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.
Billy Sunday (1862-1935) was the best-known evangelist in America in the first half of the 20th century. Impoverished midwestern farm kid, professional baseball player, showman extraordinaire, unabashed patriot, and foe of the demon rum, this self-styled muscular Christian brought his brand of manly gospel to millions of Americans nationwide. Sunday connected with his fans through a combination of theatrics, conservative theology, and fervent patriotism; the circumstances of his life and work were consistent with a Horatio Alger-like myth of success that resonated with the millions of Americans of his time who had been transplanted from the farm to the city.
Published serially in the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1932 and 1933 and now in book form for the first time, The Sawdust Trail is the only autobiography that this hugely popular and hugely controversial preacher ever wrote. From his childhood days in Iowa to the early days of his conversion in Illinois, from his baseball career with the National League teams in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia to the challenges of preaching in New York City during his heyday, the sections of Sunday’s autobiography roll out like so many exuberant sermons, yet the sympathetic reader can hear echoes of the loneliness and misery of his early years.
In The Sawdust Trail the sometimes appalling but always appealing Billy Sunday creates a usable past for himself, notable for what he omits as well as for what he includes, which gives us insight not just into his own life and career but also into the peculiar history of evangelism in America.
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.
In 1968, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) implemented sex testing for female athletes at that year's Games. When it became clear that testing regimes failed to delineate a sex divide, the IOC began to test for gender--a shift that allowed the organization to control the very idea of womanhood.
Ranging from Cold War tensions to gender anxiety to controversies around doping, Lindsay Parks Pieper explores sex testing in sport from the 1930s to the early 2000s. Pieper examines how the IOC in particular insisted on a misguided binary notion of gender that privileged Western norms. Testing evolved into a tool to identify--and eliminate--athletes the IOC deemed too strong, too fast, or too successful. Pieper shows how this system punished gifted women while hindering the development of women's athletics for decades. She also reveals how the flawed notions behind testing--ideas often sexist, racist, or ridiculous--degraded the very idea of female athleticism.
n 1968, Tommie Smith and his teammate John Carlos won the gold and silver medals, respectively, for the 200 meter dash. Receiving their medals on the dais, they raised their fists and froze a moment in time that will forever be remembered as a powerful day of protest. In this, his autobiography, Smith tells the story of that moment, and of his life before and after it, to explain what that moment meant to him.
In Silent Gesture, Smith recounts his life before and after the 1968 Olympics: his life-long commitment to athletics, education, and human rights. He dispels some of the myths surrounding his and Carlos' act on the dais -- contrary to legend, Smith wasn't a member of the Black Panthers, but a member of the US Olympic Project for Human Rights -- and describes in detail the planning and risks involved in his protest. Smith also details his many years after Mexico City of devotion to human rights, athletics, and education. A unique resource for anyone concerned with international sports, history, and the African American experience, Silent Gesture contributes a complete picture of one of the most famous moments in sports history, and of a man whose actions always matched his words.
Dan Jenkins calls him “the greatest quarterback who ever lived, college or pro.” Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, who played for TCU and the Washington Redskins, single-handedly revolutionized the game of football. While the pros still wore leather helmets and played the game more like rugby, Baugh’s ability to throw the ball with rifle-like accuracy made the forward pass a strategic weapon, not a desperation heave. Like Babe Ruth, who changed the very perception of how baseball is played, Slingin’ Sam transformed the notion of offense in football and how much yardage can be gained through the air. As the first modern quarterback, Baugh led the Redskins to five title games and two NFL championships, while leading the league in passing six times—a record that endures to this day—and in punting four times. In 1943, the triple-threat Baugh also scored a triple crown when he led the league in passing, punting, and interceptions.
Slingin’ Sam is the first major biography of this legendary quarterback, one of the first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joe Holley traces the whole arc of Baugh’s life (1914–2008), from his small-town Texas roots to his college ball success as an All-American at TCU, his brief flirtation with professional baseball, and his stellar career with the Washington Redskins (1937–1952), as well as his later career coaching the New York Titans and Houston Oilers and ranching in West Texas. Through Holley’s vivid descriptions of close-fought games, Baugh comes alive both as the consummate all-around athlete who could play every minute of every game, on both offense and defense, and as an all-around good guy.
In The Small Book of Hip Checks Erica Rand uses multiple meanings of hip check—including an athlete using their hip to throw an opponent off-balance and the inspection of racialized gender—to consider the workings of queer gender, race, and writing. Explicitly attending to processes of writing and revising, Rand pursues interruption, rethinking, and redirection to challenge standard methods of argumentation and traditional markers of heft and fluff. She writes about topics including a trans shout-out in a Super Bowl ad, the heyday of lavender dildos, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, the criticism received by figure skater Debi Thomas and tennis great Serena Williams for competing in bodysuits while Black, and the gendering involved in identifying the remains of people who die trying to cross into the United States south of Tucson, Arizona. Along the way, Rand encourages making muscle memory of experimentation and developing an openness to being conceptually knocked sideways. In other words, to be hip-checked.
