfare.

Metafilter has a large contingent of passionate sports fans on metafilter, I was reminded (yet again) from all of the Inside Baseball references with regards to corb's excellent comments on the Trump thread. In fact, there are quite a few mefi threads where people start getting into dry historical discussions of teams and leagues, as well as recent history.

The NBA and NHL playoffs are happening right now, we've had FPP on Leicester, and I think there is a real space for mefites who'd like to discuss a game, a draft or a significant event as its own post in a comfortable setting.

On metafilter proper, posts are often framed with a lot of context, surrounding links, and there are often long derails involving history, etc. That's all well and good, but often they spill into other discussions of cities or local politics. Again, that's fine if its relevant.

I'm actually asking this because I'd like to read more discussions on sports here without it filling up askme with chatfilter or an FPP full of derails, "sportsball", or just pointing out something interesting is or might be happening.

When I'm bored, I scroll through fanfare and look for stuff I haven't heard of. I spend more time reading the comments than I do watching the TV shows. People are still commenting on episodes of Game of Thrones last year!

I would love the same experience and just scroll through what sporting events people on metafilter are watching, and not also have it be a bunch of gifs, repetitive phrases, and novelty accounts.

Fanfare was able to contain two Red Wedding threads with one just for book spoilers and its focus was just on the episode. It kept out the "Do I need a TV to understand this?", but still facilitated discussion.

I'm not advocating having real-time game threads for every single thing that happens, and certainly not just reposting every random tweet, there are plenty of other places on the internet for that. I do think a dedicated space to weekly football, or a baseball series, or trade deadlines or drafts would foster a lot of great discussion here.

Sports is episodic TV and being able to see it often requires being in a certain area, or having a premium subscription. Sports have a lot of problematic issues. TV does as well, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Transparent and Horace and Pete are all on different pay models and not everyone watches any or all of them. Fanfare has already shown that it works in those situations.

They're different kinds of noise, though. Different series, different schedules, and its the same team names with different people, not the same people with different shows. Similar format but should be categorized separately.

I know its a big simplification, but doing Show:Episode as Sport:Event and using tags for teams would work.

It'd be awesome when we get an FPP about Leicester to look back on the "No WAY's" and the sure-thing assurances.

And, like Fanfare, I'd LOVE to just have a page of the recent events and matches people are talking about.
posted by lkc to Feature Requests at 3:13 PM (56 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

So, I am in favor of making some sort of sportsy TV/event chat workable, but there's some buts:

- Building out anything new FF architecture right now isn't gonna happen (not that you're particularly asking for that, just making that clear up front) since we have a couple major tasks for the subsite already and are saying goodbye to the wizard traditionally responsible for accomplishing such things. So definitely no "but what if we add a thing for..." sort of opportunities at this point.

- I want to make sure sure we don't over extend on sort of Building It on the assumption that They Will Come; I think experimenting a little with some playoff or weekly threads would be a good pace but, like you say, threads for every thing that happens would be overly much. We have done a couple small sports experiments and they didn't end up terribly busy, though there's some chicken-and-egg stuff going on there I imagine.

- Metadata assumptions about what constitutes a TV episode, etc, may make it difficult to get the current TV functionality to play nice with sports events. That's not insurmountable necessarily but it does make things a little trickier.

- FF discoverability is one of those major tasks mentioned above and it may be difficult to throw a ton of attention on a new sportsy experiment beyond a sidebar and word of mouth, so I want folks to keep expectations reasonable there.

Alllllll that said, I am in favor of people giving this a shot if they'd like. Here's what I would suggest as a way folks could play around with this idea a little: set up a new FanFare Club specifically for posting sports-centric discussions, and encourage sportsy folks to join the club, and then do Club Talk posts for the various events or weekly roundup posts. Since Talk posts are free-form, that gets away from the metadata hitches, and folks can organize stuff and pace stuff as they see fit. And this is all self-serve without adding any new functionality.

