When beginning my research, I was oblivious to the importance that Tony Hawk once had and still has now, even after retiring from his professional skateboarding career. Tony Hawk began his life just as any other young boy would have in California. He did not recognize his passion until his brother gave him a skateboard when he was about nine years old. He began to learn new tricks and his talent was recognized by everyone who was able to witness it. His talent was far greater than many who were years older than him. At the young age of fourteen he began to win competitions and even went professional. When he was only sixteen, he was regarded as the best skateboarder in the whole world by many. He began to invent new tricks and land tricks that others before him could not. At the 1999 XGames he was the first skater to ever land the 900. This moment is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most important events in sports history. He shattered records with his video games and won kids choice awards when put up against other athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. His influence is all but little. Even today, he has raised over 600 million dollars with The Skateboard Project to build quality skateparks in predominantly low income areas around the United States and even other countries in order to provide a safe place for children to strengthen their talents and enjoy themselves. Tony Hawk has an influence that reached outside of the skateboarding world. His name is recognized around the world, whether it be for his charity work, achievements, video games, or skateboarding career.

Continue reading Final Exam Blog Post

Final Project

When beginning my project, I was unsure of the topic. I went back and forth between a few but was never satisfied. This led me to look up the most important sports events of all time. As I looked at the many results, one caught my eye that was included in many of the lists. This was when Tony Hawk landed the 900 at the 1999 X Games. As I dove into the topic and my research, I came upon the discovery of not only Tony Hawk’s fame, but his influence and impact on the world through skateboarding.

This website was created with Omeka. It was used to insert images and videos into collections to highlight the life of Tony Hawk, his achievements, and his influence on the world. My sources include Britannica, YouTube, and many news/journal articles. This project aims to highlight the importance of Tony Hawk and his life on others.

The first collection describes the early life of Tony Hawk. The next are images of Tony Hawk and his career, along with his achievements and awards. Then, the influence of the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. And finally, the impact Tony Hawk still has today with his own companies and efforts.

Here is the link to the website:

https://tonyhawkdigitalproject.omeka.net/about

Futbolera Review

ELSEY, BRENDA. FUTBOLERA: a History of Women and Sports in Latin America. Austin, Texas: UNIV OF TEXAS Press, 2020. 

The oppression and mistreatment women have faced throughout history has been frowned upon and condemned by many, yet, somehow, the sporting realm of women’s oppression has long been overlooked and even ignored. The book, Futbolera: A History of Women’s Sports in Latin America, written by Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel, explores the disrespect toward female athletes across Latin America greatly. The sporting women of this area have faced vile treatment and disrespect for many years when it comes to sporting by many external forces that have sought to bring them down.

Doctor Brenda Elsey is an extremely successful woman. She has multiple degrees and from various universities. Elsey is currently a professor at HOFSTRA University in New York. Her focuses tend to be on those of culture and politics in Latin America. She recently published Breaking the Machine: The Politics of South American Football, Citizens and Sportsmen: Fútball and Politics in Twentieth Century Chile, and Football at The “End” of the World: The 1962 World Cup in Chile. Her fellow author is Joshua Nadel. Nadel is an associate professor in Latin American as well as Carribean history at North Carolina Central University in North Carolina. He also has a great deal of education under his belt with multiple degrees to show for it. Another one of his works is titled Fútbal!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America. This combination of two history geniuses paves an unprecedented path for exploration into topics that draw the reader into a literature full of new knowledge.

Futbolera focuses on the history of women in Latin America in sports, especially football (soccer). Elsey and Nadel reveal the importance the patriarchy has played in the control of women’s bodies throughout history. They write about how sports such as soccer were perceived as violent and dirty. Why should a woman play a violent or dirty sport? Especially when there are options such as tennis, track and field, and swimming that can assist in prioritizing women’s domestic obligations rather than personal fulfillment. The authors explain the importance in society of a woman being beautiful and young rather than tough or strong, and how these societal standards were formed by men who sought to control the actions of women. Although this is explained very well, the book could have benefitted from providing more specific examples, such as particular men and women who helped normalize expectations about women in sports. This book is very intriguing due to continuous ridicule and exposing of the patriarchy that is so prevalent, however some ideas seem to be long and drawn out. For example, the fourth chapter, Physical Education and Women’s Sports in Mexico and Central America, began to get slightly boring toward the end as it seemed to express the same ideas again and again with a conclusion that brings forth the same information that was previously given. However, Nadel and Elsey do a great job at picking the momentum back up in the fifth chapter, The Boom and Bust of Mexican Women’s Football, putting the reader back onto a level of interest with the stories of the soccer tournaments in the Azteca Stadium.

