Ever go to a bar or restaurant and see some guy, probably with his girlfriend, checking his BlackBerry constantly? You might be thinking to yourself, “Wow, that guy must have a stressful job if he’s checking his BlackBerry like a madman when he’s out at dinner.” Chances are, though, that his job is not necessarily stressful. Rather, he’s probably checking the scores of his favorite sports teams.
The BlackBerry has made this easy, and a number of third party applications have made it even easier. So let’s take a look into the ones that will help you best keep up with your favorite teams, across all the major sports.
We’ve all been there. You’re at a bar or restaurant, which, for some reason unbeknownst to the sports-loving world, does not have a TV. Or else has a TV turned to CNN or FOXNews. Why would they torture sports fan so? In that case, there’s only one place to turn: Your BlackBerry. But which applications will get you the best, most comprehensive scores and stats?
As Cooper and I have noted, we love Yahoo! Go. And when it comes to sports, Go definitely has an edge. It’s quick to load, and gives you all the scores you want. Not only that, but you get standings, schedules, the latest headlines, and even statistics.
Yahoo! gives you the power to track your favorite teams by adding them to your watchlist. This will keep you totally in the know about your team, no matter where you are. You can even read articles by Yahoo! Sports premier baseball writer, Jeff Passan.
We’ve talked about Pocket Express before on BBgeeks. The best part of using this to check sports scores is that the sports section comes with the free version of the software. So you won’t have to pay a monthly fee in order to enjoy their up-to-the-minute updates.
Just click the soccer ball, and you’ll see a whole list of options for sports. Of course, the first one is the most important. It brings you to the scoreboard. You can check all active scoreboards here. Pocket Express even does you the favor of not including out of season sports, making the list shot and relevant. Beyond that, you can check out in-season sports headlines, as well as schedules and standings.
There are a few downsides to using Pocket Express, though. First off, it takes ages to load the scoreboard. And even then, it didn’t list the MLB All-Star game at 10:30 a.m. on the morning after (hey, the game had ended just nine hours earlier). I found this in my initial review, and it has happened again: The standings and news are from last month. So there are a number of bugs with Pocket Express. When it’s working, though, it can deliver some powerful content, albeit slowly.
Yes, the No.1 news aggregator for the BlackBerry can also help you keep up with your sports scores. Just as the Viigo RSS reader pushes syndicated content to your BlackBerry, it can also push the scores of your favorite sports teams. It’s as simple as navigating through the sports menu on the main screen. Have we mentioned that you can download the BBGeeks Viigo co-branded feed reader? So not only will you get the most up-to-date scores and sports news, but you’ll be able to show off your affection for BBGeeks to the world.
ESPN BlackBerry Launcher
What, you think ESPN wouldn’t get in on the quick-launch icon bandwagon? While you could simply just hit up ESPN.com from your mobile browser, the desktop icon makes navigation even easier. To get it, head to ESPN’s BlackBerry Launcher page and follow the instructions. Or just go to http://espn.mobi/bblauncher.
Once on the ESPN.com mobile site, you’ll be able to go to scores, news, hot items, teams, and fantasy sports. ESPN even gives you a brief “Did you know?” tidbit on the main screen. No, I had no idea that Braves pitcher Tim Hudson had never made a relief appearance in his career until this past Sunday. Scroll beyond that, and you’ll find a quick link to the scoreboard for in-season sports, and then the News & Analysis section. Basically, everything you expect from ESPN.com, right on your BlackBerry.
MLB.com Gameday for BlackBerry
Yeah yeah, I’m a baseball nerd, so a baseball application was likely to make its way onto this list anyway. It helps that MLB.com’s Gameday launch icons are really, really freakin’ sweet. You can choose to download the general MLB icon, which will launch MLB.com, or you can choose from one of the 30 teams. I’m sporting my Yankees icon on my desktop with pride.
Yeah, it’s just a quick launch, but MLB.com’s Gameday websites are absolutely stellar. On the main screen, I can get a quick glimpse at the score. Click on that, and it brings up the situation — who’s up, who’s pitching, who’s on base, what’s the count, how many outs? You can even take it further, clicking on live play-by-play. That will give you the pitch location, plus the pitch type and speed. And it’s only on a short delay, so you’re really up to date.
Sure, you can go to NFL.com from your mobile browser and check out the latest news and scores from the world of football, plus schedules and standings. Seeing as we’re in preseason, though, there’s one thing that really comes to mind: Fantasy Football. If you’re a fantasy junkie and want to keep up while on the road, myScheduleNFL 2008 might be your ticket.
When you’re prepping for your fantasy draft, you have to make sure you have all the angles covered. Not only does myScheduleNFL give you a breakdown of all 32 teams’ rosters, but it also gives you schedules, so you can decide how tough each team’s opponents are. You’ll get weekly matchup summaries to further assist your fantasy drafting needs.
This is a perfect supplement to NFL.com. You can get it for $11.95 from the BlackBerry Geeks Store.
Yeah, it’s easy to make fun of the NBA nowadays. But that’s not to say that they don’t have some quality mobile options. You can get text message alerts from the Association for player alerts, as well as draft updates (though that’s not relevant again until next year). They also offer a quality mobile site at wap.nba.com.
Like NFL with Sprint, NHL has an agreement with Verizon Wireless. Many of you might not like that. Anyway, through their website, you can nab video highlights, including plays of the week, commentary, analysis, and general score updates. As with NBA.com, you can hit up NHL.com through any mobile browser at wap.nhl.com.
If you have a text message bundle or an unlimited plan, you might be interested in Google’s SMS service. It’s rather simple. You just text a team name to 46645 (GOOGL), and it will return that team’s latest score. This can get addictive, so once again, make sure you have a text messaging plan of some sort. Plus, you might get two text messages for everyone you send. This is an issue I had in my pre-BlackBerry days. A similar service is 4INFO, which is basically the same thing, though you can also sign up for the service and customize your text alerts. The shortcode is 44636.