If it turns out to kinda flop, no biggie. If it turns out to be a good fit, rad. If it turns out that once folks get rolling there's so much enthusiasm for and discussion of sportsy stuff that a catchall club is too constrained, folks can look at branching out a little into distinct sport-specific things or whatnot. That latter's more of an optimistic long-term thing than anything, but, hey, who knows.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on May 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

When this comes to pass, Imma gonna recommend the orange background from the thread below.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:31 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think it would be fun to try to have something in place for the Olympics, but I'm biased, because I don't like most normal sports, but I kinda love the Olympics.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:33 PM on May 8, 2016 [8 favorites]

SLC Mom: Only if the link color is Blue, so that I can fully express my Mets loyalty in this new site.

PS: I'm totally in on this, I'd love to have a place to talk sports.
posted by hobgadling at 3:39 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Me too. I promise to feed and water this pony and love it oh so much.

Go caps!!! Stupid penguins. Birds that can swim but not fly? Stupid.
posted by chasles at 3:46 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

You're all making rcade cry.
posted by LionIndex at 3:47 PM on May 8, 2016 [10 favorites]

I'm as big a sports fan as I can be living on the opposite side of the world from all the sports I try to follow. I tend to follow team blogs and read sports sites regularly. because I've been spoiled by the level of comments and the community here, I find myself reading comments on these other sites, and more often than not, I really, really wish I hadn't.*

While I'd love to have Metafilter level discussion about the sports I love, I think the main problem is scale: those other sites are visited by hordes of sports fans, while MeFi is, well, not the most sports loving place. I honestly wonder if we could get comments enough to make it worthwhile. I applaud the valiant attempts to get wrestling threads going in FF, but they don't seem to attract all that much discussion.

As much as I doubt it would work, though, I'd love a place to discuss things I love, but have no one IRL to actually share with. Wrestling, basketball, football (hands not feet) and other random sports of the weird are all things I follow, but don't honestly have much outlet for.

* noteable exceptions: With Spandex, Cageside Seats, and certain team blogs on Sports Nation have pretty decent comments, but I still don't have any real desire to make an account at any of them.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:59 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

@Ghidorah, SBNation is a nice place with good moderation and fine people.
posted by nims at 4:17 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

The only thing with this is when there is a major sports event like the World Cup or Euros there have been posts on the FP, and if they were moved to Fanfare how many people would see them?

The Euros start on Friday 10th June in France, for anyone who is interested...
posted by marienbad at 4:39 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nims, I think it depends on which part you're browsing. The dedicated team pages can be amazing (though, a lot of that depends on who's running the page), but a lot of the general news articles have Yahoo! level comments and reports on how much someone made working from home. The places that have built up a community, yeah, those are pretty awesome (again, Cageside Seats is pretty great, and I like Blogabull, but as they themselves say, it's very much a place of hate).
posted by Ghidorah at 4:40 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought our best pony, pb, got the lead out and bolted from the stable and there would be no winning ponies to bet on until we find another to nag with requests.... I mean, the derby has been and gone and all we can do is place our bets ($20 same as in town) on the new stud or filly.
posted by mightshould at 5:00 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wasn't there an offsite unofficial SportsFilter a few years back? Does that still exist?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:08 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

It was linked above.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:42 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

It was, but not in an obvious way, so let's try that again: SportsFilter!
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:32 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

So, I'm not quite sure I understand the rationale for not allowing FanFare posts for major televised sporting events, which would be relatively few in number and can be planned for in advance. It would be biased toward North America, but then so is FanFare.

I'm thinking something like World Cup, Super Bowl, Olympics (that one is a bit complicated, I admit), NCAA Basketball Championship, NCAA Football Championship, World Series, The Masters, Wimbledon, and some others (some things I care about, but don't list because there's maybe already too many things I've included). These aren't things that (collectively) will happen that often, more like once a month or so, and people can plan a post in advance and discuss it with the mods.

For example, for the time being, just create a new show called "Major Sporting Event" that has an authorization queue and the post has the event name in the title. It's not the best long-term solution, but it would work in the interim and would act as a test of interest and participation.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:24 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ghidorah, I know I'm writing this from MeFi and all, but Reddit can be decent for sports. I mostly only pay attention to football so I can only really suggest r/NFL, but it's pretty decent, particularly during the season. I imagine the other specific sports subreddits are similar. (Disclaimer: I am also far away from the US and my standards might not be extremely high because I'm surrounded by people who don't care about American sports.)
posted by lullaby at 4:05 AM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

As a cycling fan, I think it would be fun to have a single rolling post for Grand Tours at least on Fanfare and would gladly put together posts if it were allowed.