The band blares “Rocky Top” and the crowd roars as the University of Tennessee football team storms out of the tunnel and onto the field through the giant “T,” their beloved mascot Smokey leading the way. The iconic Bluetick Coonhound has been part of the pageantry and tradition at the University of Tennessee since 1953, delighting fans both young and old.
For this entertaining and enlightening book, UT sports historian Thomas J. Mattingly has teamed up with longtime Smokey owner Earl C. Hudson to tell the stories of the nine hounds that have been top dog on campus for more than half a century. It was the Rev. Bill Brooks, Hudson’s brother-in-law, whose prize-winning dog “Brooks’ Blue Smokey,” became the first mascot by winning a student body-led contest at a home football game in 1953. The Coonhound breed was selected because it was native to the state, and several (no one remembers exactly how many) were brought onto the field at halftime to compete. But Smokey stole the show when he threw back his head and howled. The crowd cheered, and Smokey howled again. The raucous applause and barking built to a frenzy. The enthusiastic hound won the hearts of the Volunteer faithful that day, and he and the dogs that followed have remained among the University of Tennessee’s most popular symbols ever since.
The authors have interviewed Smokey’s former handlers, university archivists, sports journalists, and local historians as well as legions of longtime fans. Their recollections provide not only the background of the mascot but a history of UT athletics as well. Vol fans will enjoy reading about Smokey’s adventures throughout the years, from his kidnapping in 1955 by mischievous Kentucky students to his confrontation with the Baylor Bear at the 1957 Sugar Bowl to the time he suffered heat exhaustion at the 1991 UCLA game and was listed on the Vols’ injury report until his return later in the season.
Filled with photographs and memorabilia, including vintage game programs, football schedules, letters, cartoons, and more, this book brings to life the magic of UT football and the endearing canines that have become such an indispensable part of the experience.
THOMAS J. MATTINGLY is the author of Tennessee Football: The Peyton Manning Years, The University of Tennessee Football Vault: The Story of the Tennessee Volunteers, 1891-2006, The University of Tennessee All-Access Football Vault and The University of Tennessee Trivia Book. He writes about Vol history on his Knoxville News Sentinel blog, “The Vol Historian.”
EARL C. HUDSON’s family have cared for the Smokeys since 1994.
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.
Sports fans nationwide know Soldier Field as the home of the Chicago Bears. For decades its signature columns provided an iconic backdrop for gridiron matches. But few realize that the stadium has been much more than that. Soldier Field: A Stadium and Its City explores how this amphitheater evolved from a public war memorial into a majestic arena that helped define Chicago.
Chicago Tribune staff writer Liam Ford led the reporting on the stadium’s controversial 2003 renovation—and simultaneously found himself unearthing a dramatic history. As he tells it, the tale of Soldier Field truly is the story of Chicago, filled with political intrigue and civic pride. Designed by Holabird and Roche, Soldier Field arose through a serendipitous combination of local tax dollars, City Beautiful boosterism, and the machinations of Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson. The result was a stadium that stood at the center of Chicago’s political, cultural, and sporting life for nearly sixty years before the arrival of Walter Payton and William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
Ford describes it all in the voice of a seasoned reporter: the high school football games, track and field contests, rodeos, and even NASCAR races. Photographs, including many from the Chicago Park District’s own collections, capture these remarkable scenes: the swelling crowds at ethnic festivals, Catholic masses, and political rallies. Few remember that Soldier Field hosted Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr., Judy Garland and Johnny Cash—as well as Grateful Dead’s final show.
Soldier Field captures the dramatic history of Chicago’s stadium on the lake and will captivate sports fans and historians alike.
chronicles the true story of twin brothers Lee and Larry Williams, whose love of surfing evolved in the most unlikely of geographies: off the shores of Lake Michigan. From their boyhood home in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the brothers trekked to the local beach with their longboards and their dreams to master the waves at spots like the Elbow and the Cove. The next six decades proved that their zeal for catching grinders and barrels was much more than a hobby.
Surfing in the cold had its challenges, and Lee and Larry recall stories of freak storms, ice-encrusted beaches, and near drownings, along with the usual hypothermia, helped but not cured by their customized cold-water wetsuits. Despite living nearly 2,000 miles from either coast, Lee and Larry have made a lifestyle out of freshwater surfing, recreating their hometown as "The Malibu of the Midwest" and gaining international fame as hosts of the Dairyland Surf Classic.
With humor and wit, author William Povletich brings their tale of revolutionizing surf culture to the page.
Through the stories of six athletes—Alice 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 used to beat back stereotypes, Lansbury explores the fullness of African American women’s relationship with sport in the twentieth century.
