Baltimore is the birthplace of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the incomparable Babe Ruth, and the gold medalist Michael Phelps. It’s a one-of-a-kind town with singular stories, well-publicized challenges, and also a rich sporting history. Baltimore Sports: Stories from Charm City chronicles the many ways that sports are an integral part of Baltimore’s history and identity and part of what makes the city unique, interesting, and, for some people, loveable.
Wide ranging and eclectic, the essays included here cover not only the Orioles and the Ravens, but also lesser-known Baltimore athletes and teams. Toots Barger, known as the “Queen of the Duckpins,” makes an appearance. So do the Dunbar Poets, considered by some to be the greatest high-school basketball team ever.
Bringing together the work of both historians and journalists, including Michael Olesker, former Baltimore Sun columnist, and Rafael Alvarez, who was named Baltimore’s Best Writer by Baltimore Magazine in 2014, Baltimore Sports illuminates Charm City through this fascinating exploration of its teams, fans, and athletes.
In her incisive study Baseball as Mediated Latinidad: Race, Masculinity, Nationalism, and Performances of Identity, Jennifer Domino Rudolph analyzes major league baseball’s Latin/o American players—who now make up more than twenty-five percent of MLB—as sites of undesirable surveillance due to the historical, political, and sociological weight placed on them via stereotypes around immigration, crime, masculinity, aggression, and violence. Rudolph examines the perception by media and fans of Latino baseball players and the consumption of these athletes as both social and political stand-ins for an entire culture, showing how these participants in the nationalist game of baseball exemplify tensions over race, nation, and language for some while simultaneously revealing baseball as a practice of latinidad, or pan-Latina/o/x identity, for others. By simultaneously exploring the ways in which Latino baseball players can appear both as threats to American values and the embodiment of the American Dream, and engaging with both archival research and new media representations of MLB players, Rudolph sheds new light on the current ambivalence of mainstream American media and fans towards Latin/o culture.
As one of popular culture’s most popular arenas, sports are often the subject of cinematic storytelling. But boxing films are special. There are more movies about boxing, by a healthy margin, than any other sport, and boxing accompanied and aided the medium’s late 19th century emergence as a popular mass entertainment. Many of cinema’s most celebrated directors—from Oscar Micheaux to Martin Scorsese—made boxing films. And while the production of other types of sports movies generally corresponds with the current popularity of their subject, boxing films continue to be made regularly even after the sport has wilted from its once prominent position in the sports hierarchy of the United States. From Edison’s Leonard-Cushing Fight to The Joe Louis Story, Rocky and beyond, this book explores why boxing has so consistently fascinated cinema, and popular media culture more generally, by tracing how boxing movies inform the sport’s meanings and uses from the late 19th century to the early 21st century.
Hockey and multiculturalism are often noted as defining features of Canadian culture; yet, rarely are we forced to question the relationship and tensions between these two social constructs. This book examines the growing significance of hockey in Canada’s South Asian communities. The Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi broadcast serves as an entry point for a broader consideration of South Asian experiences in hockey culture based on field work and interviews conducted with hockey players, parents, and coaches in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. This book seeks to inject more “color” into hockey’s historically white dominated narratives and representations by returning hockey culture to its multicultural roots. It encourages alternative and multiple narratives about hockey and cultural citizenship by asking which citizens are able to contribute to the webs of meaning that form the nation’s cultural fabric.
Controversy erupted in spring 2001 when Chicago’s mostly white Southside Catholic Conference youth sports league rejected the application of the predominantly black St. Sabina grade school. Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, interracialism seemed stubbornly unattainable, and the national spotlight once again turned to the history of racial conflict in Catholic parishes. It’s widely understood that midcentury, working class, white ethnic Catholics were among the most virulent racists, but, as Crossing Parish Boundaries shows, that’s not the whole story.
In this book, Timothy B. Neary reveals the history of Bishop Bernard Sheil’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), which brought together thousands of young people of all races and religions from Chicago’s racially segregated neighborhoods to take part in sports and educational programming. Tens of thousands of boys and girls participated in basketball, track and field, and the most popular sport of all, boxing, which regularly filled Chicago Stadium with roaring crowds. The history of Bishop Sheil and the CYO shows a cosmopolitan version of American Catholicism, one that is usually overshadowed by accounts of white ethnic Catholics aggressively resisting the racial integration of their working-class neighborhoods. By telling the story of Catholic-sponsored interracial cooperation within Chicago, Crossing Parish Boundaries complicates our understanding of northern urban race relations in the mid-twentieth century.
Now more than ever, American dads act as hands-on caregivers who are devoted to keeping themselves and their families healthy. Yet, men are also disproportionately likely to neglect their own health care, diets, and exercise routines—bad habits that they risk passing on to their children.
In Dads, Kids, and Fitness, William Marsiglio challenges dads to become more health-conscious in how they live and raise their children. His conclusions are drawn not only from his revealing interviews with a diverse sample of dads and pediatric healthcare professionals, but also from his own unique personal experiences—as a teenage father who, thirty-one years later, became a later-life dad to a second son. Marsiglio’s research highlights the value of treating dads as central players in what he calls the social health matrix, which can serve both healthy children and those with special needs. He also outlines how schools, healthcare facilities, religious groups, and other organizations can help dads make a positive imprint on their families’ health, fitness, and well-being.
Anchored in compelling life stories of joy, tragedy, and resilience, Dads, Kids, and Fitness extends and deepens public conversation about health at a pivotal historical moment. Its progressive message breathes new life into discussions about fathering, manhood, and health.
