Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bellino- Nolan Ryan

This week’s reading on Nolan Ryan took me back to earlier in the semester when we did the reading on Babe Ruth. Ryan’s baseball career spanned over 25 years and the media was calling him “the last real sports hero.”  Last time I checked there was never an athlete protecting the streets of Gotham City protecting it from super villains. An athlete shouldn’t be a hero for what he does on the field of play, he should be remembered forever for it, but not considered a hero. Would a hero throw right under the chin of countless players with a 90-plus m/ph fastball?

While Babe Ruth was portrayed as basically a fictional character in the 1920’s as we learned, Ryan was described as the man’s man, or hegemonic masculinity, as Connell defines it in the article. Of the 5 features of hegemonic masculinity, I’m pretty sure Ryan hit’s all of them. Physical force and control, check. Occupational achievement, familial patriarchy, frontiersman ship and heterosexuality were all qualities Nolan Ryan possessed according to the article and I truly don’t know why he was praised for it. I’ve said it once I’ll say it again praise him for 300 wins, 5,000 strikeouts or seven no-hitters but don’t call him a hero because of it.

The article goes on to have a headline titled "Castrating Steers in the Off-Season: Ryan as Baseball Cowboy" that sums up my feelings for this article. When I think Nolan Ryan I think of the crazy guy throwing 97 at some dudes jaw not a cowboy. Nolan Ryan didn't need to be portrayed be the media as a masculine character anymore than he acted it in his every day life.

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