In Spirit and Sport: Religion and the Fragile Athletic Body in Popular Culture, Sean O’Neil studies the intersectionality of religion and disability as it exists within contemporary sports. To do so, he calls to the forefront various contemporary stories about trauma and disability—some fictional, others biographical—and examines how we tell and interpret these stories within the frameworks of athletic activity, competition, failure, and success. O’Neil studies a wide range of perspectives, from John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany and the big-screen’s Signs to the experiences of real-life athletes like Tim Tebow, Muhammad Ali, and Bethany Hamilton. Woven throughout his examination of each is a consideration of religious belief and practice, especially within Christianity, as it relates to athletic ability—the lighthearted stories of victory and overcoming, the inspiring triumph over fragility and limitation so often couched in religious terms.
O’Neil’s study draws upon his experiences as a hospital chaplain and his own battle with skin cancer. By blending personal experience with sociological observation, O’Neil argues that the intersection of religion, sports, and disability in popular culture is a revealing site of cultural struggle over competing myths, identities, and values related to the body—both the physical bodies we inhabit as well as the broader social bodies to which we subscribe.
Spirit and Sport is a study with broad appeal: from O’Neil’s autoethnographic storytelling to the wide range of narrative media he examines, religious scholars, sports historians, and general audiences alike are sure to find it a thought-provoking and engaging read.
Spitball n., an illegal pitch in which a foreign substance (spit or Vaseline) is applied to the ball by the pitcher before it is thrown.
Dead ballera n., a time period during baseball, usually regarded as 1900–1919, when the game used a "dead" or almost soft ball during play. Usually, the same ball was used for the entire game.
In 1911, when Bradley Hogg began his major-league pitching career for the National League’s Boston Rustlers, baseball was a different game. Hogg played during a time known as the dead ball era, when a pitcher could spit on, shine up, or even roughen a ball to secure an advantage over a hitter. Although only seven World Series had been played at that point, the names of the best and most colorful players remain familiar today: Cy Young, Casey Stengel, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, and Christy Mathewson.
During his major and minor league career, Hogg played with or against twenty-seven Hall of Fame ballplayers and under the critical gaze of two Hall of Fame umpires and eleven Hall of Fame sportswriters. In Spitting on Diamonds, Clyde Hogg details the life of baseball’s everyman, including excerpts from newspapers throughout the country to bring to life the times in which Bradley Hogg played. The author shows how Hogg’s career is representative of the thousands of men who have played professional baseball since its inception more than 125 years ago, men who didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame or win awards but made it possible for millions of fans to enjoy the game. These players were the flannelled hosts of America’s favorite pastime and the ones who made the game what it was and is today.
The author uses Hogg’s career as a spitball pitcher in leagues from coast to coast to show the rapid change and growth of our nation between 1910 and 1920. With enough baseball statistics to satisfy even the most hard-core fan, this time capsule of early-twentieth-century America will appeal to sports enthusiasts and readers of general historical nonfiction alike. They will find in its pages an America now visible only in faded photographs, along with a version of the national pastime that no longer exists. Featuring multiple bunts, double steals, inside pitching, and the now outlawed “spitball,” as well as the skill it took to hit such deliveries, this game was hard, fast, and nonstop. Spitting on Diamonds lets the reader understand what it was like to live and play professional sports when America and its national pastime were coming of age.
Today's interest in sports in America has its roots in the period from 1880–1940. As Mrozek shows, famous and forgotten figures and athletes helped shaped the modern craze. A national interest in sports could only be sustained after the upper classes ceased opposing organized sports.
Sport and Christianity explores the connections between these two seemingly disparate phenomena. It reflects on what the fascination for sport reveals about the human person and to what degree sporting activities are compatible with, and can even advance, the church's mission.
What is the purpose of sport, and how are ethical conceptions of sport shaped by the answers to this question? In Sport and Moral Conflict, William Morgan investigates, examining sport as a moral crucible that puts athletes in competitive, emotionally charged situations where fairness and equality are contested alongside accomplishment.
Morgan looks at the modern Olympics—from 1906 Athens to 1924 Paris, when the Games reached international prestige — in order to highlight the debate about athletic excellence and the amateur-professional divide. Whereas the Americans emphasized winning, the Europeans valued a love of the game. Morgan argues that the existing moral theories of sport—formalism and broad internalism (aka interpretivism), which rely on rules and general principles—fall short when confronted with such a dispute as the transition from amateur to professional sport. As such, he develops a theory of conventionalism, in which the norms at work in athletic communities determine how players should ethically acquit themselves. Presenting his case for an ethical theory of sport, Morgan provides insights regarding the moral controversies and crises that persist today.
Offering new approaches to thinking about sports and political ideologies, Sport and Neoliberalism explores the structures, formations, and mechanics of neoliberalism. The editors and contributors to this original and timely volume examine the intersection of sport as a national pastime and also an engine for urban policy—e.g., stadium building—as well as a powerful force for influencing our understanding of the relationship between culture, politics, and identity.
