Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cranney's late post (classic)

I have a hard time believing any President has had a vested interest in sports other than the opportunity to appeal to young/blue collar voters. I don't understand why Barack Obama has been hailed as a "sports president," when he's clearly one of the least athletic presidents in recent memory.

I'll never forget his bowling posture during the 2008 election, nor the first pitch he threw out in a White Sox/Nationals game that went 10 feet up the first baseline. He likes basketball, and his appeal to young voters as a "cool guy" lends itself well to the idea that he has an interest in sports.

But one of the finer points of the Green article is that almost every president has been hailed as a "sports president." Just in the past decade, I have a hard time taking Obama over Bush as a sports president. Just look at the first pitch Bush threw out (from the rubber) in that post-9/11 game and compare that to Obama's. One of the two was a constitutional law professor, the other owned the Texas Rangers. Discrepancy, eh?

The EURO 2008 article is an interesting case study in the effects large sporting events can have on a small economic market. I learned about the economic benefits that a large sporting event can have on city in a sports economics class I took last year.

In the case of the Olympics, there's an interesting history of cities overspending to get rights to host the games, and the IOC taking advantage of it. Prior to the 1984 games, cities overspent to convince the IOC to allow them to host the Olympics, such as building stadiums to host the games. Montreal, for example, spent $3 billion to host the 1976 events, and it took the city 30 years to pay off the debt.

As a result of cities spending so much, Los Angeles was the only city to offer a bid for the 1984 games. Since the IOC had no other choice, it gave L.A. the upper hand. The city used existing facilities and it was the first Olympics to have official sponsorships. As a result, the L.A. Organizing Committee made a profit of more than $230 million.

Cities then recognized the potential economic benefit that the Olympics can have, and bids for the Olympics have become more ridiculous by the year. Athens spent $12 billion on 2004 games and China spent $40 billion on the 2008 games.

The IOC has used this leverage it has over cities to provide more elaborate facilities, luxurious accommodations for IOC officials and even payments to IOC officials.

All because of the economic events of a large sporting event, such as EURO 2008, has on a city.

Bellino Sport and Politics

The Green article I thought was more interesting than the Hachleitner and Manzenreiter article for one main reason, I’m not that interested in the business behind soccer.  I thought the article on sports and politics was much more interesting because it related to me and what I thought was newsworthy.

While I may not be interested in the topic the article about Euro 2008 still raised some interesting points. The first thing that caught my eye was the sentence that talked about how the soccer sports writers were the sport’s biggest advertising agency. If that was said about my writing for The Temple News I think Joe Cranney would be going to jail for a very serious crime against me. Furthermore, the talk about the media in this article reminded me of the stories we read about Babe Ruth as they called the sports media, “myth-makers.”

Green describes in one of his first paragraphs that sports have taken center-stage, even using United States President Barack Obama to reinforce his point by calling him the “sports president.” Then directly after that he said that G.W. Bush was once called the “sports president.” Green then goes on to compare sports to a bar, which is an excellent comparison and then goes to talk about how women are blocked out of the political realm. When one sits back and really looks at it it’s amazing how much sports and politics are related, although unfortunately I don’t think President Obama will be taking his talents to South Beach any time soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sports and Politics - Dunn

Well, now that Blogger has kicked me off of blackboard, I've got to write this thing with no outside help!

I thought the article was interesting. It was a little redundant near the end, but the point was well received. Sport and politics are a part each other. A political race is seen as a sport, as it has the name of a sport (race) in it!

It can be hard to separate the two, as discussions get heated, and words get exchanged between opposing foes and their followers. I think that the political spectrum is exactly like sports, but that doesn't mean I take politics any less seriously.

It seemed to me that the author was trying to say that the two can only go together when no one really realizes that they are similar. I don't agree. I think that we just ignore it all together. People don't think any less of the two because they're so closely related. But then again, that's my perspective. If Obama said his favorite team was the Phillies, I would talk about it amongst my friends and probably say a few mean things about how they're terrible and whatnot, but it isn't going to make me vote against him.

Sports and politics feature the best and worst of people, and often times, those people lose sight of the real reasons they're fans. This happens a lot in sports, and the arguments I've had with both opposing sports fans and opposing political party people are very similar.

People love to bicker and argue whenever they get a chance.

Hot dogs 5:15

     One thing I took away from the Green article that is relevant today was the using of tax money for stadiums and having politicians get involved. This is a topic brought up with the Marlins and how they got their fans and tax payers to pay 40% of their new stadium because the promised to compete and one year after opening the stadium they sell off all their top players. Also, back when Tampa built their dome there were threats unless the city of Seattle paid for a new ball park the Mariners would leave. It took Slade Gorton a senator to intervene to keep the team in Seattle. They eventually built Safeco but without public support. One final example was the controversy over the Sonics leaving and how former Mayor Greg Nickles made a deal with the ownership group for them to be allowed to leave before the end of the lease before the courts decided what would be done. They finally agreed to build a new arena in order to get a new basketball team and most likely a hockey team. But even this, after so much public outcry over them leaving, took a great deal of political arguments with the city council.

