While doing my research and the creation of my project, it made me think about how it ties into sports history and the readings we have done over the course of the semester. In a sense, the way hockey came about and grew into a sport for national pride for Canada, it also accepted all people and genders in a male dominated sport. It made me compare it to Fútbolera. I couldn’t help but think about how Elsey and Nadel brought the female aspect of soccer and how it is a sense lost to history as not many see how dominate the women of these soccer clubs in Latin America were. It is similar to the Canadian women’s hockey teams. People barely know about the dominance of women’s hockey throughout the 90’s as Canada would go on a tear winning gold several times. Just like in our panel discussion, we got to realize that the history is rich and full of dominate women, its just lost to the annals of history. But, it also allows us to see how women were able to grow the sport and show that women can be just as good, if not better at times than the men playing. This led me to finding an article on JSTOR called, “It’s Part of the Game”: Physicality and the Production of Gender in Women’s Hockey”Continue reading Final Exam- Riley Price
At the beginning of my research, I had a quite love of hockey as a whole. During my childhood I would go to semi-professional hockey games in South Carolina with my dad and I grew to love the sport. Growing up, I fell out of love for hockey but still found it to be quiet and interesting sport. I never knew until I was older that this sport was was originally a Canadian sport. The sport itself began in the late 1800’s at a small university in Canada called McGill university. This sport on a massive frozen lake with some skates and a few wooden sticks would grow into one of the largest and nationally played sports in the world. Hockey itself had some origination with some indigenous peoples but seem to be lost to the ages until it became mainstream in Canada after its “founding”. Hockey was played originally outside in open sheets of ice to the more famous stadiums we now know today. Hockey in Canada was able to unite the country as leagues and clubs were popping up all over the place, inspiring everyone of all ages to want to play. Hockey itself seem to become the everyman’s sport as the whole country seemed to play. My research led to me to see how Canada was able to dominate across the board in both the NHL and the Olympics other the years and even having their own version of the Miracle on Ice when they defeated the Soviets. Of course my research also led me to how COVID affected Canadian sports, much like it did the rest of the world. From merger means at small Canadian university, hockey in Canada and the world was able to bring both me and women into this game and show they both can dominate equally. The topic of Canadian hockey, gives us a few of not just how a sport grew into a world wide game, but how it became a part of national identity and sport that brought everyone together, with no gender or social barriers. We get to see how two world wars, the cold war, and even a global pandemic brought a nation together to play the sport they love and distract them from the things outside of their control. Today hockey is played every winter Olympics, expanded to two American cities, and has countless video games and a growing fan base every year. With both men and woman’s hockey growing the sky is the limit for both the sport and the country who helped found it and bring it into the world
“Ice Hockey in Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/ice-hockey.
“History of Hockey Canada.” The Official Website of Hockey Canada. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/corporate/history.
“POE.” The Official Website of Hockey Canada. Accessed December 2, 2020. https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/team-canada/poe.
For my final blog post, I read The Unbearable Whiteness of Baseball and Time to Cancel 2020 Baseball Season: A Lesson for Colleges and Universities. Both of these articles have highlighted major issues in baseball as a whole and the MLB. For the first article, Kang looks into how African Americans have been either misrepresented, left out, and under appreciated in the MLB and baseball as a whole. This has led to a what the article title calls the whiteness of baseball. In the article, Kang discusses how baseball in InterCitys has lost its appeal to the African American population due to this misrepresentation in the game. Kang highlights how social media and other outlets have allowed these kids to appeal to the game of football and baseball. The one thing that baseball has done is embrace the Latino community to a sense. Stories like that of José Bautista and his bat flip caused an uproar with the older generation who has had a hard time embracing the new ways people celebrate and react to a big play. They rather the player dress and act “normally”. The dressing part comes into the play with Ken Griffey Jr. and the way he would wear his hat backwards and his shirt untucked. Several older white gentlemen in baseball weren’t fans of this and other people associated with baseball have had a hard time embracing change. Instances like these is the reason why baseball has lost its appeal to people. The other article focuses on how the MLB have failed at handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The one problem the article found with the MLB is the fact that it was having a season all together. It failed to go bubble like the NBA and in return had caused outbreaks among teams. The MLB could’ve took the hit due to the rich owners. Overall, what both articles have pointed out is that the MLB and baseball have failed to adapt. Baseball is more about keeping the things how it was and making money. What it should be doing is embracing all races, social media, and new norms so the sport doesn’t die.
Futbolera: A History of Women and Sports in Latin America focuses on the development and rise of women’s sports throughout Latin America and the struggles that women faced throughout the centuries. One thing that Elsey’s book highlights is the struggles, it also charts the rise of physical education programs for girls that would lead to the rise of women’s sports clubs. This book takes a look at multiple countries throughout Latin America and how women’s sports developed differently. While there is a focus on how women’s sports grew, the real focus is the social impact that women had on both the sport and the world. Elsey and Nadel both say the book isn’t here to just focus on the sports itself, but women’s impact on, “civic associations, sports clubs, physical education teams, or union leagues.” With that, the book helps readers realize the impact the women had on their countries and the change that was brought on. Written for not only fans of soccer, but for people who would like to look into women’s history and the impact they had on the world. From Cuba to Brazil, to the first women’s championship to the physical education teams, the story that Elsey tells is one that shows the real impact these women had on their communities and their countries.
