Chapter 10 served as the perfect ending to the book by discussing the future of the sports. It covered the topics of sports teams, sports organizations and sports fans. The coverage of how the sports world is moving towards more individualized competition is something I would like to see as a sports fan. UFC is the fastest growing sport across the world and I believe it has the chance to surpass team sports because of the connection people can feel towards an individual rather than a team. The final aspect of the chapter covers e sports which has the potential to become a very popular sport.
To make Chapter 9 much more simple than the “Commodification of Sports,” it covers the idea of how sports has become bought and sold, when it was never really intended for such use. Sports is a huge revenue for participants as well as a number of different companies that each have a different investment in sports.
Rather than sports being viewed as simply entertainment, it has now become a business. Organizations like the NCAA profit from their athletes by charging high ticket prices to watch the events. The same goes for organizations like the NBA or NFL, that market their games to large audience across the country and sometimes even the world.
With the large network of audience comes yet another revenue source comes to light. The advertising, that companies from all around the globe perform, is one of the top revenue generators. For example, 30 second ads during the super bowl cost over 1 million dollars. However, companies believe it is worth the money for the kind of exposure it generates.
The first major discovery I made while reading chapter 15 was the fact that fantasy football is was over 40 years old. Personally, I believed it to be only about 10-15 years old. My next realization was the fact that the number of players for online sports gambling sites was a lot higher than they want you to believe. And most of the people lose a lot of money rather than win, like they advertise. The companies executives don’t believe their sites to be gambling but claim them to be purely “entertainment.” However, sites like these, where real money is involved and it does not require all skill, should be considered gambling.
Another development seen over the past years has been the rise of sports games. Games such as FIFA and 2K have taken over the sports world while Call of Duty and Halo took over the world of E-Gaming. However, controversy hit the industry over the use of real names and faces being used in the games. EA sports, in turn, stopped the production of NCAA football since 2014 due to the controversies. For fans of the game, hopefully the issues get resolved and the game is proceeded once again.
Though there have been mixed opinions on politics and sports, they are no doubt intertwined. Athletes have used their platform to openly express their opinions on social and political issues despite receiving criticism in nearly every single case. Most recently LeBron James spoke out on his beliefs only to be criticized by the media and told to stick to playing basketball.
Now, there are more politics than just those outside the sports world. Inside the sports world exists an entirely different type of political atmosphere. In recent years, bribes and corruption filled the World of FIFA, which controls international soccer. Countries were found to be bribing the organization for hosting the World Cup as well as other major tournaments. Also, in professional football, players have been blacklisted due to their political views or outspokenness. For example, many analysts expect that Colin Kaepernick was blacklisted for his protest of racial injustice and kneeling during the national anthem.
Finally, nationalism plays a major role in sports. Whenever Team USA play in any sport, it is almost always considered to be a major event. The USMNT missing this years World Cup was a very big letdown for fans and major corporations who use the World Cup to generate revenue.
Chapter 7, as well as the in-class discussions and videos, has provided a window into a totally different sports world. The most astounding thing from the overall lesson was how people would attempt to discredit the negro baseball players accomplishments just because they played in a different league or people simply just didn’t like them. Jackie Robinson proved all the doubters by winning the National League MVP and proving to the baseball world that negro players were just as good, if not better, than white players.
The chapter showed an interesting fact of how the current media, as well as many average people stereotype the participants of sports. When people think of basketball per say, they tend to think of African American players. However, it is not necessarily racist in my opinion because the majority of players are in fact African American.
This chapter provided a great look into an era that was fuel by hate and controversy. Quite frankly, it sheds light into an era that many sports fan forget or are uneducated about.
Women’s roles in sports have been one of the most controversial issues to enter the sports world. The issue, which is still at the top of present day issues, will most likely continue to be around until the sports world becomes more accepting of the idea of changes.
Chapter 6 does a very good job of covering every aspect of women’s sports. Specifically, the chapter does a solid job of covering all the challenges women have had over the past 100 years.
One of the most controversial topics that has been the question of whether women should be allowed in male sports. I am in favor of women having the opportunity to play in males sports. However, I do not believe a women should have the opportunity to play just because they’re women. The women would need the skill level to adequately compete with the men.
Chapter 6 can and will be a very touchy topic to discuss in class but I am looking forward to hearing everyones opinions.