   On the Euro 2008 article I was surprised to see that the Euro cup had virtually no impact on Austria's national economy. When I think about it logically though it makes sense because like it says they had to build so many structures and such and then the jobs created are fleeting. That's not to say however that there won't be lasting impacts. They now have all the stadiums if they were to host again or possible the World Cup. Also, people might have been so impressed they could move there families that, not that there would be some great migration but as the article states it puts a positive aspect on the country as a whole.


And then there were tres

     Sports is more intertwined with local economies than the national economy. The article talks about EURO 2008, an event that has an extremely large appeal to different masses of people. However, it is not concentrated enough to have a lasting effect on the national economy. Jobs are created, but only in the cities or countries in which the games are being played. Therefore, the effects that we see are on a microeconomic level.
     The article uses revenue numbers and percentages in order to dispel the myths that the sports media created about the economic impact EURO 2008 would have. While soccer (futbol) continues to dominate the sports market globally, there is not enough economic impact to emphasize it the way the media does. Sports support more national moral values and have greater societal impact on a more wide spread audience. (Really hope i am drawing the correct conclusions here)
     Politically, sports is very involved, like the article showed as well as the video we watched in class. Everyone can remember when Rudy Giuliani walked on the field of Yankee stadium after 9/11. There is a fair amount of transparency as far as a national politician's fan-hood and the community, such as the Green article suggests. Sports after all, does bring community together over a common interest. These politicians are nothing more than just a fan in a jersey and a hat at the end of the day.
     With three of the major sports leagues having lock out within the last three years, there is no questioning that the current sports world is still a political battle. It is being fought between the players association and the owners. Revenue is still the biggest debate, and how to divide them "fairly". Politics will continue to be a ruler of any world, especially the sports world until its power is realized.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cranney Nolan Ryan Reading

"the phallus is a cultural construct: it bears a culture's meanings of masculinity and attempts to naturalize them by locating them in the physical sign of maleness - the penis," an actual quote from the Trujillo article.

Awkward sexually-explicit quotes aside, I thought the Trujillo article brought up many good points about the glorification of masculinity in sports. Specifically, I found the part about how Nolan Ryan was described by sports writers as the portrait of heterosexuality interesting.

The description of the "Texas Ranger" ad made me laugh. To think that advertisers purposefully used phallic imagery and purposefully position two baseballs on his holsters unsymmetrical is comical to me, though I'm not ruling it out.

Nolan Ryan is obviously a case study for the Trujillo article, but the idea of masculinity and heterosexuality, specifically, is evident throughout the four major sports. There hasn't been a single case of an athlete in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB to come out while he was still playing.

Real Sports recently did a piece on homosexuality in sports, and through some of the interviews they gathered, they found that there is a significant number of homosexuals in the four major sports, but none of them want to come out. Real Sports pointed out that young, gay kids, who are statistically more likely to become depressed or suicidal, could use a gay role model in sports to look up to.

I think it's about time we lose the misplaced sense of masculinity in sports. I cannot think of anyone better to categorize the masculine culture of baseball vs. football than the late, great George Carlin.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nolan Ryan's power makes us all cower

Nolan Ryan may go down as one of the best pitchers of all time, if not THEE greatest. Of course things like this are pure opinion, even with the stats to back it up.

Ryan sure was a work horse, and a guy that reminds me of him would have to be Justin Verlander, the Tigers pitcher. But I digress.

The article wasn't anything spectacular, but it made some good points. The way men and minorities are treated in the media is quite different. I don't really see how this is just a sports problem though. These social "norms" are norms for a reason, that's they way it's been for a long time. I'm not saying those are right in any way (just to save myself fromt he wrath of Gwen and Breland), just that the idea of the American Cowboy and the pure masculinity of sport and even society's view of these subjects stems from the building of America itself.

It is hard for me, and other white males I presume, to fully understand what being put on the back burner feels like, because for so long, as seen in history books, white men have run the civilized world. I know I'm digging an extremely large hole for myself, but that's just the way history has gone. The people who win wars write the history books.

One thing I really enjoyed about this piece was the idea that in his heyday, Nolan Ryan was the epitome of masculinity, or the "Embodiment of Male Athleticism" as Trujillo says. It reminded me a lot of the way we view James Bond on the silver screen.

If you look through the years of James Bonds' you see a trend: the Embodiment of Masculinity seems to change with every new James Bond. When my favorite Bond actor was playing the 007 agent, Sean Connery, the idea of maleness was a physically fit, but not overly muscular man who was extremely well spoken, and a true lady's man. Through the ages that has changed when Roger Moore took over the role from George Lazenby, the idea of masculinity has changed, and has continued to change with every new Bond, all the way up to Pierce Brosnan and current Bond, Daniel Craig.

I'm sure that Bond films and actors show people the "new masculinity" but they sure do a good job showing the world exactly what they think masculinity means to them.

As this relates to the article, I think that it is unfortunate men and women are treated differently on and off the playing field, but as we've seen with the recent reelection of Barack Obama, anything is possible with the right people. (Think Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King in the Battle of the Sexes). It only takes one person with one idea.

-Ean Dunn