The authors provide insight as to how what sports people choose to play surround them with unfair stereotypes. Women playing soccer were seen as dirty, gross, and violent, simply for playing the sport. The author Patrick B. Miller highlights a similar idea greatly in The Sporting World of The Modern South. In the first chapter, The Manly, The Moral. And The Proficient: College Sport in the New South, Miller explains how football had the complete opposite impact on the male  players. He states, “Many of their elders-educational authorities prominent among them-began to articulate a formal justification for athletics, praising sport for its contributions to the building of ‘manly’ character and the strengthening of regional pride” (Miller, 18). This explains how men were glorified and seen as “manly” for playing American football. The idea of a sport creating stereotypes around its players is prevalent in both Futbolera and this chapter of The sporting World of The Modern South. Although the books have a different focus, they both support this idea and bring it to light. To understand how these unfair ideas have caused women to be brought down and oppressed while raising up men in the same sporting world is extremely important.

Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel do more than a terrific job at exposing the truth behind the sporting women in Latin America, using factual sources and images, such as the women’s team seen on page 73 of chapter two, Policing Women’s Sports in Brazil, to their advantage. They do a great job at bringing forth information that is not only eye opening, but as interesting as well, which is not always a simple task. They do this by challenging the popular ideas of the patriarchy, as well as exposing the pure corruption of institutions and organizations that were desperately trying to keep women down.

The book Futbolera is a great read for anyone interested in the interconnected history of women and sports in Latin America. It is also great for anyone interested in history of sports in general, as well as those who have an interest in gender studies. This book can bring together these audiences in just 271 pages. Futbolera does more than just explain the history of women and sports, it draws readers into a compelling history that is often seen as less important to sports enthusiasts in the region. This book allows readers to see how crucial women are in a society and area that has constantly tried to bring them down.

Liam Ellett

Appalachian State University

Week 10 Blog

The readings this week consisted of Flying, Flirting, and Flexing: Charmion’s Trapeze Act , Sexuality, and Physical Culture at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Bieke Gils and We Were Ladies, We Just Played Like Boys: African American Women and Competitive Basketball at Bennett College, 1928-42 by Patrick Miller. Both articles were about the gender roles of women in different sports. I found a particular interest in Flying, Flirting, and Flexing: Charmion’s Trapeze Act , Sexuality, and Physical Culture at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. This text was very interesting. It is about Lavarie Vallée, better known by her stage name as Charmion. She was a very popular acrobat on the trapeze bar in the twentieth century. She used her body, which was frowned upon by many to become so popular. She took advantage of the new technology that was available in order to gain that popularity and spread her name around the world. In doing this, she broke social norms and worked to eliminate gender roles and create a new view on what was considered socially acceptable for women in sports. She was also considered very beautiful, yet also masculane because of her muscles and strength, which man found strange. This interested me because this can still be seen today. Women are still fighting for their bodies in a way. Women have to fight to not be sexualized by viewers but at the same time express their bodies however they want to. This is a common thing in today’s society, especially in sports. The other reading did not speak to me as much but was still very interesting. I love a story where people are not afraid to break social norms and express themselves, or in this case play the sport, however they choose to. I hope in the future that people, especially women, will continue to be as brave as those written about to change the way that a broken society thinks. These are the people who will stand out in sports, these are the people who will make the history that we read and learn about, and these are the people who will make a difference in the world.

Week 6 Blog

Reading these articles gave me a new insight as to how sports, especially soccer began in America. The article “A Stumbling Start for U.S. Pro Soccer” by Roger Allaway informs us greatly of the epic fails that resulted from the first national soccer leagues in the country. These leagues include the American Association of Professional Football Clubs (AAPFC), and the second, the American League of Professional Football Clubs (ALPF). Allaway states that one was much better off than the other, however, they both failed. He says, “it was to provide those who would follow in its path with a manual on what not to do.”