Washington, DC, is best known for its politics and monuments, but sport has always been an integral part of the city, and Washingtonians are among the country’s most avid sports fans. DC Sports gathers seventeen essays examining the history of sport in the nation’s capital, from turn-of-the-century venues such as the White Lot, Griffith Stadium, and DC Memorial Stadium to Howard-Lincoln Thanksgiving Day football games of the roaring twenties; from the surprising season of the 1969 Washington Senators to the success of Georgetown basketball during the 1980s. This collection covers the field, including public recreation, high-school athletics, intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, sports journalism, and sports promotion.
A southern city at heart, Washington drew a strong color line in every facet of people’s lives. Race informed how sport was played, written about, and watched in the city. In 1962, the Redskins became the final National Football League team to integrate. That same year, a race riot marred the city’s high-school championship game in football. A generation later, race as an issue resurfaced after Georgetown’s African American head coach John Thompson Jr. led the Hoyas to national prominence in basketball.
DC Sports takes a hard look at how sports in one city has shaped culture and history, and how culture and history inform sports. This informative and engaging collection will appeal to fans and students of sports and those interested in the rich history of the nation’s capital.
Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Deportes uncovers the hidden experiences of Mexican male and female athletes, teams and leagues and their supporters who fought for a more level playing field on both sides of the border. Despite a widespread belief that Mexicans shunned physical exercise, teamwork or “good sportsmanship,” they proved that they could compete in a wide variety of sports at amateur, semiprofessional, Olympic and professional levels. Some even made their mark in the sports world by becoming the “first” Mexican athlete to reach the big leagues and win Olympic medals or world boxing and tennis titles.
These sporting achievements were not theirs alone, an entire cadre of supporters—families, friends, coaches, managers, promoters, sportswriters, and fans—rallied around them and celebrated their athletic success. The Mexican nation and community, at home or abroad, elevated Mexican athletes to sports hero status with a deep sense of cultural and national pride. Alamillo argues that Mexican-origin males and females in the United States used sports to empower themselves and their community by developing and sustaining transnational networks with Mexico. Ultimately, these athletes and their supporters created a “sporting Mexican diaspora” that overcame economic barriers, challenged racial and gender assumptions, forged sporting networks across borders, developed new hybrid identities and raised awareness about civil rights within and beyond the sporting world.
Pedro Martínez. Sammy Sosa. Manny Ramírez. By 2000, Dominican baseball players were in every Major League clubhouse, and regularly winning every baseball award. In 2002, Omar Minaya became the first Dominican general manager of a Major League team. But how did this codependent relationship between MLB and Dominican talent arise and thrive?
In his incisive and engaging book, Dominican Baseball, Alan Klein examines the history of MLB's presence and influence in the Dominican Republic, the development of the booming industry and academies, and the dependence on Dominican player developers, known as buscones. He also addresses issues of identity fraud and the use of performance-enhancing drugs as hopefuls seek to play professionally.
Dominican Baseball charts the trajectory of the economic flows of this transnational exchange, and the pride Dominicans feel in their growing influence in the sport. Klein also uncovers the prejudice that prompts MLB to diminish Dominican claims on legitimacy. This sharp, smartly argued book deftly chronicles the uneasy and often contested relations of the contemporary Dominican game and industry.
In Entre Nous Grant Farred examines the careers of international football stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, along with his own experience playing for an amateur township team in apartheid South Africa, to theorize the relationship between sports and the intertwined experiences of relation, separation, and belonging. Drawing on Jean-Luc Nancy's concept of relation and Heideggerian ontology, Farred outlines how various relationships—the significantly different relationships Messi has with his club team FC Barcelona and the Argentine national team; Farred's shifting modes of relation as he moved between his South African team and his Princeton graduate student team; and Suarez's deep bond with Uruguay's national team coach Oscar Tabarez—demonstrate the ways the politics of relation both exist within and transcend sports. Farred demonstrates that approaching sports philosophically offers particularly insightful means of understanding the nature of being in the world, thereby opening new paths for exploring how the self is constituted in its relation to the other.
In his persuasive study The Eternal Present of Sport, Daniel Grano rethinks the sport-religion relationship by positioning sport as a source of theological trouble. Focusing on bodies, time, movement, and memory, he demonstrates how negative theology can be practically and theoretically useful as a critique of elite televised sport.
Grano asserts that it is precisely through sport’s highest religious ideals that controversies are taking shape and constituting points of political and social rupture. He examines issues of transcendence, “legacy”—e.g., “greatest ever,” or “all-time”—and “witnessing” through instant replay, which undermine institutional authority. Grano also reflects on elite athletes representing especially powerful embodiments of religious and social conflict, including around issues related to gender, sexuality, ability doping, traumatic brain injury, and institutional greed.
Elite sport is in a period of profound crisis. It is through the ideals Grano analyzes that we can imagine a radically alternative future for elite sport.
The architects of the Soviet Union intended not merely to remake their society—they also had an ambitious plan to remake the citizenry physically, with the goal of perfecting the socialist ideal of man. As Euphoria and Exhaustionshows, the Soviet leadership used sport as one of the primary arenas in which to deploy and test their efforts to mechanize and perfect the human body, drawing on knowledge from physiology, biology, medicine, and hygiene. At the same time, however, such efforts, like any form of social control, could easily lead to discontent—and thus, the editors show, a study of changes in public attitude towards sport can offer insight into overall levels of integration, dissatisfaction, and social exhaustion in the Soviet Union.
Gilbert Patten, writing as Burt L. Standish, made a career of generating serialized twenty-thousand-word stories featuring his fictional creation Frank Merriwell, a student athlete at Yale University who inspired others to emulate his example of manly boyhood. Patten and his publisher, Street and Smith, initially had only a general idea about what would constitute Merriwell’s adventures and who would want to read about them when they introduced the hero in the dime novel Tip Top Weekly in 1896, but over the years what took shape was a story line that capitalized on middle-class fears about the insidious influence of modern life on the nation’s boys.
