Sport dominates television and the mass media. Politics and business are a-bustle with sports metaphors. Endorsements by athletes sell us products. "Home run," "slam dunk," and the rest of the vocabulary of sport color daily conversation. Even in times of crisis and emergency, the media reports the scores and highlights.
Marky Dyreson delves into how our obsession with sport came into being with a close look at coverage of the Olympic Games between 1896 and 1912. How people reported and consumed information on the Olympics offers insight into how sport entered the heart of American culture as part of an impetus for social reform. Political leaders came to believe in the power of sport to revitalize the "republican experiment." Sport could instill a new sense of national identity that would forge a new sense of community and a healthy political order while at the same time linking America's intellectual and power elite with the experiences of the masses.
Man on Spikes
Eliot Asinof. Foreword by Marvin Miller Southern Illinois University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3551.S54O55 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Selected as one of baseball literature's Golden Dozen by Roger Kahn, Man on Spikes is an uncompromisingly realistic novel about a baseball player who struggles through sixteen years of personal crises and professional ordeals before finally appearing in a major league game. In a preface to this new edition, Eliot Asinof reveals the longsuffering ballplayer and friend upon which the novel is based.
Through a detailed economic assessment of the current business of professional sports and prospects for the future in the United States, Scully examines the factors that determine players' salaries; management practices and franchise values; and long-term, short-term, and corporate ownership. Scully shows, for example, that while the economic growth of the last two decades was fueled primarily by sales of television rights, the broadcast market has become saturated and teams will have to look elsewhere for income in the 1990s.
This book offers technical insights that will interest business economists and professionals in sports management.
Marvin Miller changed major league baseball and the business of sports. Drawing on research and interviews with Miller and others, Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary offers the first biography covering the pivotal labor leader's entire life and career. Baseball historian Robert F. Burk follows the formative encounters with Depression-era hard times, racial and religious bigotry, and bare-knuckle Washington and labor politics that prepared Miller for his biggest professional challenge--running the moribund Major League Baseball Players Association.
Educating and uniting the players as a workforce, Miller embarked on a long campaign to win the concessions that defined his legacy: decent workplace conditions, a pension system, outside mediation of player grievances and salary disputes, a system of profit sharing, and the long-sought dismantling of the reserve clause that opened the door to free agency. Through it all, allies and adversaries alike praised Miller's hardnosed attitude, work ethic, and honesty.
Comprehensive and illuminating, Marvin Miller, Baseball Revolutionary tells the inside story of a time of change in sports and labor relations, and of the contentious process that gave athletes in baseball and across the sporting world a powerful voice in their own games.
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.
Imagine that you are an average American man. You work hard and love football. Your present is a highway of unbounded opportunity, your future a far horizon unclouded by doubt. Then comes middle age. Who can you look to when the highway begins to crack, when opportunity shrinks to the size of a cubicle, and the horizon looms close? For Richard J. King, the answer is clear: Tom Brady. The legendary quarterback of the New England Patriots is not just a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time MVP, and certain Hall of Famer. He is a male epitome. Gifted but humble. Driven but balanced. Aging but youthful. Devoted to both career and family. At the pinnacle of success but somehow still one of us. If anyone can point the way to living a worthy life, Tom Brady can. And so, at the start of the 2013 football season, King sets off in an ’88 Volkswagen minibus in a time-honored quest to answer life’s pressing questions—and to meet his hero. From training camp to the playoffs, from Spy-gate to Deflate-gate, King takes us on a tour of stadiums and bars across the country. Along the way he talks with players, sportswriters, and Patriots management, and poses the existential question, “What would you ask Tom Brady?” Meeting Tom Brady is funny and wise, a memoir of an eventful season in both King’s life and Brady’s—a determined pursuit, with uncertain results.
Midnight basketball may not have been invented in Chicago, but the City of Big Shoulders—home of Michael Jordan and the Bulls—is where it first came to national prominence. And it’s also where Douglas Hartmann first began to think seriously about the audacious notion that organizing young men to run around in the wee hours of the night—all trying to throw a leather ball through a metal hoop—could constitute meaningful social policy.
Organized in the 1980s and ’90s by dozens of American cities, late-night basketball leagues were designed for social intervention, risk reduction, and crime prevention targeted at African American youth and young men. In Midnight Basketball, Hartmann traces the history of the program and the policy transformations of the period, while exploring the racial ideologies, cultural tensions, and institutional realities that shaped the entire field of sports-based social policy. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the book also brings to life the actual, on-the-ground practices of midnight basketball programs and the young men that the programs intended to serve. In the process, Midnight Basketball offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of the intricate ways sports, race, and risk intersect and interact in urban America.
Eddie Gottlieb-The Mogul -was one of the most colorful figures in Philadelphia sports history. A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he founded, played and coached for the legendary South Philadelphia Hebrew Association (SPHAs) basketball team, helped form the National Basketball Association, owned the Warriors franchise, and created the NBA's annual schedule of games for over a quarter-century. In baseball, he co-owned the Philadelphia Stars in the Negro Leagues and tried unsuccessfully to buy the Philadelphia Phillies. Locally, he was the city's leading sports booking agent for activities ranging from sandlot baseball to semipro football to professional wrestling.
