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Social Media’s Value When You’re Forced to Miss a Match

Why I was so thankful for Twitter last weekend.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Picture this if you will: first-time season ticket holders excited for the new season, only to learn that the home opener is the same day as the regional tournament for a competition team I coach. Then, in a miraculous turn of events, the team’s competition is scheduled to be done by 1 p.m., giving me just enough time to get to the match and back in time for the award ceremony, despite gridlocked parking garages that had us abandoning the car and running three blocks to grab a Lyft.

At the awards our team was thrilled to place second, which meant a bid to the state-level competition…on April 6. There was no way around it this time. I was going to have to prepare myself to miss a match and gave away my ticket. I know, of all the matches in all the land I had to miss Orlando City vs the Colorado Rapids. I had to miss Nani’s first goals with the Lions, two goals in three minutes, and all the drama in between. There I was, at 7:30 p.m. in the UCF Arena with a poor cell phone signal, text messages weren’t coming through, and Slack messages from The Mane Land staff wouldn’t load, so forget about streaming. This is the reason social media is so important. Twitter didn’t seem to need the same strength of signal as anything else. Saved!

I never thought I’d miss a home match, let alone be unable to stream or watch it anywhere. Fortunately, I follow The Mane Land, Jordan Culver, and Orlando City on Twitter. The Mane Land and Culver give play-by-play updates seemingly not missing a beat. I seriously can’t understand how they watch the match, follow it, and update followers in live time. What I love about The Mane Land (and it’s not because I’m writing for The Mane Land — I started writing for them because of their amazing coverage) is the slight edge to updates. You get some personality in what is, essentially, a bunch of fact reporting. OCSC’s Twitter gets videos of the goals up quickly after they happen, so I least got to see highlights of the gloriousness of the match. Following hashtags on Instagram is fun too because you can see user posts from all around the stadium. Sure, you’re going to get a ton of selfies but you’re also going to get live views from The Wall and more.

Even during matches for which I am in attendance, I love checking in on social media. I have terrible signal at the stadium too and the WiFi in section 118 is horrific. It must be sporting venues. I have the best signal everywhere else. It’s so informative to read what those in the press box are seeing that maybe we aren’t. My recommendation would be to find the voice you like for play-by-play because you never know when you may be completely blindsided by missing a match!

To say I was heartbroken to miss the most thrilling match so far of the season is a complete understatement. Am I glad my husband got a guy’s night out with his best friend? Absolutely, but I still can’t believe I missed it. Two weekends away from the purple plastic seats seems like cruel and unusual punishment, but alas this is my reality.

Who do you follow and why? I’d love to add some more to my feed. If you were wondering, our team is not advancing to the world competition. This was the first time we’ve made it as far as the state level beyond regionals. They learned a lot, had a blast, and their performance was incredible, while I learned the true value of social media when forced to miss a match.