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Social Media has completely changed the fan experience.

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George Frey/Getty Images

With the kickoff of fall camp, fans feel their phone buzz in their pocket, because they are getting instant information about their favorite team every few minutes. Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope has all got you covered. Facebook gives you the latest information on how the quarterbacks are looking, and a place where you can respond to fellow Ute fans who you think should start. Twitter give you little snippets of  who's moved up on the depth chart in the wide receiver ranks. Periscope allows you to see inside the Alex Smith Strength and Conditioning Facility, and you can watch the team's lifting session. These are things a fan could not have even dreamt of 10 years ago.

Years ago when fall camp opened, you might be able to read an article in the local paper, but you might have to wait until that evening or the next day to find out. One would tune into the local newscast to catch a glimpse of your favorite player, and an interview he did with one of the handful of reporters that decided to go up to practice. You might see a fellow Ute fan at the store, and discuss with them up on the stories coming out of camp. They might not even have a clue that the team was practicing. You'd tune into sports radio, which was usually a national show, and rarely would they even mention the Utes. Then a local show would come on for drive time, and be disappointed when other schools and the Jazz would dominate the conversation.

Now one wakes up in the morning, and jump on social media and get the latest goings on from practice. Nearly all the local sports radio stations have one or two reporters at practice. You missed the interviews? They're all online to listen to at your leisure. Print media all have their video from their phones and audio recorders out. They are tweeting, and posting that video and audio to Facebook. The football staff has a Periscope feed showing players running through drills. Fans are turning to social media and to discussion boards, talking with fellow fans around the world, and giving their opinions on what they think is going on. This is all for preseason practice.

During the season, similar activities occur. Fans can tweet to their favorite players, and comment on how they played. Often times those players respond, favorite, or retweet those comments. Then family members of those players do the same thing. One can tweet, comment on Facebook, and turn to their favorite board during the game, and receive dozens of responses to how they feel the offense is doing.

Fans used to never hear who the incoming freshman were until they appeared on the depth chart in their game day program. Now fans know when a coach is looking at a player anywhere in the country. They can follow that high school player, and he often seeks out followers from the fans of those teams. They watch these kids pick hats, hold their own press conferences, or other attention getting events. They commit and decommit (if that is even a word), and send fans on an emotional roller coaster via social media.

Media members can tweet that the sky is falling, and coaches are disgruntled and leaving. Opinions that can send an entire fan base into an uproar in a matter of moments. Someone can find a photo of the new uniforms, and before the sun rises on another day, fans everywhere have an opinion on how great or terrible they are.

Social media has completely changed the fan experience. By the time sportscast comes on the TV or the newspaper hits the driveway, it is old news. Fans expect all the information quickly as they can possible from the media. The team and the media try to supply as much information as they possibly can, and as quick as they can. Fans patiently wait during their actives at home, work or school, for that phone to buzz, and to find out the latest goings on with their favorite team.