Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports in the Age of COVID-19

What does the spread of the coronavirus mean for sports? We started to talk through that big question on this week’s extended spring break episode of The 252. In our first segment, we briefly discussed the postponement of the Olympics, how the absence of sports changes our perception of the passage of time, and Paul … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports in the Age of COVID-19

Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports and Journalism

This week on The 252 we welcomed Bethel journalism professor Scott Winter and Bethel Clarion sports editor Jared Martinson to our studio. Mostly, they were there to talk about the practice of sports journalism, including the impact of ESPN and digitization, the similarities and differences between reporting and broadcasting, and the economics of covering sports. But since Chris … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports and Journalism

Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports as Religion

On this week’s episode of The 252, Sam, Chris, and I talked about: • The death of Hall of Fame baseball player — and pioneering manager — Frank Robinson. • The cancellation of a football program at one of Bethel’s sister schools. • The relative greatness of Lindsey Vonn’s recently concluded skiing career, which yielded 3 Winter Olympic … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Sports as Religion

Coming Soon… The History and Politics of Sports

Almost from the moment I got to Bethel University (sixteen years ago!), I started dreaming about developing two new courses. The one on World War II launched five years ago, with its fourth iteration starting next week. But aside from one independent study, I’ve never quite been able to follow through with a History of … More Coming Soon… The History and Politics of Sports

Can the Olympics Bring Americans Together?

In case you missed it yesterday morning, The Gospel Coalition featured a reworked version of my Anxious Bench post on the religious history of the modern Olympics. They asked me to conclude with a bit more application for Christian readers, so here’s what I came up with: So how should Christians respond to an event whose website still defines Olympism as “a philosophy of … More Can the Olympics Bring Americans Together?

Which Country (and Continent) Dominates Each Olympic Sport? (Updated)

It’s all Olympics, all the time this week at The Pietist Schoolman! In case you want to bone up before Rio 2016 gets going in earnest, I thought I’d update my 2012 response to this question: Which countries (and continents) are most dominant in each summer Olympic sport? (And yes, there’s a winter version.) I’ve … More Which Country (and Continent) Dominates Each Olympic Sport? (Updated)

Religion in The Olympics… And The Olympics as Religion

With the 2016 Summer Olympics just days away, let’s test your knowledge of the religious history of the games: Who banned the ancient Olympics in AD 393, and for what religious reason? What 1935 initiative had the joint support of Reinhold Niebuhr, the first Catholic to be a major party nominee for president, and the … More Religion in The Olympics… And The Olympics as Religion

Unbroken: The Challenge of Biography

By all rights, I should be thrilled that Unbroken, the biopic about Olympic athlete-turned-WWII POW Louie Zamperini, is coming to theatres this week. I always celebrate turning in my grades by going to the movies, and this one has been on my radar ever since I read Laura Hillenbrand’s remarkable book about Zamperini during my trip to California earlier … More Unbroken: The Challenge of Biography