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

Which Country Dominates Which Olympic Sport? (Winter Edition)

Ever since I wrote it in the summer of 2012, one of the “greatest hits” of this blog has been a post asking which countries dominate which Olympic sports. (Clearly the current Olympiad has revived interest: that post made the “Big Ten” for the last month and, as I write this, sits atop the “Top … More Which Country Dominates Which Olympic Sport? (Winter Edition)

Olympic Records Over Time (Winter Edition)

The day the 2012 Summer Olympics opened in London, I wrote a post exploring how Olympic records had changed over time. Over the course of a century (from the 1908 London Olympics to 2008 in Beijing), I found that athletes in track and field and swimming had significantly improved performance. While that’s not surprising, it … More Olympic Records Over Time (Winter Edition)