My research project looked at the expansion of hockey from the United States northeast and Canadian southern border to the southern portion of the United States. My argument was that hockey franchises in the south had very little slack when it came to winning on the ice and filling the seats with fans.  While looking at the expansion of the sport south, I realized something interesting. There were multiple hokey leagues in the United States north and Canada south that spanned across countries. These leagues would slowly dissolve, and another would rise again, with teams from both countries. When the NHL rose to become the most premier hockey league in the world in 1942, two of the six teams playing were located in Canada. As the league began to expand, the United states was granted multiple teams. These teams would be located from Californian to Kansas City and down to Florida. However, on multiple occasions, the franchises established in the southeast United States were being bought out and moved to Canada. The thought behind this was that there was a location out there that could “support” a hockey fanbase. Never mind the fact that Atlanta, a city where two hockey teams have come and gone without attempting to establish a connection with the city, has a metro population of over 6 million people who love sports.

Continue reading Final

My digital project is about professional hockey moving into the North American South. The project looks at why hockey franchises in the South struggled to stay afloat in the NHL by examining attendance, record, and ownership. My project is posted on my website which you can access via the link. If you end up at my home page click the header “Sports History Digital Project”. There you will see my timeline and my sources.

The two articles, While the World Watched and A Dream Re-Routed, both tell the story of how soccer and local politics/ government go hand in hand. While the World Watched goes into very in depth detail about the circumstances surrounding the 1978 World Cup hosted in Argentina. The Argentinian government was very corrupt and was basically putting on a show for the entire world to watch and enjoy when hundreds of domestic political prisoners were being raped/ murdered/ and tortured behind the scenes. The author talks about the lack of acknowledgement for the World Cup win because of the memories, dramatic experiences, and the overall burdon that accompanies the the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. It is expressive of how something, such as winning the cup, that later became a very important event to Argentinians can create such horrific memories from past events, because of the way that the Argentinian government hid the torture and death of hundreds of people. The second article A Dream Re- Routed tells the story of two brothers that came to America from El-Salvadore in search of a safer place to call their home. The younger brother took up soccer and eventually earned a scholarship to Louisberg college in North Carolina. A few weeks before he was set to attend school, the boys were arrested and eventually deported back to El- Salvadore. This exemplifies the unjustness and unfairness of the deportation system in the United States. The two boys had no criminal record and no intent to harm/ or commit crime. The kid had worked hard enough to earn a college scholarship so that he could get an education. Sports often create events that are positively unforgettable. However things like the 1978 World cup is something that is hard to forget the horrific political backdrop to the event. And Lizandro was attempting to use sports as an avenue to gain admittance to a college and further his career, the opportunity was stripped away from him because of political action. 

    Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America written by Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel, tells the story of the struggles of women in Latin America in regards to their will to participate in sports and societal norms. The book discusses the many different challenges that Latin American women faced whether it was being too masculine, having to hide their sexuality, or being hounded by poverty. In addition to the challenges being faced by Latin American women, the acceptance of women in sports varies country by country, which is also discussed at length in the book.  The authors argue that women’s involvement in sports and society is much greater in Latin American countries than people realize. Women play just as much of a pivotal role in the development of football and other sports as Men have. 

    The book begins with an introduction that provides readers with an understanding of the limitations placed upon women athletes in Latin America. The authors then go chapter by chapter explaining the importance of specific countries and provide a brief description further detailing the historical and relative significance of Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, and other nations. The Introduction not only serves as a preview of the book, but it also allows the reader to get a feel for the organization of the book and the content covered in each chapter. 

    The authors do a fantastic job or chapter organization in Futbolera. The first chapter titled Physical Education and Women’s Sports in Argentina and Chile gives the authors an opportunity to discuss how education in Argentina and Chile has impacted women sports. This sets up a discussion not only about the development of women’s soccer but also about women’s development in Argentinian and Chilean societies. Within the chapter, the authors discuss the willingness for citizens of Argentina to mimic and idolize European ideals and practices, especially regarding sports. This point plays into the altering of physical education as well as general education of boys and girls in Argentinian schools. The next chapter, which happens to be the first of two chapters about Brazil, discusses the ban placed on women from competing in soccer or football and examines the implications and after-effects that the ban had on the progression of women sports and treatment in the social hierarchy of Brazil. In addition to the original ban on women, the Brazilian government continued to place codes and stipulations on Women, which the chapter emphasizes as an ongoing struggle for athletes and women in general. The authors use this as a springboard into the next chapter that discusses the definition of the prohibition placed on Brazilian sportswomen. The main argument for this chapter is that although the participation of women in football was against the Brazilian regulations, the women still actively challenged the sexism and patriarchy established in Brazil. Following the two Brazilian chapters, the authors write about the sport in Mexico and other Central American countries. These first of the final two chapters memic the previous chapter about Argentina and the physical education in the country, but in the context of Mexico and other countries. The final chapter discusses the huge boom and bust of Women’s football in Mexico bringing the story of women’s involvement in football full circle. 