Drawing upon sixty-plus interviews and many archival sources, well-known Philadelphia sports historian Rich Westcott vividly portrays Gottlieb's role in a pivotal era in city sports, in the process offering histories of the SPHAs, Warriors, and Stars and the role of Jews and African Americans in the city's sporting history.
The best work of one of Alabama's longest-serving and most beloved sports journalists.
Although he spent 43 years at the same job, Alf Van Hoose was not a man limited by the boundaries of his profession. As Birmingham News sports editor for 21 years and a columnist for a decade before that, Van Hoose helped define a city, a state, and a region largely known for sports. He was the writer of record for some of the biggest sporting events and personalities in the state of Alabama in the last half of the 20th Century. Wayne Hester, Van Hoose's successor as sports editor of The News, in 1990, said, "To many sports fans over the years, Alf Van Hoose has been The Birmingham News." But he was also much more than the "sports guy," as older generations of Alabama sports fans who read this book will remember and younger ones will learn. He was a man for all seasons, not just those where balls get kicked, hit, or thrown around.
A native of Cuba, Alabama, and a veteran of the Third Army campaigns in WWII (where he won both the Bronze and Silver Stars), Van Hoose became a sportswriter on The News in 1947. He remained in that role until retirement in 1990, with only short breaks to serve as a Vietnam war correspondent, and to reflect on the lessons learned while serving with George Patton. Van Hoose died in 1997 at the age of 76.
This volume contains 90 of Van Hoose's best columns, selected not only to showcase his characteristic style, but also because of the enduring importance and interest of the topics--football and baseball, of course, but also golf, high school heroics, auto racing, and Van Hoose's special favorites: Rickwood Field and its various tenants, especially the Birmingham Black Barons.
Published with the College of Communication and Information Science, The University of Alabama.
Sports have long served as inspiration for poetry-the ancient Greeks wrote odes in praise of their athletes-so it is little surprise that in a culture as obsessed with athletes as our own sports would exert an influence on contemporary poets. Motion: American Sports Poems rescues sports from our society's focus on superstars, multimillion-dollar contracts, and gold medals to capture champions and losers, competitors and spectators in moments that are anything but fleeting.
As Noah Blaustein points out in his preface, among the many parallels made between sports and poetry is the idea of transcendence. Forged from the most basic elements of sport-energy, movement, and rhythm-the poems in this anthology reflect something universal: sport as metaphor, sport as struggle, sport as the battleground for mythic figures and local heroes.
The often celebrated sports-baseball, boxing, football, and basketball-are here along with unexpected pastimes like surfing, skateboarding, tennis, soccer, karate, rock climbing, bowling, and curling. Young and old, black and white, male and female, the poets in this anthology celebrate everyone who has come together in the shimmy and shake and sweat of sport.
Tom Gola is a Philadelphia Big Five basketball icon. He led La Salle to the NIT championship in 1952 and the NCAA championship in 1954, and holds the NCAA record for most rebounds in a career. Gola also helped the Philadelphia Warriors win the NBA championship as a rookie in 1956 and was named an All-Star five times before retiring in 1966. But Gola also had many amazing achievements as a coach; his La Salle Explorer teams were a large part of the national basketball landscape. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976.
In Mr. All-Around, avid sports fan and reporter David Grzybowski provides a definitive biography of Gola. He uses exclusive interviews he conducted with Gola in 2013 and features anecdotes by many figures of Philadelphia and basketball history, including John Cheney, Fran Dunphy, and Lionel Simmons.
After the NBA, Gola transitioned to a second career as a politician, serving as Pennsylvania State Representative and Philadelphia City Controller. His dedication to public service involved joining politician Arlen Specter on a campaign that revolutionized political marketing within Philadelphia. Mr. All-Around is an affectionate testament to the life, career, and legacy of one of Philadelphia’s most beloved sports legends.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) has always engendered an emotional reaction from the public. From his appearance as an Olympic champion to his iconic status as a national hero, his carefully constructed image and controversial persona has always been intensely scrutinized. In Muhammad Ali, Michael Ezra considers the boxer who calls himself “The Greatest” from a new perspective. He writes about Ali’s pre-championship bouts, the management of his career and his current legacy, exploring the promotional aspects of Ali and how they were wrapped up in political, economic, and cultural “ownership.”
Ezra’s incisive study examines the relationships between Ali’s cultural appeal and its commercial manifestations. Citing examples of the boxer’s relationship to the Vietnam War and the Nation of Islam—which serve as barometers of his “public moral authority”—Muhammad Ali analyzes the difficulties of creating and maintaining these cultural images, as well as the impact these themes have on Ali’s meaning to the public.
In the most comprehensive assessment of baseball legend Stan Musial's life and career to date, James N. Giglio places the St. Louis Cardinal star within the context of the times-the Great Depression and wartime and postwar America-and the issues then prevalent in professional baseball, particularly race and the changing economics of the game. Giglio illuminates how the times shaped Musial and delves further into his popular image as a warm, unfailingly gracious role model known for good sportsmanship and devotion to family.