Chapter 3 centers around the sports media and all the different outlets that the media is able to communicate to fans and viewers through. Thanks to technology, finding out the latest news in sports is as easy as turning on your TV and turning to channel 206. Well, that only applies if you have DirectTV but you get the point. Television, combined with a popular sports media culture, has led to around the clock, up to the minute coverage of nearly every aspect of sports.
However, the chapter also highlights the fact that traditional media is still dominant over new media. The chapter discusses how new media is more a focused on one aspect media than traditional media which limits its’ production.
My favorite section out of the chapter was Sports and Social Media. As someone who is constantly in use of sites such as Twitter and Instagram, having pages dedicated solely to sports is really appreciated. Twitter has been my main source of information for almost all things sports for about the past year now. As I type this, I am actually searching through Twitter to see who the Redskins just traded to get Alex Smith.
Chapter 5 discusses the coexistence between sports and mythology and how fans view some of the sports myths, even when some aren’t true. Baseball was one of the great examples of this, especially regarding the idea behind Cooperstown. In order to “americanize” baseball, an elaborate lie was created in order to convince the world that baseball was created in Cooperstown. This myth is the reason Cooperstown is often referred to as “birthplace” of baseball. As a baseball fan, even though I know the myth isn’t true, I still refer to Cooperstown as the birthplace of baseball simply out of habit.
This chapter also highlights how athletes can be seen as heroes and almost super human as well as how Hollywood has helped this cause. “Remember the Titans” is my all time favorite sports movie because of the way it expresses positive cultural values and demonstrating one of my most popular beliefs; sports is more than just a game. However, looking back at it now after reading this chapter, the movie was clearly larger than life. While they’re are plenty of great high school coaches out in the world, nothing so drastic like this would ever happen and be pulled off in such a fashion.
Sports has defiantly developed some of my child hood heroes, one of which found himself being inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday. To say that he was a hero of mine, is an understatement. And though the writers of this book claim that nothing Chipper ever did was larger than life, it has certainly not felt that way. Though I’m sure he is not super human, the accomplishments he has racked up over his career certainly speak to his ability to play the game of baseball and make him, in my mind, the greatest switch hitting third baseman to ever play the game of baseball.
Chapter 2 consists of an overview of the sports community as well as in depth breakdown of what the authors believe to be the four major aspects of the sports community. While going over the aspects, the authors focus mainly on the ideas, attitude and behavior of each different aspect and how it all comes together to create the community.
The first major people in the community are the participants themselves. Without players, the games don’t get played. Players come in all shapes in sizes, play in a wide range of sports, and are all different ages. Participants also have a range of options on how the choose to play. The first is labeled as Casual Play, followed by Intramurals, Amateur Athletics and Professional. I believe the book does a good job of breaking down and defining each level as well as explaining the difference between the different levels.
The second major aspect in a sports community is the sports organizations. Sports organizations come in all different sizes from recreational sporting leagues to professional ball clubs. Recreational sporting leagues play major roles in the development of young athletes and can ultimately shape whether a young kid likes playing sports. A bad experience for a young child in sports can end a career before it even starts.
The third significant aspect of a sports community is the sports media entities. Sports media consists of many different jobs, and the chapter breaks down the jobs into categories such as visibility jobs, production jobs and hybrid jobs. The most interesting of the three categories was visual jobs. After finishing my time at Piedmont, I hope to move into the sports world as a commentator for either football or baseball.
The final aspect of the sports community is the most important in my opinion. Without the interaction of fans, the world of sports would be totally different. Now, with social media and constant television coverage, fans can engage with players directly as well as interacting with each other. Players must now be careful with how they interact with fans online. All of their comments will be judged and used against them in the future.
Chapter 1 serves the purpose as the introduction to all the different topics that will be covered throughout the book. The Chapter also highlights the relationship that exists between social media and sports. This relationship can be positive and negative. Anyone who is on social media has certainly seen both sides of the spectrum. Whether it is politicians, fellow athletes and every day fans congratulating the 2015 U.S Women’s National Team on a World Cup win, or players receiving backlash for comments they made in the post game interview, it is safe to say sports and social media are intertwined.
After reading Chapter 1, I am even more excited for the remainder of this course. The topics that we are going to cover in this class offer great open discussion towards some of the most popular topics in the sports world right now. While some of these topics are certainly controversial, I am looking forward to hearing the classes opinion on all the topics.