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For Chicago Bulls Fans, Mobile Options Abound

We've all been there -- you're out and about and wondering how our Eastern-Conference-leading Chicago Bulls are doing. There's no television or radio readily available, and you're non-sports-loving spouse/significant other/friend/relative/business associate is right there. What do you do? Like me, you probably just reach for your phone, which -- smart or otherwise -- now offers a variety of options.

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First, the news hit today that the Bulls have teamed up with Chicago-based Vibes Media to offer fans real-time scores, game updates and player stats on their mobile phones. You can give it a try tonight by simply texting "SCORE" to BULLS (28557) whilst DRose and crew are, we hope, running roughshod o'er the Minnesota Timberwolves. If you're wondering whether, say, Keith Bogans has fulfilled his allotted three points per game, you can text "BOGANS" to the same number. The scores and stats come directly from the NBA game feed.

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If you're considering investing in an app, there's NBA Game Time. It provides a daily schedule of NBA games, detailed team and player stats, and the ability to follow any contest in progress in "real time." The iPhone and Android versions apparently offer live video of 40+ games a week.

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I use the BlackBerry version, which comes with only audio streaming (home and away) and video highlights (long) after a game is over. I've found it a little glitchy -- I was battling constant network errors for a while (since resolved ... mostly) and still can't get the audio to play in my home, though I've gotten it to work elsewhere. (I don't get it either.) But, all in all, it's cool to have an NBA-specific app to go with those I have for MLB and the NFL.

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When all else fails, ESPN offers real-time game updates via its mobile site. For Bulls games, just go to ESPN Chicago's mobile site and click on the score of the game. The free service is impressively functional, so much so that I still question my decision to buy the NBA Game Time app mentioned above.