Merriwell came to symbolize the Progressive Era debate about how sport and school made boys into men. The saga featured the attractive Merriwell distinguishing between “good” and “bad” girls and focused on his squeaky-clean adventures in physical development and mentorship. By the serial’s conclusion, Merriwell had opened a school for “weak and wayward boys” that made him into a figure who taught readers how to approximate his example.
In Frank Merriwell and the Fiction of All-American Boyhood, Anderson treats Tip Top Weekly as a historical artifact, supplementing his reading of its text, illustrations, reader letters, and advertisements with his use of editorial correspondence, memoirs, trade journals, and legal documents. Anderson blends social and cultural history, with the history of business, gender, and sport, along with a general examination of childhood and youth in this fascinating study of how a fictional character was used to promote a homogeneous “normal” American boyhood rooted in an assumed pecking order of class, race, and gender.
For fans of pro soccer in Mexico City, the four most popular teams represent distinct identities that embody such attributes as political power, nationalism, and working-class values. One of these teams, the Pumas, is associated with youthfulness, and its equally youthful fans take pride in the fact that their heroes have not yet been corrupted by corporate or political interests. This ethnographic study examines Puma fans’ understanding of the ideal that the team represents, considers the practices they employ to express and sometimes contradict this ideal, and reveals how soccer fandom in contemporary Mexico has emerged as a nexus of tensions among competing visions of state and society.
Roger Magazine takes readers inside Mexico’s soccer stadiums to explore young men’s participation in struggles over the future of that country’s urban society. His firsthand observations of the fan clubs—las porras—yield a unique inside look at confrontations in the stands over group organization, particularly at the emergence of rebel segments within the clubs. His study offers a close-up look at ground-level struggles over social organization in contemporary urban Mexico, showing how young male fans both blindly reproduce and consciously manipulate images of violence and disorder derived from national myths about typical urban Mexican men.
Golden and Blue Like My Heart offers a new way of understanding the dynamics of fandom while shedding new light on larger social processes and youth culture in Mexico. And with its insight into soccer culture, politico-economic transition, and masculinity, it has important and wide-reaching implications for all of Latin America.
On football weekends in the United States, thousands of fans gather in the parking lots outside of stadiums, where they park their trucks, let down the gates, and begin a pregame ritual of drinking and grilling.
Tailgating, which began in the early 1900s as a quaint picnic lunch outside of the stadium, has evolved into a massive public social event with complex menus, extravagant creative fare, and state-of-art grilling equipment. Unlike traditional notions of the home kitchen, the blacktop is a highly masculine culinary environment in which men and the food they cook are often the star attractions.
Gridiron Gourmet examines tailgating as shown in television, film, advertising, and cookbooks, and takes a close look at the experiences of those tailgaters who are as serious about their brisket as they are about cheering on their favorite team, demonstrating how and why the gendered performances on the football field are often matched by the intensity of the masculine displays in front of grills, smokers, and deep fryers.
Amid controversies surrounding the team mascot and brand of the Washington Redskins in the National Football League and the use of mascots by K–12 schools, Americans demonstrate an expanding sensitivity to the pejorative use of references to Native Americans by sports organizations at all levels. In Indian Spectacle, Jennifer Guiliano exposes the anxiety of American middle-class masculinity in relation to the growing commercialization of collegiate sports and the indiscriminate use of Indian identity as mascots.
Indian Spectacle explores the ways in which white, middle-class Americans have consumed narratives of masculinity, race, and collegiate athletics through the lens of Indian-themed athletic identities, mascots, and music. Drawing on a cross-section of American institutions of higher education, Guiliano investigates the role of sports mascots in the big business of twentieth-century American college football in order to connect mascotry to expressions of community identity, individual belonging, stereotyped imagery, and cultural hegemony.
Against a backdrop of the current level of the commercialization of collegiate sports—where the collective revenue of the fifteen highest grossing teams in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has well surpassed one billion dollars—Guiliano recounts the history of the creation and spread of mascots and university identities as something bound up in the spectacle of halftime performance, the growth of collegiate competition, the influence of mass media, and how athletes, coaches, band members, spectators, university alumni, faculty, and administrators, artists, writers, and members of local communities all have contributed to the dissemination of ideas of Indianness that is rarely rooted in native people’s actual lives.
Winner of the 2018 Early Career Gender Scholar Award by Sociologists for Women in Society-South
Girls and young women participate in soccer at record levels and the Women’s National Team regularly draws media, corporate, and popular attention. Yet despite increased representation and visibility, gender disparities in opportunity, compensation, training resources, and media airtime persist in soccer, and two professional leagues for women have failed since 2000.
In Kicking Center, Rachel Allison investigates a women’s soccer league seeking to break into the male-dominated center of U.S. professional sport. Through an examination of the challenges and opportunities identified by those working for and with this league, she demonstrates how gender inequality is both constructed and contested in professional sport. Allison details the complex constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the selling and marketing of women’s soccer in a half-changed sports landscape characterized by both progress and backlash, and where professional sports are still understood to be men’s territory.
For over 150 years the Lakota have tenaciously defended their culture and land against white miners, settlers, missionaries, and the U.S. Army, and paid the price. Their economy is in shambles and they face serious social issues, but their culture and outlook remain vibrant. Basketball has a role to play in the way that people on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation configure their hopes for a better future, and for pride in their community.