I think it would make more sense to enhance fanfare than have a separate section.
posted by selfnoise at 4:37 AM on May 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

This also (to me at least) brings up the question of what MeFi's official relationship to unofficial sites like SportsFilter is. Could we/should we more explicitly curate a collection of "these are not official metafilter properties, but are run by MeFites and we recommend you go there for discussion of X" in order to encourage that?
posted by softlord at 4:40 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's a little tricky, actually. There's been a mix of nature-of-the-relationship cases over there years, across a couple different dimensions: both how tight the "by mefites, for mefites" relationship is vs a more loose "was started by mefites, has its own culture" thing, as well as how visible the site wants to be ranging from Very Much, Please to some sites that would prefer to sort of only ever be mentioned discretely on a person-to-person basis to avoid getting big or gathering outside attention.

I gained a little more appreciation for the wrinkles there years ago when I did a bit of a roundup as a project, and then heard from a couple different site organizers that they'd rather be reunrounded up for related such reasons, which was totally reasonable if not obvious at a glance from the outside. And both those dimensions might, for any given site, shift a little over the years; a site that started as a pretty direct MeFi spinoff may well over the years drift significantly toward having its own distinct culture and userbase that makes whatever initial "it's like MeFi but about..." pitch less clearcut than it originally was.

All that said: SportsFilter as far as I know has always been in the open and welcoming sports-minded MetaFilter types, so no worries there, and some of the other places that come up now and then on MetaTalk likewise (MetaChat and mefightclub as a couple of the more well-established ones).

Probably rather than a catch-all roundup what'd be better is just folks involved in or running active MeFi-related communities just every once in a while posting a bit of a community update and hey feel free sort of thing in MetaTalk. All FanFare talk aside, I'd have no problem with e.g. rcade posting a quick "hey, SportsFilter is a long-standing sportsy discussion site spun off of MetaFilter, we do x and y and you're welcome to come hang" sort of MetaTalk once a year, that sort of thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:16 AM on May 9, 2016

SportsFilter as far as I know has always been in the open and welcoming sports-minded MetaFilter types

Caveat: Don't bring up Barry Bonds.
posted by Etrigan at 7:45 AM on May 9, 2016

Cortex: I just created an NBA club. So the idea for something like that, where we'll be discussing the Playoffs mostly, is that we should have a thread for individual matchups (Spurs-Thunder) for weeks (Every Sunday) or for each broadcast the next day? Or something else that we decide internally via discussions in that club? I'm not a huge FF user so I'm not sure how all the pieces interact.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:13 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Something to decide internally, yeah. Club stuff is free-form and self-organizing; get folks involved, talk out what you want to try and to, and try it. If folks want to get a couple of sports-related club things up to a very basic "we have made a Club and want to talk about what to do" level, I'd be happy to throw together a sidebar post about it to throw some extra attention at it to help 'em get going.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:21 AM on May 9, 2016

Potomac Avenue, you should probably make a FanFare Talk post about the formation of the club -- it doesn't seem to show up anywhere besides the Clubs page, which I don't personally frequent, but a post on FFTalk will show up on the FF sidebar.
posted by Etrigan at 9:30 AM on May 9, 2016

posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:36 AM on May 9, 2016

I understand why we don't won't to live blog regular tv shows.

Why wouldn't we want to do that for sports?

That's not a challenge or me raising a point of contention or anything. I'm just interested in hearing the downsides of that, as they're not immediately clear to me.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:05 AM on May 9, 2016

FWIW, currently, when a person fills out a new user enrollment on SportsFilter, it goes to a page not found error.

That's an entirely different web site, so I'm not saying that to get support here. I'm just noting that SF may have some wrinkles.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:07 AM on May 9, 2016

I understand why we don't won't to live blog regular tv shows.

Why wouldn't we want to do that for sports?

