Category Archives: sports culture

It’s hard to call it labor when it doesn’t feel like work

TweetLabor Day in the United States is being observed today, and I thought I’d use the occasion to select some blog posts that I truly enjoyed putting together.
What I discovered wasn’t surprising: The posts that were the most fun to write and ponder were those that best exemplified the intersection of sports and creativity that [...]

In defense of the culture of football

TweetIt’s getting harder, if not impossible, to defend the culture of football, and the raw expression of masculinity that comes with it.
Concussions, brain trauma and other crippling injuries suffered on the gridiron are blamed for the suicides of players, some famous, some not.
The names of football players, some famous, some not, are attached to too [...]

A NASCAR tragedy and Southern culture

TweetMy stepfather had just passed through Valdosta on his way back to Atlanta when the news came over his car radio that Dale Earnhardt had died.
An avid NASCAR fan, my stepfather had seen the 2001 Daytona 500 in person on that fateful day, watching the legendary driver’s car collide along the back straightaway with Ken [...]

From the archives: The gap between sports and art

TweetWhile I’m taking a summer break from the blog, I’m reposting and updating selected links from the archive.
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Sports art exhibits are not uncommon, but they’re not talked or written about all that much either. Despite some yeoman work trying to bridge this gap, sports historians and scholars [...]

The cultural roots of race and baseball

TweetWhile I’m taking a summer break from the blog, I’m posting links about sports history, books, culture and the arts that I haven’t mentioned here before. If you have any suggestions on great sports reads you’d like to bring to my attention, contact me at wendygparker@gmail.com. Enjoy!
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On the [...]

Why sports fans are the way they are

TweetWhile I’m taking a summer break from the blog, I’m posting recent links about sports history, books, culture and the arts that I haven’t mentioned here before. If you have any suggestions on great sports reads you’d like to bring to my attention, contact me at wendygparker@gmail.com. Enjoy!
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Sports, the arts and the gloriously obscure

TweetOn Saturday night, while serendipitously flipping through channels, I reached ESPN Classic and for the first time watched “Bud Greenspan: At the Heart of the Games.”
This was released in early 2008, right before what would be Greenspan’s final Olympics in Beijing. It was a documentary film about how the Olympic documentary filmmaker came to [...]

Weekend arts: Mixed reviews for ‘Million Dollar Arm’

TweetAs a cinematically formed entity, the newly released “Million Dollar Arm” might be going the way of far too many sports-related movies.
Based on the true tale of a struggling sports agent searching for an Indian cricket star to crack American baseball, “Million Dollar Arm” has far too many milquetoast contrivances for Grant Bisbee of SB [...]

Friday arts: Plimpton film comes to PBS

TweetI haven’t checked to see when either of my local PBS affiliates are showing “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself,” which debuted last week.
I’m in a market in Atlanta where “first run programming” on PBS doesn’t get aired right away.
So it’s great and convenient that the full film, part of the PBS “American Masters” series, can [...]

The selling — and mishandling — of Michael Sam

TweetThe feel-good story of Michael Sam lost some of its sheen last week when Oprah Winfrey announced the production of a “docu-series” on her OWN cable outlet that would chronicle the story of the openly gay St. Louis Rams draftee as he attempts to make a National Football League roster.
The carefully planned disclosure by the [...]