In Lakota Hoops, anthropologist Alan Klein trains his experienced eye on the ways that Lakota traditions find a seamless expression in the sport. In a variety of way such as weaving time-honored religious practices into the game or extending the warrior spirit of Crazy Horse to the players on the court, basketball has become a preferred way of finding continuity with the past. But the game is also well suited to the present and has become the largest regular gathering for all Lakota, promoting national pride as well as a venue for the community to creatively and aggressively confront white bigotry when needed.
Richly researched and filled with interviews with Pine Ridge residents, including both male and female players, Lakota Hoops offers a compelling look at the highs and lows of a community that has made basketball its own.
If baseball is the heart of America, the legal process provides the sinews that hold it in place. It was the legal process that allowed William Hulbert to bring club owners together in a New York City hotel room in 1876 to form the National League, and ninety years later, it allowed Marvin Miller to change a management-funded fraternity of ballplayers into the strongest trade union in America.
But how does collective bargaining and labor arbitration work in the major leagues? Why is baseball exempt from the antitrust laws? In Legal Bases, Roger Abrams has assembled an all-star baseball law team whose stories illuminate the sometimes uproarious, sometimes ignominious relationship between law and baseball that has made the business of baseball a truly American institution.
The issue of Native American mascots in sports raises passions but also a raft of often-unasked questions. Which voices get a hearing in an argument? What meanings do we ascribe to mascots? Who do these Indians and warriors really represent? Andrew C. Billings and Jason Edward Black go beyond the media bluster to reassess the mascot controversy. Their multi-dimensional study delves into the textual, visual, and ritualistic and performative aspects of sports mascots. Their original research, meanwhile, surveys sports fans themselves on their thoughts when a specific mascot faces censure. The result is a book that merges critical-cultural analysis with qualitative data to offer an innovative approach to understanding the camps and fault lines on each side of the issue, the stakes in mascot debates, whether common ground can exist and, if so, how we might find it.
New Orleans has long been a city fixated on its own history and culture. Founded in 1718 by the French, transferred to the Spanish in the 1763 Treaty of Paris, and sold to the United States in 1803, the city’s culture, law, architecture, food, music, and language share the influence of all three countries. This cultural mélange also manifests in the city’s approach to sport, where each game is steeped in the city’s history.
Tracing that history from the early nineteenth century to the present, while also surveying the state of the city’s sports historiography, New Orleans Sports places sport in the context of race relations, politics, and civic and business development to expand that historiography—currently dominated by a text that stops at 1900—into the twentieth century, offering a modern examination of sports in the city.
In 2013 and 2014, some of Massachusetts’ wealthiest and most powerful individuals hatched an audacious plan to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston. Like their counterparts in cities around the world, Boston’s Olympic boosters promised political leaders, taxpayers, and the media that the Games would deliver incalculable benefits and require little financial support from the public. Yet these advocates refused to share the details of their bid and only grudgingly admitted, when pressed, that their plan called for billions of dollars in construction of unneeded venues. To win the bid, the public would have to guarantee taxpayer funds to cover cost overruns, which have plagued all modern Olympic Games. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) chose Boston 2024’s bid over that of other American cities in January 2015—and for a time it seemed inevitable that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would award the Games to Boston 2024. No Boston Olympics is the story of how an ad hoc, underfunded group of diverse and engaged citizens joined together to challenge and ultimately derail Boston’s boosters, the USOC, and the IOC. Chris Dempsey was cochair of No Boston Olympics, the group that first voiced skepticism, demanded accountability, and catalyzed dissent. Andrew Zimbalist is a world expert on the economics of sports, and the leading researcher on the hidden costs of hosting mega-events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. Together, they tell Boston’s story, while providing a blueprint for citizens who seek to challenge costly, wasteful, disruptive, and risky Olympic bids in their own cities.
In just a few decades, sport has undergone a radical gender transformation. However, Cheryl Cooky and Michael A. Messner suggest that the progress toward gender equity in sports is far from complete. The continuing barriers to full and equal participation for young people, the far lower pay for most elite-level women athletes, and the continuing dearth of fair and equal media coverage all underline how much still has yet to change before we see gender equality in sports.
The chapters in No Slam Dunk show that is this not simply a story of an “unfinished revolution.” Rather, they contend, it is simplistic optimism to assume that we are currently nearing the conclusion of a story of linear progress that ends with a certain future of equality and justice. This book provides important theoretical and empirical insights into the contemporary world of sports to help explain the unevenness of social change and how, despite significant progress, gender equality in sports has been “No Slam Dunk.”
Colombia’s headline story, about the peace process with guerrilla and its attendant controversies, does not consider the fundamental contradiction of a nation that spans generosity and violence, warmth and hatred—products of its particular pattern of invasion, dispossession, and enslavement. The Persistence of Violence fills that gap in understanding. Colombia is a place that is two countries in one—the ideal and the real—summed up in the idiomatic expression, not unique to Colombia, but particularly popular there, "Hecha la ley, hecha la trampa" (When you pass a law, you create a loophole). Less cynically, and more poetically, the Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez deemed Colombians capable of both the most noble acts and the most abject ones, in a world where it seems anyone might do anything, from the beautiful to the horrendous.The Persistence of Violence draws on those contradictions and paradoxes to look at how violence—and resistance to it—characterize Colombian popular culture, from football to soap opera to journalism to tourism to the environment.
Philadelphia sports—anchored by the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, and 76ers—have a long, and sometimes tortured, history. Philly fans have booed more than their share and have earned a reputation as some of the most hostile in the country. They’ve been known, so the tales go, to jeer Santa Claus and cheer at the injury of an opposing player.
Strangely though, much of America’s perception of Philadelphia sports has been shaped by a fictional figure: Rocky. The series of Hollywood films named after their title character has told and retold the Cinderella story of an underdog boxer rising up against long odds. One could plausibly make the argument that Rocky is Philadelphia’s most famous athlete.