It changes the makeup of the comments away from what MeFi tries to be -- more thought-out and nuanced than "Holy crap what a catch!"

To use a similar-to-sports frame of reference, discussion of pro wrestling on FanFare is pretty good (if sparsely populated), and we hardly ever live-blog as such, waiting until after the big live events to square up our thoughts and vomit them forth en masse.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

FWIW, currently, when a person fills out a new user enrollment on SportsFilter, it goes to a page not found error.

rcade has been alerted. Thanks for the QC.
posted by Etrigan at 11:14 AM on May 9, 2016

There was a simple test put in as a membership speedbump years ago to prevent people from drive-by sign ups just to post about a team sucking. I'd guess that's kicking out the 404.
posted by LionIndex at 11:17 AM on May 9, 2016

Why wouldn't we want to do that for sports?

It also really decreases re-readability.

I would like to see more sports on FanFare, but I'm not really doing my part by commenting. I know there were some NFL posts last fall, I hope they come back and I hope we can get more of a discussion going on there.

It would also be great to see more comments in sports posts that stretch beyond "Let's go [team]" / "[team/person] sucks."
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:54 AM on May 9, 2016

In fairness, [team/person] does suck.
posted by Etrigan at 12:12 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I heard [team/person] was just suspended [games/seasons] for [crime/drug].
posted by Rock Steady at 1:08 PM on May 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

My two online dreams are to see the realization of:


Does this mean that one of them, at least, may become a little more possible?
posted by Wordshore at 1:10 PM on May 9, 2016

The Euros start on Friday 10th June in France, for anyone who is interested...

A few days ago I was fooling around and noticed I could easily add Euro 2016 to FanFare. Would anyone oppose if I went around and made a post for each round, meaning 1st/2nd/3rd group game, round of 16, qf, sf, final, in a total of 7 posts over a month, each posted one or two days before the corresponding match kicks off? I don't think it would clutter things much, and considering the 24-team format there will be a few more games that won't have much in terms of discussion.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:37 PM on May 9, 2016

Synchronicity on the Eurovision front: zebra was chatting with us about the same basic idea and has set up the bare skeleton of Eurovision Club with the intention to work on it a bit more later today, with the idea of having a few threads over the course as makes sense.

So Euro-interested folks should put their heads together and figure out what makes sense there, and we'll happily toss some sidebar attention at whatever gets organized.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

So, uh, how does one goes and create the Mefi FC club ?
posted by lmfsilva at 2:08 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mefi Football Club Club sounds so very Mefi somehow.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also it will take a while to get all the iambs to line up and figure out what rhymes with Lebron. Ask Aeschylus, it's not quick work.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:12 PM on May 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's a fair bit of cricket talk at SportsFilter and we could definitely use new blood.
posted by yerfatma at 6:30 AM on May 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's MeFi Football Club, and here's the post to discuss how things should play out
posted by lmfsilva at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2016

Cortex in the NBA Club we have 4 members and a consensus that 1 post per matchup would make sense. We'd start with a post about SAS v OKC today in anticipation of game 5, then 2 posts tomorrow morning about the remaining Round 2 Match-ups. Then when the new Matchups start we'd have 1 more post about each conference final, then 1 post about the finals. So even if it's a bust interest-wise it'd only be 6 posts total.

Issat cool?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:22 AM on May 10, 2016

Sure, do it and see how it goes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:29 AM on May 10, 2016

I'd be posting in TV --> The NBA on TNT? I mean the shows might be on other channels but that works right? Should I select the most recent season?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:50 AM on May 10, 2016

Yep, that sounds like a good plan.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:10 AM on May 10, 2016

Please and thank you: The First Sports Post On Fanfare
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:38 AM on May 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

In the moment analysis of sports is boring - particularly hockey and basketball, it's so fast paced that most of what you are doing is reacting rather than responding to the play. Most good sports writers take games and break them down via film afterwards to write about them because they're so rich and fluid and in-the-moment it's easy to miss a bunch of stuff like off-ball screens that will often explain why a particular team has gone on a run.