Sport and Neoliberalism examines the ways the neoliberal project creates priorities for civic society and how, in effect, it turns many aspects of sport into a vehicle of public governance. From the relationship between sport and the neo-liberal state, through the environmental dimensions of neo-liberal sport, to the political biopolitics of obesity, the essays in this volume explore the ways in which the “logics” of neoliberalism are manifest as powerful public pedagogies through the realm of popular culture.
Contributors include: Michael Atkinson, Ted Butryn, C. L. Cole, Norman Denzin, Grant Farred, Jessica Francombe, Caroline Fusco, Michael D. Giardina, Mick Green, Leslie Heywood, Samantha King, Lisa McDermott, Mary G. McDonald, Toby Miller, Mark Montgomery, Joshua I. Newman, Jay Scherer, Kimberly S. Schimmel, and Brian Wilson
Sport and Political Ideology
By John M. Hoberman University of Texas Press, 1984 Library of Congress GV706.8.H62 1984 | Dewey Decimal 796.01
Across the modern political spectrum, left-wing and right-wing political theorists have invested sport with ideological significance. That significance, however, varies distinctively and characteristically with the ideology—a phenomenon John Hoberman terms "ideological differentiation." Taking this phenomenon as its point of departure, this provocative work interprets the major sport ideologies of the twentieth century as distinct expressions of political doctrine. Hoberman argues that a political ideology's interpretation of sport is shaped in part by the value it assigns to work and play as modes of experience; the political anthropologies of right and left can be distinguished by examining their resistance to—or affinity for—sportive imagery of their leaders and of the state itself; there exists a fascist temperament that shows an affinity to athleticism and the sphere of the body that is not shared by the left. Tracing modern sport ideology back to its premodern antecedents, Hoberman examines the interpretations of sport that have been promulgated by European political intellectuals, such as cultural conservatives and contemporary neo-Marxists, and by the official ideologists of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, and China before and after Mao. As a form of mass theater, sport can advertise any ideology. But the deeper relationship between sport and political ideology has never before been explored wth such vigor. Presenting the first general theory of sport and political ideology to appear in any language, Hoberman's groundbreaking work is a unique and invaluable contribution to the intellectual and political history of 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.
Sport History in the Digital Era
Edited by Gary Osmond and Murray G. Phillips University of Illinois Press, 2015 Library of Congress GV571.S573 2015 | Dewey Decimal 796
From statistical databases to story archives, from fan sites to the real-time reactions of Twitter-empowered athletes, the digital communication revolution has changed the way sports fans relate to their favorite teams. In this volume, contributors from Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States analyze the parallel transformation in the field of sport history, showing the ways powerful digital tools raise vital philosophical, epistemological, ontological, methodological, and ethical questions for scholars and students alike.
Chapters consider how the philosophical and theoretical understanding of the meaning of history influence a willingness to engage with digital history, and conceptualize the relationship between history making and the digital era. As the writers show, digital media's mostly untapped potential for studying the recent past via blogs, chat rooms, gambling sites, and the like forge a symbiosis between sports and the internet, and offer historians new vistas to explore and utilize.
Sport History in the Digital Era also shows how the best digital history goes beyond a static cache of curated documents. Instead, it becomes a truly public history that serves as a dynamic site of enquiry and discussion. In such places, scholars enter into a give-and-take with individuals while inviting the audience to grapple with, rather than passively absorb, the evidence being offered.
Timely and provocative, Sport History in the Digital Era affirms how the information revolution has transformed sport and sport history--and shows the road ahead.
Contributors include Douglas Booth, Mike Cronin, Martin Johnes, Matthew Klugman, Geoffery Z. Kohe, Tara Magdalinski, Fiona McLachlan, Bob Nicholson, Rebecca Olive, Gary Osmond, Murray G. Phillips, Stephen Robertson, Synthia Sydnor, Holly Thorpe, and Wayne Wilson.
Sports played a vital role in the social and cultural life of the former Soviet Union.
The Soviet state sponsored countless programs to promote sporting activities, even constructing a new term, fizkultura, to describe sports culture.
With Sport in the USSR, Mike O’Mahony asserts that the popular image of fizkultura was as dependent on its presentation as it was on its actual practice. Images of vigorous Soviet sportsmen and women were constantly evoked in literature, film, and folk songs; they frequently appeared on the badges and medals of various work associations and even on plates and teapots. Several major artists, in fact, made their careers out of vivid representations of sports.
O’Mahony further examines the role that fizkultura played in the formulation of the novyi chelovek, or Soviet New Person, arguing that these images of the sporting life not only promoted the existence of this national being but also articulated the process of transformation that could bring him or her into existence. Fizkultura, O’Mahony claims,became a civic duty alongside state labor drives and military service.
Sport in the USSR is a fascinating addition to current debates in the fields of sociology, popular culture, and Russian history.