Beyond the major sports franchises and Rocky, lesser-known athletic competition in Philadelphia offers much to the interested observer. The city’s boxing culture, influence on Negro Leagues baseball, role in establishing interscholastic sport, and leadership in the rise of cricket all deserve and receive close investigation in this new collection. Philly Sports combines primary research and personal experiences—playing in the Palestra, scouting out the tombstones of the city’s best athletes, enjoying the fervor of a Philadelphia night with a local team in pursuit of a championship title. The essence of Philadelphia sport, and to a certain extent the city itself, is distilled here.
From the ancient Olympic games to the savage gladiatorial contests of the Roman Empire, from the thrill of the World Cup to the hype of the Super Bowl, sport represents a singular source of social belonging and communal enjoyment—sometimes as intense as religious faith. The Pleasure Principle addresses the issue of sport as a form of pleasure, contending that sport, like any form of popular culture, reveals a lot about the society in which it appears. Examining sports through various theoretical lenses, including Marxist, feminist, and poststructuralist, and from numerous disciplinary viewpoints—history, sociology, cinema studies, literature, and cultural studies—this special issue demonstrates the complexity of contemporary sports culture.
Ranging from the humorous to the ironic, from the personal to the theoretical, and from sports as dissimilar as baseball and rugby, gambling and karate, this issue explains fandom itself and explores the intersections of sport and politics, sport and class, and sport and identity. One timely essay addresses the use of Native American imagery and nicknames and the recent NCAA ban on these references. Another classifies gambling as a popular American sport, one that in 2003 attracted three times as many attendees as all Major League Baseball franchises combined. Another essay delves into the history of the golfing mecca of Pinehurst, North Carolina, discussing the resort’s roots in the age of Jim Crow. Among the other topics addressed in this issue are how soccer fandom and commodity culture can be one and the same; why Liverpool’s 2005 victory in the European Champion’s League proves that God is red; and why the Olympic Games can represent performative nationalism.
Contributors. David L. Andrews, Amy Bass, Norman K. Denzin, Grant Farred, Keya Ganguly, John Hartley, Jane Juffer, Liz Moor, Jeffrey T. Nealon, Annie Paul, George Ritzer, Jim Shepard, Orin Starn, Kenneth Surin
Rooting for the Home Team
Edited by Daniel A. Nathan University of Illinois Press, 2013 Library of Congress GV706.5.R66 2013 | Dewey Decimal 306.483
Rooting for the Home Team examines how various American communities create and maintain a sense of collective identity through sports. Looking at large cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, and Los Angeles as well as small rural towns, suburbs, and college towns, the contributors consider the idea that rooting for local athletes and home teams often symbolizes a community's preferred understanding of itself, and that doing so is an expression of connectedness, public pride and pleasure, and personal identity.
Some of the wide-ranging essays point out that financial interests also play a significant role in encouraging fan bases, and modern media have made every seasonal sport into yearlong obsessions. Celebrities show up for big games, politicians throw out first pitches, and taxpayers pay plenty for new stadiums and arenas. The essays in Rooting for the Home Team cover a range of professional and amateur athletics, including teams in basketball, football, baseball, and even the phenomenon of no-glove softball.
Contributors are Amy Bass, Susan Cahn, Mark Dyreson, Michael Ezra, Elliott J. Gorn, Christopher Lamberti, Allison Lauterbach, Catherine M. Lewis, Shelley Lucas, Daniel A. Nathan, Michael Oriard, Carlo Rotella, Jaime Schultz, Mike Tanier, David K. Wiggins, and David W. Zang.
San Francisco Bay Area Sports brings together fifteen essays covering the issues, controversies, and personalities that have emerged as northern Californians recreated and competed over the last 150 years. The area’s diversity, anti-establishment leanings, and unique and beautiful natural surroundings are explored in the context of a dynamic sporting past that includes events broadcast to millions or activities engaged in by just a few.
Professional and college events are covered along with lesser-known entities such as Oakland’s public parks, tennis player and Bay Area native Rosie Casals, environmentalism and hiking in Marin County, and the origins of the Gay Games. Taken as a whole, this book clarifies how sport is connected to identities based on sexuality, gender, race, and ethnicity. Just as crucial, the stories here illuminate how sport and recreation can potentially create transgressive spaces, particularity in a place known for its nonconformity.
Seattle Sports: Play, Identity, and Pursuit in the Emerald City, edited by Terry Anne Scott, explores the vast and varied history of sports in this city where diversity and social progress are reflected in and reinforced by play. The work gathered here covers Seattle’s professional sports culture as well as many of the city’s lesser-known figures and sports milestones. Fresh, nuanced takes on the Seattle Mariners, Supersonics, and Seahawks are joined by essays on gay softball leagues, city court basketball, athletics in local Japanese American communities during the interwar years, ultimate, the fierce women of roller derby, and much more. Together, these essays create a vivid portrait of Seattle fans, who, in supporting their teams—often in rain, sometimes in the midst of seismic activity—check the country’s implicit racial bias by rallying behind outspoken local sporting heroes.
Winner of the 2017 NASSH Book Award for best edited collection.
The hardening of racial lines during the first half of the twentieth century eliminated almost all African Americans from white organized sports, forcing black athletes to form their own teams, organizations, and events. This separate sporting culture, explored in the twelve essays included here, comprised much more than athletic competition; these “separate games” provided examples of black enterprise and black self-help and showed the importance of agency and the quest for racial uplift in a country fraught with racialist thinking and discrimination.
