On today’s new episode of The 252, Chris Moore and I talked through some of the books and articles we’ll be assigning next spring in our History and Politics of Sports course at Bethel University. Our basic text will be Richard Davies’ Sports in American Life, but Chris also suggested adopting Victor Cha’s analysis of the politics of sports in Asia. Inspired by the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Beyond the Final Score will be central to our unit on sports and international relations.
Then we each summarized a couple of articles that we’re looking forward to discussing with students — e.g., Tim Keown’s 2015 profile of running back Arian Foster, one of the few outspoken atheists in American sports; and Clifford Geertz’s famous interpretation of a cockfight in Indonesia.
In addition, we talked about some of the big stories this month in sports: what the response to a tweet tells us about the NBA’s attempts to go global; what California’s “Fair Pay to Play” law means for college sports; and what massive layoffs at Sports Illustrated indicate about the changing economy of sports journalism.