In Sport Is Life with the Volume Turned Up, Joan Cronan offers a refreshing and innovative perspective on strengthening performance and achieving success in both the business world and everyday life. During her twenty-eight years as Women’s Athletics Director for the University of Tennessee, Cronan built one of the most prominent and respected women’s athletics programs in the nation, resulting in ten NCAA titles and twenty-four SEC Tournament Championships for the Lady Vols during her tenure. She reveals in her book what happened behind the scenes in constructing a successful, nationally renowned women’s athletics program—and it turns out that game days were only part of the story.
Cronan’s lighthearted stories and succinct business tips will draw you in until you feel like you are present for every victory she describes on the court and in the workplace. Cronan’s business acumen and passionate approach to positive change will arm you with the outlook and the tools you need to revolutionize the professional and personal spheres in your life.
In paperback for the first time, Randolph Feezell’s Sport, Play, and Ethical Reflection immediately tackles two big questions about sport: “What is it?” and “Why does it attract so many people?” Feezell argues that sports participation is best described as a form of human play, and the attraction for participants and viewers alike derives from both its aesthetic richness and narrative structure. He then claims that the way in which sports encourage serious competition in trivial pursuits is fundamentally absurd, and therefore participation requires a state of irony in the participants, where seriousness and playfulness are combined.
Feezell builds on these conclusions, addressing important ethical issues, arguing that sportsmanship should be seen as a kind of Aristotelian mean between the extremes of over- and under-investment in sport. Chapters on cheating, running up the score, and character building stress sport as a rule-governed, tradition-bound practice with standards of excellence and goods internal to the practice. With clear writing and numerous illuminating examples, Feezell demonstrates deep insight into both of his subjects.
Sometimes the crack of the bat or the roar of the crowd fails to capture the meaning of sports as athletes themselves understand it. Books about sports have ignored this dimension of the subject, particularly the athletes’ own autobiographical accounts. In Sporting Lives, the first book to examine the two popular realms of sports and autobiography, James Pipkin looks at recurring patterns found in athletes’ accounts of their lives and sporting experiences, examining language, metaphor, rhetorical strategies, and other elements to analyze sports from the inside out.
Sporting Lives takes a fresh look at memoirs from baseball, football, basketball, golf, and other sports to explore how American athletes see themselves: not only how those images mesh with popular perceptions of them as heroes or celebrities but also how their accounts differ from those of sports journalists and other outsiders. Drawing on the life stories of such well-known figures as Wilt Chamberlain, Babe Ruth, and Martina Navratilova—both as-told-to and self-authored works—Pipkin follows players from the “echoing green” of eternal youth to the sometimes cultlike and isolated status of fame, interpreting recurring patterns both in the living of their lives and in the telling of them. He even considers Dennis Rodman’s four autobiographies to show how the contradictions of his self-portrayals reflect the Janus-faced quality of sports in the era of celebrity culture.
As Pipkin shows, the life of the athlete involves more than mere athleticism; it is also a world of nostalgia and sentiment, missed opportunities and lost youth. He sheds light on athletes’ common obsession with youth and body image—including gender and racial considerations—and explores their descriptions of being “in a zone,” that transcendent state when everything seems to click. And he considers the time that all athletes dread, when their bodies begin to betray them . . . and the cheering stops.
While the lives of athletes may often suggest the magic of Peter Pan, Pipkin’s engaging study reveals that they are in many ways more like the Lost Boys. Sporting Lives shows that the meaning of sports is intertwined with the telling. It is both an eminently readable book for fans and a critically sophisticated analysis that will engage scholars of literature, sports or media studies, and American popular culture.
Engaging a medley of perspectives and methodologies, these collected essays explore the sport-related symbols and events that have shaped southern regional identities since the Civil War. The authors range from the "backcountry" fighter stereotypes portrayed in modern professional wrestling to the significance of Crimson Tide coaching legend Paul "Bear" Bryant for white Alabamians while other essays tackle gender and race relations in intercollegiate athletics, the roles athletic competitions played in desegregating the South, and NASCAR's popularity in southern states.
Pairing the action and anecdotes of good sportswriting with rock-solid scholarship, The Sporting World of the Modern South adds historical and anthropological perspectives to legends and lore from the gridiron to the racetrack.
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
Perhaps no other activity is more synonymous with passion, identity, bodily ideals, and the power of place than sport. As the essays in this volume show, the function of sport as a historical and cultural marker is particularly relevant in Latin America. From the late nineteenth century to the present, the contributors reveal how sport opens a wide window into local, regional, and national histories. The essays examine the role of sport as a political vehicle, in claims to citizenship, as a source of community and ethnic pride, as a symbol of masculinity or feminism, as allegorical performance, and in many other purposes. Sports Culture in Latin American History juxtaposes analyses of better-known activities such as boxing and soccer with first peoples’ athletics in Argentina, Cholita wrestling in Bolivia, the African-influenced martial art of capoeira, Japanese Brazilian gateball, the “Art Deco” body ideal for postrevolutionary Mexican women, Jewish soccer fans in Argentina and transgressive behavior at matches, and other topics. The contributors view the local origins and adaptations of these athletic activities and their significance as insightful narrators of history and culture.