The significance of this sporting culture is vividly showcased in the stories of the Cuban Giants baseball team, basketball’s New York Renaissance Five, the Tennessee State Tigerbelles track-and-field team, black college football’s Turkey Bowl Classic, car racing’s Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, Negro League Baseball’s East-West All-Star game, and many more. These teams, organizations, and events made up a vibrant national sporting complex that remained in existence until the integration of sports beginning in the late 1940s. Separate Games explores the fascinating ways sports helped bind the black community and illuminate race pride, business acumen, and organizational abilities.
Jean-Philippe Toussaint Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PQ2680.O86+ | Dewey Decimal 796.334
Growing up in Belgium, soccer was Jean-Philippe Touissant’s life, a passion not shared by his bookish family. Now an acclaimed novelist, essayist, and filmmaker, he reflects upon his lifelong love for the game with an intellectual’s keen mind and a sports fan’s heart. What, he ponders, has a lifetime of soccer fandom taught him about life and the passage of time itself.
Soccer takes readers on an idiosyncratic journey that delves deep into the author’s childhood memories, but also transports us to World Cup matches in Japan, Germany, South Africa, and Brazil. Along the way, it kicks around such provocative questions as: How does soccer fandom both support and transcend nationalism? How are our memories of soccer matches both collective and distinctly personal? And how can a game this beautiful and this ephemeral be adequately captured in words?
Part travelogue, part memoir, and part philosophical essay, Soccer is entirely unique, a thrilling departure from the usual clichés of sports writing. Even readers with little knowledge of the game will be enthralled by Touissant’s profound musings and lyrical prose.
When high jumper Alice Coachman won the high jump title at the 1941 national championships with "a spectacular leap," African American women had been participating in competitive sport for close to twenty-five years. Yet it would be another twenty years before they would experience something akin to the national fame and recognition that African American men had known since the 1930s, the days of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens. From the 1920s, when black women athletes were confined to competing within the black community, through the heady days of the late twentieth century when they ruled the world of women's track and field, African American women found sport opened the door to a better life. However, they also discovered that success meant challenging perceptions that many Americans--both black and white--held of them. Through the stories of six athletes--Coachman, Ora Washington, Althea Gibson, Wilma Rudloph, Wyomia Tyus, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee--Jennifer H. Lansbury deftly follows the emergence of black women athletes from the African American community; their confrontations with contemporary attitudes of race, class, and gender; and their encounters with the civil rights movement. Uncovering the various strategies the athletes use to beat back stereotypes, Lansbury explores the fullness of African American women's relationship with sport in the twentieth century.
This new collection examines not only how athletes looked to the nation’s judicial system to solve conflicts but also how their cases trans¬formed the interpretation of laws. These essays examine a vast array of social and legal controversies including Heywood v. NBA (1971), which allowed any player to enter the draft; Flood v. Kuhn (1972), which considered baseball’s antitrust status; the Danny Gardella lower level 1948 case regarding free agency and baseball; Muhammad Ali’s celebrated stance against the U.S. draft; Renée Richards’s 1976 lawsuit against the U.S. Tennis Association and its due process ramifications; and human rights violations in international law with respect to the increased recruitment of underage Latin baseball players in the Caribbean region are a few examples of the vast array of stories included. Sport and the Law links these cases to other cases and topics, giving the reader the opportunity to see the threads weaving law and sport together in American society.
College students are now regarded as consumers, not students, and nowhere is the growth and exploitation of the university more obvious than in the realm of college sports, where the evidence is in the stadiums built with corporate money, and the crowded sporting events sponsored by large conglomerates.
The contributors to Sport and the Neoliberal University examine how intercollegiate athletics became a contested terrain of public/private interests. They look at college sports from economic, social, legal, and cultural perspectives to cut through popular mythologies regarding intercollegiate athletics and to advocate for increased clarity about what is going on at a variety of campuses with regard to athletics. Focusing on current issues, including the NCAA, Title IX, recruitment of high school athletes, and the Penn State scandal, among others, Sport and the Neoliberal University shows the different ways institutions, individuals, and corporations are interacting with university athletics in ways that are profoundly shaped by neoliberal ideologies.
In The Sport Marriage, Steven M. Ortiz draws on studies he conducted over nearly three decades that focus on the marital realities confronted by women married to male professional athletes. These women, who are usually portrayed in unflattering and/or unrealistic terms, face enormous challenges in their attempts to establish and maintain functional marital and family lives while the husband routinely puts his career first.
Ortiz defines the traditional sport marriage as a career-dominated marriage, illustrating how it encourages women to contribute to their own subordination through adherence to an unwritten rulebook and a repertoire of self-management strategies. He explains how they make invaluable contributions to their husbands’ careers while adjusting to public life and trying to maintain family privacy, managing power and control issues, and coping with pervasive groupies, overinvolved mothers, a culture of infidelity, and husbands who prioritize team loyalty. He gives these historically silent women a voice, offering readers perceptive and sensitive insight into what it means to be a woman in the male-dominated world of professional sports.
The moving body—pervasively occupied by fitness activities, intense training and dieting regimes, recreational practices, and high-profile sporting mega-events—holds a vital function in contemporary society. As the body moves—as it performs, sweats, runs, and jumps—it sets in motion an intricate web of scientific rationalities, spatial arrangements, corporate imperatives, and identity politics (i.e. politics of gender, race, social class, etc.). It represents vitality in its productive and physiological capacities, it drives a complex economy of experiences and products, and it is a meaningful site of cultural identities and politics.