    The audience of the book can be a wide range of people. Scholars looking to research the topic of women sports in Latin America, students taking a sports history class, or someone looking for a sports-related book to read casually. The authors do well with finishing the topics that they bring up. There is rarely a topic involved that seems to be left shortened. However, it seems like there is much more source data available regarding women in sports and society in countries such as Brazil than Argentina, Chile, and Mexico among others. There are two chapters focusing on Brazil, where no other country has a chapter to itself. Overall, the impact of the book seems to give credit where it’s due in regard to women’s role in sports and society. Futbolera corrects misconceptions and establishes the fact in areas that do not recognize women as impactful. 

    The book was overall really well put together. The inclusion of the multiple countries helps the reader to understand the impact that women had on the sport and vice versa in multiple different instances. They authors are able to create a strong argument using the background of the various countries and the treatment of women but not only using soccer but including other sports and social status as well. The big picture of the book can be summed up by one sentence at the end of the introduction: Beyond the realm of sports, women athletes in Latin America have created new models of ideal body types, challenged men’s monopoly on resources, and forged important communities. 

Christian Stokes 

Appalachian State University

I chose to read Sparing in the White House and  Here’s the football heroine this week. The article sparing in the white house is about boxings popularity during Roosevelt’s term as president. The sport grew very rapidly during his presidency but was hindered by the race disparity in the sport. The sport was eventually denounced by even the president after Black boxer Jack Johnson defeated white boxer Jim Jeffries. The sport was spoken out against to prevent race riots after the match. Unfortunately, six Black people were killed anyway following the championship victory. The second article is about women in college football. The article discusses the fact that women are rarely mentioned playing the sport even though it did occur. However there are written records of wives, sisters, mothers at football games during the sports beginning in the late 1800s. While analyzing the authenticity of claims that women played football, the article also addresses why this has not come to the attention of sport/ football historians previously. 

Week 9

This weeks readings, “A Black School is Not Supposed to Win” and “Cuban Babe (Ruth)”, both tell stories of the mistreatment of non-white athletes in America. In “A Black School is Not Supposed to Win” the article discusses the struggles that Howard University had with the NCAA following the schools first NCAA championship in soccer. The opponent in that match, Saint Louis, challenged the eligibility of Howards players leading to an investigation by the NCAA. Eventually the Bison would be found guilty of three were violations, the foreign players rule, the 5-year rule, and the 1.6 rule. Howard challenged that they were being discriminated against by the NCAA because they were a team of all black players. they fought the allegations and the US court system declared the foreign players law unconstitutional. This meant that the schools 1971 Championship would officially be vacated. Eventually the Bison would go on to win the title in 1974, all the while still facing investigation and harassment from the NCAA. The second article “Cuban Babe (Ruth)” discusses the difficulty of Women, especially cuban women, playing baseball in the United States. During WWII, when men were sent overseas, the sports organizations were looking for ways to continue to provide sports for the American public and looked toward the growing softball and women baseball league to help. Much like early MLB, the AAGPBL was very much a white only league. This was being challenged slowly and unsuccessfully at first with few Cuban women here and there. Later more Cuban women began to find homes on AAGPBL teams in America. This situation in the baseball/softball world helped leagues become integrated in the future. 