"If this isn't the best analysis of the professional sports business
ever written, I'd like to see the book that beats it. . . . Should be
read by every sports fan or -- for that matter -- social critic."
--From a five-star review, West Coast Review of Books.
"Explores its subject so thoroughly and demolishes so many commonly
held assumptions that after reading it even the most knowledgeable fans
(and some journalists) should feel like drunks who have suddenly been
forced to sober up."
-- Chicago Tribune
"Required reading for anyone who calls himself a fan."
-- Chicago Sun-Times
"An invaluable contribution to sports literature."
-- Howard Cosell
The Sports Immortals is the first study to systematically apply the classic theories of psychology and anthropology to sport to present a model of the ways in which we create mythical figures out of actual individuals. Peter Williams begins with the theories of thinkers like Jung, Frazer, and Otto Rank and then shows their application, first to sport itself, then, more specifically, to American sport, and particularly to baseball. The result is a clear illustration of the way in which we insist on making archetypes out of our heroes, and how this process is the same today as it was in ancient Athens and before.
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.
Sports in Chicago
Edited by Elliott Gorn University of Illinois Press, 2007 Library of Congress GV584.5.C4G67 2008 | Dewey Decimal 796.0977311
Chicago teams have won the World Series, Super Bowl, multiple Stanley Cups, and a string of National Basketball Association titles. But amateur sports also play a large role in the city's athletic traditions, especially in schools and youth leagues that allow people from across the city to add to Chicago sports history.
In Sports and Chicago, an all-star roster of experts focuses on multiple aspects of Chicago sports, including long looks at amateur boxing, the impact of gender and ethnicity in sports, the politics of horse racing and stadium building, the lasting scandal of the Black Sox, and the once-perpetual heartbreak of the Cubs. Illustrated with forty photographs, the collection encourages historians and sports fans alike to appreciate the long-standing importance of sports in the Windy City.
Contributors: Peter Alter, Robin F. Bachin, Larry Bennett, Linda J. Borish, Gerald Gems, Elliott J. Gorn, Richard Kimball, Gabe Logan, Daniel A. Nathan, Timothy Neary, Steven A. Riess, John Russick, Timothy Spears, Costas Spirou, and Loïc Wacquant.
Sports in the Western World
William J. Baker University of Illinois Press, 1982 Library of Congress GV571.B25 1988 | Dewey Decimal 796.09
Since the earliest days of the silent era, American filmmakers have been drawn to the visual spectacle of sports and their compelling narratives of conflict, triumph, and individual achievement. In Contesting Identities Aaron Baker examines how these cinematic representations of sports and athletes have evolved over time--from The Pinch Hitter and Buster Keaton's College to White Men Can't Jump, Jerry Maguire, and Girlfight. He focuses on how identities have been constructed and transcended in American society since the early twentieth century.
Whether depicting team or individual sports, these films return to that most American of themes, the master narrative of self-reliance. Baker shows that even as sports films tackle socially constructed identities like class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, they ultimately underscore transcendence of these identities through self-reliance.
Looking at films from almost every sporting genre--with a particular focus on movies about boxing, baseball, basketball, and football--Contesting Identities maps the complex cultural landscape depicted in American sports films and the ways in which stories about "subaltern" groups winning acceptance by the mainstream majority can serve to reinforce the values of that majority.
In addition to discussing the genre's recurring dramatic tropes, from the populist prizefighter to the hot-headed rebel to the "manly" female athlete, Baker also looks at the social and cinematic impacts of real-life sports figures from Jackie Robinson and Babe Didrikson Zaharias to Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.
If a religion cannot attract and instruct young people, it will struggle to survive, which is why recreational programs were second only to theological questions in the development of twentieth-century Mormonism. In this book, Richard Ian Kimball explores how Mormon leaders used recreational programs to ameliorate the problems of urbanization and industrialization and to inculcate morals and values in LDS youth. As well as promoting sports as a means of physical and spiritual excellence, Progressive Era Mormons established a variety of institutions such as the Deseret Gymnasium and camps for girls and boys, all designed to compete with more "worldly" attractions and to socialize adolescents into the faith.
Kimball employs a wealth of source material including periodicals, diaries, journals, personal papers, and institutional records to illuminate this hitherto underexplored aspect of the LDS church. In addition to uncovering the historical roots of many Mormon institutions still visible today, Sports in Zion is a detailed look at the broader functions of recreation in society.
From ancient Egyptian archery and medieval Japanese football to contemporary American baseball, every sport has been shaped by—and in turn has helped shape—the culture of which it is part. Yet as Allen Guttmann shows in this far-ranging study, for all their differences sports have followed a similar historical trajectory from traditional to modern forms.
In Sports: The First Five Millennia, Guttmann traces this evolution across continents, cultures, and historical epochs to construct a single comprehensive narrative of the world's sports.
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.