Contributors to Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body work from a simple premise: as it moves, the material body matters. Adding to the burgeoning fields of sport studies and body studies, the works featured here draw upon the traditions of feminist theory, posthumanism, actor network theory, and new materialism to reposition the physical, moving body as crucial to the cultural, political, environmental, and economic systems that it constitutes and within which is constituted. Once assembled, the book presents a study of bodies in motion—made to move in contexts where technique, performance, speed, strength, and vitality not only define the conduct therein, but provide the very reason for the body’s being within those economies and environments. In so doing, the contributors look to how the body moving for and about rational systems of science, medicine, markets, and geopolity shapes the social and material world in important and unexpected ways.
In Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body, contributors explore the extent to which the body, when moving about both ostensibly active body spaces (i.e., the gymnasium, the ball field, exercise laboratory, the track or running trail, the beach, or the sport stadium) and those places less often connected to physical activity (i.e. the home, the street, the classroom, the automobile), is bounded to technologies of life and living; and to the political arrangements that seek to capitalize upon such frames of biological vitality. To do so, the authors problematize the rise of active body science (i.e. kinesiology, sport and exercise sciences, performance biotechnology) and the effects these scientific interventions have on embodied, lived experience.
Contributors to Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body will be engaging a range of new and emerging theoretical perspectives, including new materialist, political ecology, developmental systems theory, and new material feminist approaches, to examine the actors and assemblages of movement-based material, political, and economic production. In so doing, contributors will vividly and powerfully illustrate the extent to which a focus on the fleshed body and its material conditions can bring forth new insights or ontological and epistemological innovation to the sociology of sport and physical activity. They will also explore the agency of the body as and amongst things. Such a performative materialist approach explicates how complex assemblages of sport and physical activity—bringing into association everything from muscle fibers and dietary proteins to stadium concrete or regional aquifers—are not only meaningful, but ecological.
By focusing on the confluence of agentive materialities, disciplinary technologies, vibrant assemblages, speculative realities, and vital performativities, Sport, Physical Culture, and the Moving Body promises to offer a groundbreaking departure from representationalist tendencies and orthodoxies brought about by the cultural turn in sport and physical cultural studies. It brings the moving body and its physics back into focus: recentering moving flesh and bones as locus of social order, environmental change, and the global political economy.
The typical female sports fan remains very different from her male counterparts. In their insightful and engaging book, Sportista, Andrei S. Markovits and Emily Albertson examine the significant ways many women have become fully conversant with sports—acquiring a knowledge of and passion for them as a way of forging identities that until recently were quite alien to women.
Sportista chronicles the relationship that women have developed with sports in the wake of the second wave of feminism of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The changes women athletes have achieved have been nothing short of revolutionary. But, as Markovits and Albertson argue, women’s identities as sports fans, though also changed in recent decades, remain notably different from that of men. Sportista highlights the impediments to these changes that women have faced and the reality that, even as bona fide fans, they “speak” sports differently from and remain largely unaccepted by men.
In the series Politics, History and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey
These groundbreaking essays demonstrate how Africans past and present have utilized sports to forge complex identities and shape Africa’s dynamic place in the world.
Since the late nineteenth century, modern sports in Africa have both reflected and shaped cultural, social, political, economic, generational, and gender relations on the continent. Although colonial powers originally introduced European sports as a means of “civilizing” indigenous populations and upholding then current notions of racial hierarchies and “muscular Christianity,” Africans quickly appropriated these sporting practices to fulfill their own varied interests. This collection encompasses a wide range of topics, including women footballers in Nigeria, Kenya’s world-class long-distance runners, pitches and stadiums in communities large and small, fandom and pay-to-watch kiosks, the sporting diaspora, sports pedagogy, sports as resistance and as a means to forge identity, sports heritage, the impact of politics on sports, and sporting biography.
Toby Miller Temple University Press, 2002 Library of Congress GV706.2.M55 2001 | Dewey Decimal 306.483
Sportsex examines the landscape of sports writ globally. And it is about the way sport allows men and women—but mostly men—to consider their looks, their vitality, and their relationship to their gender in ways that would be considered taboo in any other context.Miller pays particular attention to the way celebrity is considered around the world through a number of different athletic activities. Along the way he also offers his own personal connection to sport as both a researcher and recipient of its abuses and pleasures.In a world where everything is considered in its relationship to globalization, sport is one of the few arenas of social life that can be concretely seen in international terms. Sportsex opens that world up in a way that is accessible and significant for anyone interested in the shape of our emerging world culture.
Tough and witty, SportsWorld is a well-known commentator’s overview of the most significant form of mass culture in America—sports. It’s a sweaty Oz that has grown in a century from a crucible for character to a complex of capitalism, a place where young people can find both self-fulfillment and cruel exploitation, where families can huddle in a sanctuary of entertainment and be force fed values and where cities and countries can be pillaged by greedy team owners and their paid-for politicians. But this book is not just a screed, it’s a guided visit with such heroes of sports as Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Joe Namath, who the author knew well, and with some he met in passing, like Richard Nixon, who seemed never to have gotten over missing the cut in college varsity football, a major mark of manhood. We see how SportsWorld sensibilities help elect our politicians, judge our children, fight our wars, and oppress our minorities. And now featuring a new introduction by the author,SportsWorld is a book that will provide the foundation for understanding today’s world of sports and the time of Trump.
In the America of 2017—where the SuperBowl is worth billions, athletes are penalized or forced out of sports for political and anti-racist activism, and Title IX is constantly questioned and undermined—Robert Lipsyte’s 1975 critique remains startlingly and intensely relevant.
