Whew: In-Game Tweets Legal In Women’s Soccer

Sports fans everywhere have been waiting to see how their favorite league will react to the exploding popularity of Twitter, especially after Charlie Villenueva’s controversial halftime tweet (and subsequent discipline by coach Scott Skiles). Sure, reigning king of Twitter athletes Shaquille O’Neal upped the ante by promoting a halftime tweet for tonight “and not get fined,” but there’s been no stand taken by an entire league yet. Does the league embrace the technology or seek to squelch it?

Twitter Creme
(Sure, why not.)

Fortunately, for the several dozens millions of fans of the new Women’s Professional Soccer League, we have good news. The owners convened and, according to the WASHINGTON POST, decided to legalize the practice in time for the inaugural game next Sunday. THANK GOD:

General managers from the new seven-team league approved the idea in a conference call Friday. Depending on fan response, league officials are considering allowing players to tweet during games all season.

They still must work out some of the details, including which players will tweet and when they’ll be allowed to do so; starters, obviously, likely would be limited to pregame, postgame and halftime.

Oh come on; there goes most of the fun! I mean, these people aren’t even allowed to use their hands in the first place; why not keep those fingers occupied with a blackberry or something instead? Sure, there’d be tons of instances where two ladies run headlong into each other because they’re too busy staring at that tiny screen. I don’t see a down side to that.

The real problem, though, lies in the fact that the owners made it a point to grant this privilege. With that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, comes some very specific restrictions on what does and doesn’t fly to them. We have no doubt that the communiques will have to have the same forced, false positivity endemic to all bad viral marketing. Cool idea, in all likelihood, but the owners had better be prepared to cede some creative control on these things, otherwise the reasons to care about this league will head straight back to “zero.”