The Vietnam era's tensions—between tradition and new possibilities, black and white, young and old, male and female—were played out on the field of professional and organized sports. SportsWars shows that the century-old position of sports as the standard-bearer for American values, and as a central way of building character, made it a prime target in this time of general disenchantment. Critics began to challenge not only individual abuses but sport's very ideals, and for the first time these critics included athletes themselves. Zang locates a variety of larger cultural debates within professional sports and organized sports more generally: changing valuations of hard work and the physical, winning versus character, and challenges to authority. He also considers the relationships between sports and other domains of popular culture, including the counterculture, rock and roll, and Hollywood.
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 late Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter Stan Hochman was known for his many zingers, such as “Harry Litwack, the stoic Temple coach, stalks the sidelines like a blind man at a nudist colony.” As a reporter, he was more interested in how athletes felt, what their values were, how they lived their lives, or what made them tick than he was about how many runs they scored or punches they landed.
In Stan Hochman Unfiltered, his wife Gloria collects nearly 100 of his best columns from the Daily News about baseball, horse racing, boxing, football, hockey, and basketball (both college and pro), as well as food, films, and even Liz Taylor. Each section is introduced by a friend or colleague, including Garry Maddox, Bernie Parent, Larry Merchant, and Ray Didinger, among others.
Hochman penned a candid, cantankerous column about whether Pete Rose belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame; wrote a graphic account of the Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fight of the century; and skewered Norman “Bottom Line” Braman, the one-time owner of the Eagles. He also wrote human-interest stories, including features about the importance of kids with special needs playing sports.
In addition to being a beloved writer, Hochman was also known for his stint on WIP’s radio as the Grand Imperial Poobah, where he would settle callers’ most pressing debates. Hochman long earned the respect and admiration of his subjects, peers, and readers throughout his career, and Stan Hochman Unfiltered is a testament to his enduring legacy.
For a moment Dick Beardsley became the most famous runner in the world by losing a race. In the 1982 Boston Marathon, Beardsley, foiled by a motorcycle that cut him off, finished two seconds behind Alberto Salazar in one of the most memorable contests in marathon history. Staying the Course recounts that race and the difficult years that followed, including his recovery from a near-fatal farm accident, his subsequent addiction to painkillers, and a public arrest for forging prescriptions. His story of overcoming obstacles speaks to anyone who loves competition, who has survived catastrophe, or who has pursued a seemingly impossible goal.
For 31 years, Clyde Bolton wrote four sports columns per week for the BirminghamNews. By his estimation, this makes him the most widely read Alabamian in history. He may be right.
In Stop the Presses (So I Can Get Off) he takes the reader along on a joyride through more than three decades of Alabama sports. Unsurprisingly, tales of Bear Bryant and Shug Jordan, Roll Tide and War Eagle, dominate, but at one point or another, Clyde covered just about every type of sporting event in the state. Personalities and events from the realms of high school sports, minor league baseball, college basketball, and Nextel Cup Racing are just some of the many facets of his personal and professional life that he shares in this, his 17th book.
In relating the outlines of his life, Bolton pays homage to his mentors, including famed sports editor Benny Marshall, and shares some insights he’s gained after a lifetime in the newspaper game. But throughout the book, he never forgets that any good journalist—any good writer—is in the business of telling stories. And oh, what stories!
Bolton writes of meeting Michael Jordan during the basketball star’s year with the Birmingham Barons; of having dinner with Muhammad Ali at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house at Auburn University; of walking incognito down sunny Birmingham sidewalks with Hall-of-Famer Johnny Unitas. He explains why Bear Bryant, in his opinion, is the greatest football coach ever, tells of interviewing Joe Namath in the men’s bathroom, and reveals why his grandmother watched professional wrestling on her hands and knees on the floor in front of the television.
Stop the Presses (So I Can Get Off) is a joyous romp through the SEC, the Nextel Cup Circuit, and, in the end, life itself.
Ranging from the riotously comic to the nostalgic, edgy, and suspenseful, these sixteen stories offer richly developed and engaging portraits of characters across the spectrum of life, all absorbed by the thrill of fly fishing. A marriage betrayal on a trout stream in the north woods, a young boy’s coming of age as a fly fisherman in the Black Hills of South Dakota, angler rage on the redfish flats of the Gulf of Mexico, an epic quest for bullish rainbows in Montana’s celebrated Bighorn, the quiet mystique of Wisconsin’s Brule River, the intensity of combat fishing on a salmon pool in the Pacific Northwest, these are just a few of the fascinating tales of fly fishing offered in Sunlit Riffles and Shadowed Runs. Rendered in sparkling prose that will resonate with every angler, this collection will also delight any reader who enjoys outdoor pastimes.