He says this due to the epic failures of both organizations, but does state that they were successful in showing future participants and owners what not to do when trying to establish an organization.

Another article is titled “Pastor Keeps History of Storied U.S. Club Bethlehem Steele Alive” by Stanley Kay is about how an extremely popular soccer club, Bethlehem Steele Soccer Club, was diminished to only talk and memories. However, one man named Daniel Paul Morrison, has become an unofficial historian on the topic of the soccer club. Nobody else has done the extensive research or spent as much time on the subject as Daniel Paul Morrison has. Two of his great uncles had played for the clubs. It is crazy how such a small connection can allow for a passion to develop for a subject, such as the situation with Morrison. 

It is absolutely insane to think that history that is often forgotten or not thought about can be recovered through just one person who became curious. This curiosity can spark a light in someone’s mind or heart and lead to intense research and interest in a subject or topic, allowing history to be uncovered and rediscovered in a way that it has not been before. In these instances, we can look back on critical successes as failures, and also learn from them. We can see why previous clubs failed and why others may have succeeded. We can learn from their mistakes. We can uncover the legacies that clubs, coaches, teams, and players left that may have been forgotten or go unrecognized by many.

When reading “The Sporting World of the Modern South” by Patrick Miller I was introduced to the ideas of many during the early days of football. Many players and people, similar to today, saw the sport as a way to become a man. This was a way to show how manly they were and how strong they were to others. Many other people, such as evangelicals, saw the sport as barbaric. They saw the sport as disgusting and filthy. It was immoral to them for men to be playing such a sport. It is interesting how this can still be seen today, many athletes who play sports such as football or even rugby, will look down on those who play a sport that is less “manly” such as tennis or volleyball. Why does the sport, or lack of any sport, one chooses to play define their level of masculinity? In “The Early Evolution of Modern Sport in Latin America: A Mainly English Middle-Class Inspiration?” by JA Mangan, the author writes about how sport played a large role in imperialism. He claims it is often overlooked by other factors such as economics when studying the topic. People often forget that sports were used in Latin America as a way to “civilise” the “uncivilised” people who inhabited the area before the white settlers. The impact of these games and sports were extreme on the native people and cultures. Gideon Dishon writes in “Games of Character: Team Sports, Games, and Character Development in Victorian Public Schools, 1850-1900” about how games, teams, and sports were utilized by public schools to enhance skills of the young school children. Games and sports were played to build the character of the children. The schools are also accredited for the way we play sports today, claiming that their use of them made a huge  contribution on how the sports we play today are played.

The early use of sports had huge impacts on the world we live in today. They were used when countries imperialized and settlers took new land. The sports were used to build character and to change the native people of lands in Latin America and elsewhere. The way these sports are seen has always varied, especially from a religious stand point. Sports have contributed to the sculpting of the world we see and live in today more than most think.

Week 4 Blog

As I read Where Cassius Clay Ends, Muhammad Ali Begins; Sportspeople, Political Activism, and Methodology by Stephen Townsend, Gary Osman, and Murray G. Phillips, as well as Nike’s Big Gamble on Colin Kaepernick  by Michael Baumann, my eyes were opened. From the time of Muhammad Ali to the time of Collin Kaepernick, politics and sports really have not changed. Even more recently than Kaepernick’s situation, the article LeBron Walked Out of Player’s Meeting that Ended ‘Ugly,’ After Vote by Lakers, Clippers to End Season [Report] by the KNBR Staff, shows how politics are relevant to sports.

The most interesting thing that I read was the Kaepernick article by Baumann. The author is very clearly biased in supporting the case of Colin Kaepernick, even claiming that anyone who disagrees with him is a white supremacists. Could one not be opposed to this method of protest without being a white supremacist? It is obvious that Nike signed the deal with Kaepernick for profit, which the author touches on a little bit. With a social movement such as the Black Lives Matter movement, companies will exploit it the best they can to make money, regardless of what political view or standpoint they see the subject from. People will more than likely flock to the stores to purchase the items that have words, sayings, or figures such as Kaepernick on them that show a message supporting a movement they are following, especially one as large as the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the article about Lebron James, players held a large meeting to discuss what will happen with the current social movements going on and the continuation of playoff games. Players could not come to an agreement and many, including LeBron James, walked out without having found a solution. Whole teams left the room because of this.