I think this is something that might need to be considered sport by sport? For example, cricket - you wouldn't want to wait until the end of a 5-day test to discuss it - much of the interest is the way the game evolves over time. And the discrete (vs continuous) nature of the play possibly makes it easier to analyse in the moment, and to build up an analysis as play takes place. Some other sports (soccer say) could probably go either way.
posted by Pink Frost at 6:05 PM on May 10, 2016

For anyone who's still interested in the actual SportsFilter, the signup bug has allegedly been fixed.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow. Didn't see this finally posted until late last night and finally caught up.

I guess a couple comments:
1) cortex, I totally get you're swamped and was trying to think of a way to facilitate discussion with more or less the tools we've got. The metadata issue didn't occur to me (I think I still don't totally get how fanfare works).

2) I'm glad I asked, this seems like ... something that at least has interest in the userbase, even if its not clear how to do it right the 'first time'.

3) I didn't know about sportsfilter, but again, that's partly why I asked. I'll check it out.

4) Subreddits like /r/nba (which I'm most familiar with), are actually good for game threads and minutiae, but are also a slog of repetitive tweets to vines and repetitive "Tim Duncan hasn't hit his prime yet" jokes. It also compartmentalizes these, so discovery is low. I like fanfare because I don't know what quite a lot of the posts are about, and it wouldn't even occur to me to checkout, say, new podcasts, since that's just something that's not on my radar, even if its something I would be interested in.

5) I was thinking of comments about (as low-hanging fruit) things like "the superbowl", or like the current Oklahoma City / San Antonio series which has a lot of interesting stuff going on without 500 "WOW A DUNK!" real-time comments. Similarly, the Heat/Raptors series is a full narrative about the collapse of two stars, Wade carrying his team (still!) or the Chris Bosh question, and all of that is happening just over this week.
Not necessarily FPP worthy, but not trivial or uninteresting.

6) I'm gonna go check out Potomac Avenues thread right now.
posted by lkc at 4:03 PM on May 11, 2016

Drag. My username here was taken on sportsfilter by someone who visited once 11 years ago.
posted by lkc at 5:08 PM on May 11, 2016

I would like a weekly NFL thread during the season and maybe one for free agency starting and the draft. Maybe one thread for preseason football. Every week of NFL regular season football is a much bigger event than the NHL or NBA finals, just as far as viewership I mean.

I think these threads should go live when the first game of the week starts. I know the Fanfare attitude isn't generally about live posting, but I think sports are a different beast. They are the last TV where people actually sit around and watch the commercials, because most viewers absolutely want to watch live. That leaves a LOT of time for discussion beyond instant reaction. To me, as a sports fan, taking that time to catch up with online chatter has become a part of the enjoyable rhythm and routine of watching the games. I would like Metafilter threads to be a part of that routine.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:23 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

So I ended up creating a Cycling Club as a trial balloon. If you're interested, please join so I can gauge whether to try making Fanfare posts.
posted by selfnoise at 7:58 AM on May 12, 2016

I'm really hoping to make a Chicago Cubs World Series, Season 11 post later this year.

This hiatus has been a bear, you guys.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:22 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

So I realized that I created my club but didn't do a great job of reading this thread and now I'm a bit confused. If I want to post sporting events that are being aired on TV, should I be posting them to the main Fanfare page or to clubs? I am seeing some posts in clubs, and then some posts like the NBA posts on the main Fanfare post.
posted by selfnoise at 8:17 AM on May 14, 2016

There's not really a one way to do it so far; either of those approaches are fine. Part of the nice thing about having Club-specific Club Talk posts is you can still post about something even if there isn't a good metadata matchup for the thing you're watching; IMDB may have good matches or placeholders for some types of sports/events in their db and not so much for others, so if there's not a good fit for e.g. Int'l Cribbage Championships but there's a group of MeFites keen to talk about the yearly tourney, ginning something up with Club Talk posts makes it totally doable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 AM on May 14, 2016

I don't see a reason why we don't have the sports discussions on SportsFilter. It's a site that is literally going to welcome you with open arms.
posted by reenum at 9:46 AM on May 15, 2016

How do I/where do I make football related post now? Fanfare? Fanfare talk? How does this work for general football stuff?
posted by marienbad at 2:07 PM on May 18, 2016

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