Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Twitter: A mind-altering experience

The Twitter world has opened my eyes to people, places, scenarios and situations I could never have imagined.

It's a tremendous information tool I treasure after initially avoiding in-depth use like I would a viral infection. Now, it's one of the first sites I check daily. And that's after seriously only using it since late April.

Perhaps the most revealing facet of Twitter has been an exposure to an amazingly passionate group of Sacramento Kings fans, whose mpact constantly shocks and surprises.

It may just have been my naivete or focus, rather than sheer blindness or stupidity. Yet, I was so unaware of the depth and involvement the community has with this team. And that's after covering the team 24/7 and virtually 10 months a year for more than 14 years.

In retrospect, I admit I took for granted seeing ticket-holders in their seats when I entered what now is called Sleep Train Arena. It'll always will be Arco Arena in my mind. I knew folks were 'riding and dying' with the team's fortunes, but I had no idea of the true scope.

I was fortunate enough to cover the team exclusively from 1992 thru 2005. I saw the Kings struggle, become competitive enough to make the playoffs, again fall by the wayside and then execute an amazing transformation into an NBA title contender before beginning a slide from which they've not yet recovered.

There were three ownership changes, numerous coaching/player transactions and the legitimate possibility of franchise moves to Anaheim and Seattle. It's apparent the constant surrounding the Kings has been an undying, unyielding dedication and love. Yet, I again admit I truly hadn't felt the pulse of the fans until I committed to Twitter.

It almost has been akin to a religious experience where I now can feel the passion and desire of the fans to see the Kings win a championship. I can feel the never-ending quest for national respect, as a franchise, as well as a city. The satisfaction derived from knowing a world-class entertainment center is being constructed in downtown Sacramento for their team is palpable.

However, the most surprising and intriguing characteristic Twitter has uncovered is the number and intensity supplied by female fans. The knowledge, dedication and fire these ladies bring to the dance inspires smiles as well as a feeling of an unbelievable personal awakening and awareness.

This female fan group takes nary a backseat to any comparable faction of Kings fans. They are passionate and as defensive and protective as any group of males, if not more so. They possess a sensitivity born of a team, franchise and city that has withstood repeated body blows and still stands strong.

They aggressively promote their belief the Kings finally are headed on a path to respectability with the ability to compete with the NBA's best. They refuse to listen to any position suggesting otherwise.

Once again, that stance results in a smile in my belief and confidence of a mind opened and exposed to new horizons. All this was a result of taking advantage of Twitter for more than merely alerting the masses of another blog written.

So I thank Twitter for providing the vessel I have used to learn, touch and internalize emotion, commitment and passion I once missed, overlooked and took for granted. It will not happen again.

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