Two Supreme Court decisions, NCAA v. Board of Regents (1984) and NCAA v. Tarkanian (1988), shaped college sports by permitting the emergence of a commercial enterprise with high financial stakes, while failing to guarantee adequate procedural protections for persons charged with wrongdoing within that enterprise. Brian L. Porto examines the conditions that led to the cases, the reasoning behind the rulings, and the consequences of those rulings. He proposes a federal statute that would grant the NCAA a limited "educational exemption" from antitrust laws, enabling it to enhance academic opportunities for athletes and affording greater procedural protections to accused parties in NCAA disciplinary proceedings.
The mixed-race Hawaiian athlete George Freeth brought surfing to Venice, California, in 1907. Over the next twelve years, Freeth taught Southern Californians to surf and swim while creating a modern lifeguard service that transformed the beach into a destination for fun, leisure, and excitement. Patrick Moser places Freeth’s inspiring life story against the rise of the Southern California beach culture he helped shape and define. Freeth made headlines with his rescue of seven fishermen, an act of heroism that highlighted his innovative lifeguarding techniques. But he also founded California's first surf club and coached both male and female athletes, including Olympic swimming champion and “father of modern surfing” Duke Kahanamoku. Often in financial straits, Freeth persevered as a teacher and lifeguarding pioneer--building a legacy that endured long after his death during the 1919 influenza pandemic.
A compelling merger of biography and sports history, Surf and Rescue brings to light the forgotten figure whose novel way of seeing the beach sparked the imaginations of people around the world.
An Irish working-class hero of Pittsburgh, Billy Conn captured hearts through his ebullient personality, stellar boxing record, and good looks. A light heavyweight boxing champion best remembered for his sensational near-defeat of heavyweight champion Joe Louis in 1941, Conn is still regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Andrew O'Toole chronicles the boxing, Hollywood, and army careers of "the Pittsburgh Kid" by drawing from newspaper accounts, Billy's personal scrapbooks, and fascinating interviews with family. Presenting an intimate look at the champion's relationships with his girlfriend, manager, and rivals, O'Toole compellingly captures the personal life of a public icon and the pageantry of sports during the 1930s and '40s.
The Syntax of Sports is that course you wish you took in college—even if you aren’t a sports fan. It’s interesting. It’s practical. It’s inspiring. And best of all, it teaches you a skill that is at once highly marketable and potentially transforming: how to become a better thinker and writer.
The beginning of a multi-volume series, this initial book recreates the first day of class as it was taught to undergraduates at the University of Michigan. The examples are compelling. The dialogue is fast moving. The stories are ones you’ll want to return to and retell over and over again. There is a reason the actual students who took The Syntax of Sports said the following things about it:
“Every class I learned something new that I know I’ll actually use in my writing for years to come. Couldn’t be happier that I took a chance on Syntax of Sports.”
“Prof. Barry has structured the course so that it’s almost impossible not to learn something valuable to take with you to future classes and future career possibilities.”
“I have learned a ton of techniques for being a better writer in this class. I have also learned many life lessons that will undoubtedly guide how I act in the future.”
“I absolutely loved this course because the teacher was so awesome. I enjoyed sitting through class listening to Professor Barry and falling in love with his brain.”
What can we learn from baseball great Ted Williams about how to improve our writing? What can we learn we from the iconic ESPN show SportsCenter about how to manage information? And are you sure you really know what the word “peruse” means?
Explore these and other questions in the second volume of The Syntax of Sports, a series designed to recreate a popular course at the University of Michigan. Here are a few things students have said about the experience of taking it.
“Patrick Barry is the best teacher I have ever had. I have never learned so much in a class. I hated English my whole life until I took this course.”
“I feel like this is and always will be the most valuable class I've ever taken here.”
“I genuinely wanted to show up to this class due to the amount I knew I would learn.”
“I'm going to severely SEVERELY miss this course.”
“Every student should try to take one of Prof. Barry’s classes if he or she wants to become a better writer.”
It’s not an accident that hall of fame coaches, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, and the marketing teams at the most innovative companies in the world often rely on a certain three-part structure when trying to communicate their ideas. This third volume of The Syntax of Sports series explores the mechanics of that structure and shows how it can add a compelling mix of clarity and sophistication to your writing.
Like in the previous volumes, the materials come from a popular course at the University of Michigan. Here are comments from students who have taken it:
“The quality of this course was fantastic!”
“Professor Barry really knows how to keep students engaged.”
“Professor Barry is very passionate about teaching, and his enthusiasm made me want to write and learn.”
“This course not only helps you become a better writer but also sheds light on how you might become a better person.”
“Once you find the right structure, perhaps it will be easier to find the right content.” That’s one of the key insights from this fourth book in the series The Syntax of Sports. Others include:
The importance of being “radically inclusive”
The power of defining something by what it is not
The creative elegance of the word “as”
So join Professor Patrick Barry as he continues to share lessons from the popular writing course at the University of Michigan on which The Syntax of Sports is based. You’ll learn about language. You’ll learn about advocacy. And you’ll get to explore some illuminating connections between everything from the speeches of Winston Churchill, to the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, to—perhaps most surprisingly—the face of NFL legend (and former University of Michigan quarterback) Tom Brady.