Whilst organizing an upcoming get-together for a game over a group text, one of our guys, Mal, mentioned that he’ll be unable to make it over that holiday weekend as he plans to be at the beach. “But thanks to the wonders of modern technology I won’t miss a kick!” he added.
Being Stateside myself since 2011 and so only really experiencing the high-end exposure the Premier League garners over here for one ill-fated season, it seems to me that we’ve never had it so good when it comes to all things stemming from WV1.
Mal’s right. Modern technology is at the heart of it. Thanks to changes to international broadcasting rights, the bulk of games have been made available live in real-time for a modest fee via WolvesTV. Better yet, they’re free when it’s a televised game back in the UK thanks to a deal ESPN has in place here.
Early kick-offs in the UK mean even earlier starts in America, but these have been few and far between this season. In fact, the 5:30GMT/11:30CST games have been ideal to plan your day around. Especially when we’ve got together as a group as it allows time for those that have to make a drive.
The club’s official channels have also seemed to have taken it up a notch this season, especially when it comes to video content. There’s different lengths of highlight packages available, along with the innovative “view from a different perspective“, a day or so after the game.
A particular favorite of mine is when highlights of the goals are put together alongside the commentary of Mikey Burrows from the radio feed:
I began tuning into live radio broadcasts of the games in earnest as a teenager in the mid-90s for away games that I couldn’t get to. I don’t think anyone over the course of that time has come close to matching the combination of professionalism and passion that Mikey provides. He’s balanced in offering praise, whilst not shirking from calling out the team or sometimes individual under-performance if warranted.
The local media aren’t far behind in keeping up with the demand for original content. Express and Star journalists Tim Spiers and Nathan Judah are a good double act when it comes to video, especially with immediate post-game analysis. And again, a fair impartiality is offered, given Tim followed the team previously as a fan himself. Their podcast makes for an entertaining listen each week also, both in terms of Wolves news, opinion, and a peak behind the curtain of their professional lives in keeping up with such demanding roles.
There’s also a useful journalist-fan combination over at the Birmingham Mail thanks to Ryan Leister who, in his player ratings and tweets, gives a good handle on all things from a supporter’s viewpoint.
For me, it seems that Twitter has become the go-to social media platform when it comes to keeping up with all-things Wolves in real-time, from journalists, media outlets, and even the players themselves. Also, it’s a mouth piece for your average fan.
And many “average fans” have taken it to another level altogether with some exceptional writing and insight on their own personal blogs that could easily get passed off as penmanship by a professional journalist or author. I look out for the latest from the likes of Southbank Resistance by Michael Petalengro, Oscillating Wildly (@OscilateWWFC), and Musings from Molineux by Gully Kular to name just a few, and find myself nodding along to their particular take.
It was Gully in fact who helped point out during a brief exchange on Twitter that the real explosion of Wolves content is thanks to the current success on the pitch and the momentum behind it from the ownership. Never have the bulk of Wolves fans experienced anything like it in terms of playing style, the quality of player on display, team management, and the huge potential that exists thanks to the involvement of Fosun.
It was thanks to a blog that the seed of ‘Houston Wolves’ was sown. Through The Wolves Blog, I made contact with a fellow ex-pat Clive within the first year or so that I was over here, and we began meeting regularly to chat all things Wolves past and present, along with taking in the occasional game on TV.
Add in a sprinkling of those through the Molineux Mix and The Wolves Forum, along with the Wolves USA Facebook Group, it soon became apparent that there was enough of us in and around Houston to make an organized get-together worthwhile.
So yes, thanks modern technology! Not only do I feel inextricably linked to my club, but I’ve gained a sense of companionship that I didn’t think was really possible being thousands of miles away. Whilst not having exactly the same “buzz” as getting the bus into town, having a few drinks, and strolling through the subway to the footballing cathedral we call Molineux, our meet-ups and the people present give something tangible to look forward to and help recreate a little bit of Wolverhampton Wanderers for us right here in Houston.
– By Paul