On this month’s episode of The 252, our two main segments found Chris, Sam, and me discussing two vastly different topics from the world of sports:
1. Watching the NHL and NBA play around with the format of their all-star games got us thinking about the significance of rules changes in sports — and how they connect to a larger theme of our course on the History and Politics of Sports: the shift from “folk games” to sports that are not just organized, but institutionalized and regulated. Then we considered how the NFL might use the rebooted XFL to experiment with potential rule changes that might enhance the pace and safety of pro football.
2. For sports nerds like us, that discussion was fun. But then we got to the real joy of this episode: a conversation with Ann Lees, an actor by training who works as one of the “usher-tainers” for the St. Paul Saints, an independent minor league baseball team. She told us about the character she plays (“Miss Adventure”), the details of her work, and what she enjoys about it — including the chance to foster a kind of “small town” community among the fans of a major city pro sports franchise.