There is no way to take politics out of sports, there is no way to take sports out of politics. When someone is given a platform to express their views, they will express their views, and people will listen. The real issue is how they choose to express their ideas and views on issues and the world.

https://www.knbr.com/2020/08/26/lebron-walked-out-of-players-meeting-that-ended-ugly-after-vote-by-lakers-clippers-to-end-season-report/

In the article “What it was, was Soccer” by Jesse Wood, it can be seen how sports change the lives of not only players, but a community. All it took was one coach, named Vaughn Christian, to initiate this change. After Christian became coach of the Appalachian State soccer team, wins were not uncommon, championship titles were a regular, and the meaning of soccer in the community took a huge turn. People began to become ecstatic about the sport, it literally changed the culture and life of those in the surrounding community. Sports, especially soccer, created a huge impact on the lives of many. However, as the team did not perform as well as they once did, the history of these amazing triumphs are often forgotten, which is a tragedy. Many people such as more modern coaches are trying to preserve this history.

The article “A World Without Sports” by Lars Dzikus states, “Sports went on to act as a way to bring Americans together, helping them persevere and, ultimately, heal.” This explains the importance of sports in the world now. Unfortunately, many sports in the world are put on hold currently as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out. This ties into the article “Former App State Coaches, Players Come to Terms with the Cutting of Their Programs” by Ethan Joyce. Joyce gathers quotes and information from former and current players as well as coaches. He gathers the thoughts and feelings very well on how they feel as athletic programs are closed due to COVID-19 to save money. He also refers to the Appalachian State University soccer team in the 70’s referenced above, when thousands of people would come together to watch the games. The impacts of COVID-19 are more than just sickness and death. The numerous ramifications include economic downfall, budget cuts in funding for programs, and in some cases, the end of certain programs. These issues are literally shaking the sports world and writing history as we live.

 When history is made more public and brought to a wide audience, people are more likely to learn and be informed on the history of places and things that may not be well known. Both Louis Moore, author of “When I Fell in Love with Sports History” and Josh Howard, author of “Clifton Forge and Back Again” clearly can see the importance of sports history from a local and public point of view. Moore focuses a lot on the importance of utilizing social media in today’s society. Moore states, “I have been on Twitter for a few years now, and I have found that most people enjoy learning about history through this app, and in fact, they want more history. As a professor who is alarmed by the continuous decline in history majors, seeing the enthusiasm from strangers surrounding a post is informative. It lets me know that as scholars, we need to take a more active approach in social media and tell engaging and as well as important stories.” This explains how as Moore began to become more involved in social media, he understands that there is a very broad and diverse group of individuals who are on social media apps such as Twitter looking for information and stories about topics such as sports history.

Howard focuses a lot on making the history of sports more available and accessible to the public. Thus making more people familiar with it. Howard claims, “It seems clear that Mobile and Salt Lake City could harness public history for better tourism and education in a mutually beneficial way.” This evidence supports the idea that when history is made public and easily available, numerous benefits can be made to more than just one party. Industries can increase tourism and profit while consumers can become interested and more educated in these topics.

It is interesting how Moore takes an approach at becoming more active and relevant through social media while Howard claims that publicizing the history and information will create benefits to involved parties. Both of these authors make very strong points, but ultimately to achieve the same goal. Using social media and publicizing information will allow a broader audience to be able to take advantage of learning this information. They can access it much easier and in turn be well informed of history and its impacts on society.

My name is Liam Ellett and I am from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. It is a small town about 30 minutes South of Raleigh. I plan to major in Economics! Playing sports was a big part of my life until a back injury unfortunately brought an end to them for me. I hope to learn a lot about the impact that sports has on our normal everyday history. Cars, animals, and guitar all have a special place in my heart.