Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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High Tech Gadgets Keep New World Cup Fans in the Loop

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TWC News: High Tech Gadgets Keep New World Cup Fans in the Loop
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World Cup fever is in full force as the U.S. gets ready to take on Portugal tomorrow, but the way New Yorkers are watching is much different than it was during the last World Cup. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.

Soccer fans were busy Saturday—not only glued to the games on the field in front of them, but also the ones unfolding in the palms of their hands.

"I have my iPad with me all the time. We are online constantly. Friends via Facebook. Twitter. We have been Instagramming back. My husband has an app on his Android," says Queens resident Darleen Jobson-Larkin.

"I get information from, obviously, watching games on television when we are home or at a bar. I get information from watching—sometimes watching the updates or sometimes games at the computer at work. We will even listen to podcasts about the World Cup these days," says Kevin Wallace of Manhattan.

Nathan Eno was one of the coaches at this weekend's free soccer festival for kids hosted by England's Arsenal Football Club.

He says this is the most technologically advanced World Cup we have ever had. '

"As a boy, for me, growing up in England, the World Cup was something that you sort of could get a hold of. You could watch some games. You couldn't watch all the games and you didn't ever get live information as to what was going on—who has been red or yellow-carded, who has won the games, necessarily. You would have to wait all day to find that out, but now it is at the touch of a button," says Youth Development Coach Nathan J.R. Eno of Arsenal Football Club.

"I think having the access to it constantly has made it more invigorating and much more fun. Even the kids—they get the ipad and let's see what the score is. Let's see who is winning," Jobson-Larkin says.

Some of these kids were just four or five years old during the last World Cup in South Africa. Many of them have never known a world where they don't have instant access to games, giving them a leg up on their parents when it comes to World Cup knowledge.

"My favorite player is Garath Bale but he is not in the World Cup," says one young fan.

"Neymar plays forward and he is for Brazil. Messi plays forward and he is for Argentina," says another.

"I want the USA to win, but I don't think they have the best chance of winning," a third fan says, but he is interrupted by another young fan that says he think's Holland will win.

When the tournament heads to Russia in 2018, there will almost certainly be even more technological wizardry to bring it home to fans.

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