The antagonists—oiled, shaved, pierced, and tattooed; the glaring lights; the pounding music; the shouting crowd: professional wrestling is at once spectacle, sport, and business. Steel Chair to the Head provides a multifaceted look at the popular phenomenon of pro wrestling. The contributors combine critical rigor with a deep appreciation of wrestling as a unique cultural form, the latest in a long line of popular performance genres. They examine wrestling as it happens in the ring, is experienced in the stands, is portrayed on television, and is discussed in online chat rooms. In the process, they reveal wrestling as an expression of the contradictions and struggles that shape American culture.
The essayists include scholars in anthropology, psychology, film studies, communication studies, and sociology, one of whom used to wrestle professionally. Classic studies of wrestling by Roland Barthes, Carlos Monsiváis, Sharon Mazer, and Henry Jenkins appear alongside original essays. Whether exploring how pro wrestling inflects race, masculinity, and ideas of reality and authenticity; how female fans express their enthusiasm for male wrestlers; or how lucha libre provides insights into Mexican social and political life, Steel Chair to the Head gives due respect to pro wrestling by treating it with the same thorough attention usually reserved for more conventional forms of cultural expression.
Contributors. Roland Barthes, Douglas L. Battema, Susan Clerc, Laurence de Garis, Henry Jenkins III, Henry Jenkins IV, Heather Levi, Sharon Mazer, Carlos Monsiváis, Lucia Rahilly, Catherine Salmon, Nicholas Sammond, Phillip Serrat, Philip Sewell
Appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs—specifically, anabolic steroids (APEDs)—provide a tempting competitive advantage for amateur baseball players. But this shortcut can exact a fatal cost on talented athletes. In his urgent book Suicide Squeeze, William Kashatus chronicles the experiences of Taylor Hooton and Rob Garibaldi, two promising high school baseball players who abused APEDs in the hopes of attracting professional scouts and Division I recruiters. However, as a result of their steroid abuse, they ended up taking their own lives.
In Suicide Squeeze—named for the high-risk play in baseball to steal home—Kashatus identifies the symptoms and dangers of steroid use among teens. Using archival research and interviews with the Hooton and Garibaldi families, he explores the lives and deaths of these two troubled young men, the impact of their suicides on MLB, and the ongoing fight against adolescent APED use by their parents.
A passionate appeal to prevent additional senseless deaths by athletes, Suicide Squeeze is an important contribution to debates on youth and sports and on public policy.
Incidents of doping in sports are common in news headlines, despite regulatory efforts. How did doping become a crisis? What does a doping violation actually entail? Who gets punished for breaking the rules of fair play? In Testing for Athlete Citizenship, Kathryn E. Henne, a former competitive athlete and an expert in the law and science of anti-doping regulations, examines the development of rules aimed at controlling performance enhancement in international sports.
As international and celebrated figures, athletes are powerful symbols, yet few spectators realize that a global regulatory network is in place in an attempt to ensure ideals of fair play. The athletes caught and punished for doping are not always the ones using performance-enhancing drugs to cheat. In the case of female athletes, violations of fair play can stem from their inherent biological traits. Combining historical and ethnographic approaches, Testing for Athlete Citizenship offers a compelling account of the origins and expansion of anti-doping regulation and gender-verification rules.
Drawing on research conducted in Australasia, Europe, and North America, Henne provides a detailed account of how race, gender, class, and postcolonial formations of power shape these ideas and regulatory practices. Testing for Athlete Citizenship makes a convincing case to rethink the power of regulation in sports and how it separates athletes as a distinct class of citizens subject to a unique set of rules because of their physical attributes and abilities.
Based on ethnographic research in Seoul and Los Angeles, Transnational Sport tells how sports shape experiences of global Koreanness, and how those experiences are affected by national cultures. Rachael Miyung Joo focuses on superstar Korean athletes and sporting events produced for transnational media consumption. She explains how Korean athletes who achieve success on the world stage represent a powerful, globalized Korea for Koreans within the country and those in the diaspora. Celebrity Korean women athletes are highly visible in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. In the media, these young golfers are represented as daughters to be protected within the patriarchal Korean family and as hypersexualized Asian women with commercial appeal. Meanwhile, the hard-muscled bodies of male athletes, such as Korean baseball and soccer players, symbolize Korean masculine dominance in the global capitalist arena. Turning from particular athletes to a mega-event, Joo discusses the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, a watershed moment in recent Korean history. New ideas of global Koreanness coalesced around this momentous event. Women and youth assumed newly prominent roles in Korean culture, and, Joo suggests, new models of public culture emerged as thousands of individuals were joined by a shared purpose.
The histories in Twin Cities Sports are rooted in the class, ethnic, and regional identity of this unique upper midwestern metropolitan area. The compilation includes a wide range of important studies on the hub of interwar speedskating, the success of Gopher football in the Jim Crow era, the integration of municipal golf courses, the building of a world-renowned park system, the Minneapolis Lakers’ basketball dynasty, the Minnesota Twins’ connections to Cuba, and more.
Fantasy sports have the opportunity to provide a sporting community in which gendered physical presence plays no role—a space where men and women can compete and interact on a level playing field. Whose Game? shows, however, that while many turn to this space to socialize with friends or participate in a uniquely active and competitive fandom, men who play also depend on fantasy sports to perform a boyhood vision of masculinity otherwise inaccessible to them. Authors Rebecca Kissane and Sarah Winslow draw on a rich array of survey, interview, and observational data to examine how gender, race, and class frame the experiences of everyday fantasy sports players.
This pioneering book examines gendered structures and processes, such as jock statsculinity—a nerdish form of masculine one-upmanship—and how women are often rendered as outsiders. Ultimately, Whose Game? demonstrates that fantasy sports are more than just an inconsequential leisure activity. This online world bleeds into participants’ social lives in gendered ways—forging and strengthening relationships but also taking participants’ time and attention to generate negative emotions, stress, discord, and unproductivity.