Week 6 Blog

While reading the articles this week I really began to realize how much soccer struggled to take off as a sport in late 19th and early 20th century America. In the Alloway article, he speaks about the dominance of baseball and the fact that baseball took precedent over soccer, especially because the soccer league was started by baseball clubs to continue to profit off of the playing field when baseball was not in season. This shows how reluctant baseball was to taking a backseat in the American sports world. In the following article by Farnsworth, he discusses the first time America sent a team to the world cup in 1934. In his article, Farnsworth elaborates on how the teams were selected which included a playoff between the selected national team and other teams in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. Eventually, the team would go on to defeat Mexico and advance to the world cup, loosing to Italy in the first round. Although the United States had an early exit, the win over Mexico proved that American soccer was growing. Another example of the popularity of soccer growth in the American North East is the Bethlehem Steel soccer club.  In the article by Kay he discuses the history of the soccer club, their popularity, and the unfortunate ending of the program. He has structured a website around the findings of newspaper articles and events showing that there was a passion for people to follow and keep up with different soccer clubs. In the final article, Logan writes about a league that serviced the midwest instead of the north east. The league was founded and maintained by the communist party and was well kept. These various articles showed the struggle of soccers emergence to the small pockets of popularity the sport experienced in later years.

Reading the two articles “Where Cassius Clay Ends, Muhammad Ali Begins..” and “Nike’s Big Gamble on Colin Kaepernick” It is easy to see similarities between the continuation of the struggle for Black athletes to use their platform to speak out on injustices. However, there are signs of reassurance in the more recent article. 

Townsend, Osmond, and Phillips article “Where Cassius Clay Ends, Muhammad Ali Begins..” creates a very brief history of the way Black athletes have been treated by the sports world about political issues when they discuss Ali and the draft dogging which resulted in a ban from the sport and imprisonment. This history is then compared to current leaders in the sports world and their commitment to pointing out injustices and mistreatment of minorities in modern day America. The comparisons that are being drawn link Ali to Kaepernick and that he is trying to do with his protest. The media portrayal of Ali is what makes his story so telling. In particular, when Ali announces that he will resist the draft, he also had a planned fight with Chuvalo. The article uses the quote “On one side is the sporting write-ups. On the other side is the controversial write-ups. Those controversial write-ups are getting bigger than the sporting write ups all the time” to show the push back from the media. Further on in the article, there is a more in depth history of Ali as he deals with political backlash and the name change through out his career. The article discusses white newspapers were more reluctant to use Ali’s chosen name over his “birth name”. This is another example of the maltreatment of early Black athletes. 

In the second article, “Nike’s Big Gamble on Colin Kaepernick”, more is discussed about how Nike is still building an add campaign with Kaepernick even though he was blackballed by the NFL for protesting. While this is still a sign of injustice, it is promising that Nike is still taking the opportunity to use Colin’s face and message as the centerpiece of a marketing campaign. The quote that really sticks out to me in that article is “Nike has hired an activist, not just an athlete.” This quote represents the importance of athletes voices beyond the playing field. 

Here is another example of players advocating for equality:

Week 3 Blog

Two of the articles this week, What is was, was soccer and Former App State coaches, players come to terms with cutting their programs really focus on the history of the App States sports that were cut do to the COVID-19 pandemic. The article by Wood speaks directly of App State Men’s Soccer history and discusses the success that the program experienced under coach Vaughn Christian. Christian was able to change the culture around soccer in Boone. In Joyce’s article,  while soccer is discussed,  he writes about the impact that each cut sport (Men’s Tennis, Men’s Soccer, and  Men’s indoor track and field) had on the App State community. Joyce discusses the history of each program including App States Men’s Tennis’ multiple Hall of Fame members. In addition to the history of the sports at App State Joyce writes about the feelings of the coaches as their teams are being cut by the school. Joyce also speculates that the reason for this is the COVID-19 pandemic in the attempt to save the athletic department a lot of funding, $1 million this year according to Joyce. Dzikus article is more about the absence of sports across the United States. In his article, Dzikus accurately describes sports as a “modern religion” in America.  In addition to the important of sports in the United States, he also discusses the various times in American history that sports were put on hold. The small list include events like the civil war, the 1918 influenza pandemic, WWI and WWII, and most recently 9/11. The article highlights how important sports have become to society in the country as well as highlights how long this has been the case. The two earlier articles by Joyce and Wood were getting at the same point, only on a more local level to the Boone and App State community. The App State community as well as the rest of the country enjoyed a long and consistent history of sports, until they where altered by the pandemic this year.

Biography - Christian Stokes

Hello everyone, my name is Christian Stokes. I’m from Greenville, NC and I am currently a senior majoring in History- secondary education. Im excited for this class because I love history and sports. While I grew up playing baseball, basketball and hockey, I really enjoy learning about and playing lots of other sports. I am a huge Hurricanes, Cubs, and College football fan. Other than sports and history, I enjoy going camping and traveling. Looking forward to seeing all of you and actually being in a classroom (fingers crossed).