I just spent some time watching Liverpool lose to Arsenal in an English Premier League football match. As Liverpool fan, the game itself wasn’t particularly rewarding, but I had a great time playing along with it with Football3s. It’s a sort of in-running fantasy game: you play 10-minute games against other users by picking a team of 3 players, who then score points for scoring, completing passes, tackles and so on (and lose points for fouls, bookings, etc.). It turned what was largely a pretty dire match into something much more compelling. Each pass was potentially meaningful, and staying on top of which players were drifting in and out of the match took some attention.
It’s another example of what I labeled co-browsing a while back: following along on your mobile or PC while watching a sporting event live or on TV. Football3s runs through a Flash-based interface, so it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be seeing it on mobiles very soon, but this is just the tip of the iceberg for this sort of thing, with a huge number of potential applications — particularly for mobile users.
Along similar lines, a couple of casinos here in Vegas are offering in-game betting via dedicated mobile devices, which even let people wager on the outcome of specific plays.
(As an aside, I heard about Football3s via the wonderful Football Ramble podcast, which is definitely worth the download if you like football and have a sense of humor.)