The book’s five chapters give a look into how women’s sports and the social changes brought on by them were managed throughout Latin America, giving us an almost linear view of various countries. Each story highlights the differences that women faced in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba. By doing this Elsey’s book gave a storyline that many history books do not normally have. Giving these countries an almost case study like approach, Futblera allows an understanding that would not be there without highlighting each country. A study like this Elsy says, “puts forward comparative cases that reflect how distinct histories of gender created different landscapes for women’s athleticism.”It is hard not to think of sports as a masculine pastime, but what Elsy does well is to acknowledge that the world sees the sport in that way, but also works throughout the book to help us as readers take off that blinder. While the world of sports has always been male-dominated, Elsy highlights women like Clara Korte, who created postsecondary programs during a time when the Brazilian government wanted women to prepare to be mothers. She also highlights the women of the 1971 championship team who helped bring worldwide attention to the need for women in the sports world. Both pushed the envelope and made it easier for women when their home governments were not.
Altogether, the book does a good job of showing how women’s social status and the overall view of women were able to change over the years. This book reminds me of Echevarría González’s The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, which shows how clubs, schoolwide sports, and other leagues were able to develop without outside forces pushing them from within. Unlike in Puerto Rico, the sport of baseball was able to develop and thrive without the help of America and was able to claim it as national identity and pride, similar to what Mexican championship time had. The social change in all of the mentioned countries reminded me of the piece by Roger Kittelson on the modernization of Brazil. While some focus is on race and political change hammering the soccer team, Elsey’s book focuses on how the women break through what she describes as the “patriarchal coverage” that came with their teams. Both groups had to fight through social barriers in order to play the sports they love. While Elsy did a great job at highlighting the struggles and success that these different women went through, she could have focused more on the sports aspect by mentioning how the game of soccer had changed or by focusing more on some of the important people. In this book, the sports itself appears as something that plays as the background of the Futblera. In order to be a true sports history book, it could use a little bit more of a focus on that as it seems to be more like a women’s history book with, again, sports as the background. Overall, it led to good historical work that made use of some shortcomings.
Elsey does an amazing job of mixing the different aspects from a focus on the sports, the women that pushed the envelope, and a few pictures to help enhance the readings. This helps makes for a fabulous read and tells a story that not many of us have never heard. Futblera is the type of book that has opened my eyes to a world I have never read or researched about. While sports may be the background of this book, it does not change the importance of this book. Women like Korte helped both the sports world and women forever. When it comes to the long-lasting impact the book has, it will go down more like a women’s history book than a sports book. The focus on the impact the women had on the countries and the sport as a whole put them in the spotlight that focuses on that side of history more does an amazing job while using the sport of soccer as it’s the background. Teams like that 1971 championship team broke barriers and helped change that patriarchal grip that gripped the sports world. From Cuba to Brazil, to the first women’s championship to the P.E. teams, the story that Elsey tells is one that shows the real impact these women had on their communities and their countries.
Appalachian State University
For this weeks readings, I focused on the Chapter on Wrestling in the Sporting World of the Modern South book and Katie Taylors, ‘Here’s the football heroine’: female American football players, 1890–1912. For wrestling and football in the South, they are two of the top sports that many have tuned into each and every night. These sports have caught the eyes of many for generations and will continue to grow each and every year. When we look at wrestling and football, we see it being a masculine sport, full of big men who are larger than life. When we look at wrestling, we don’t see it as the wrestling that we see in the Olympics but, wrestling that has larger than life personalities that entertain us. Wrestlers like the Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena have blown the minds of many, even myself as we see the battle between good and bad guy. But it didn’t always be this way. The chapter, gives us a timeline of wrestling’s start in the South after World War Two. Wrestlers like Frank Gotch and George Hackenschmidt would lead the way for the bigger than life stars that became Killer Kowalski and Bruno Sammartino. These giants would show their brute strength for the new tv broadcast. This trend would continue until other wrestlers would challenge that with homoerotic antics like “Gorgeous George” and his bleached blonde hair. Wrestling itself would appeal to the common man with people like Dusty Rhoades, or push the envelope and cross the so called “line” with his son Goldust, who would cross that homoerotic “line” that would become widely accepted. Wrestling itself has changed greatly but still has mass appeal in the South, even as Women have begun to become the featured act. While it is still seen as male dominated, the line of what is “normal” has shifted greatly. For the Taylor piece, her focus is on Women’s football leagues that would go on throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century. These women pushed the gender norms that were established during those times. Many wouldn’t except women to go out and play what was considered a masculine game. The crazy thing for the time was, that the media seem to enjoy the games. Taylor points out how in many cases, the media praised and encouraged these women to play. Not only did theses games push genders norms, they pushed social norms as upper and middle class women were participating as well. Eventually, the men and women would play and the women would come out on top! Women seemed like they were being held back a lot, but they were able to show how they could stand their own with the best.
For this weeks reading, we get to dive into the history of a sport that has been known as, “America’s favorite pass time,” the sport of baseball. Baseball has seen to be ingrained in the life of Americans and appears to be an American sport, but what many don’t realize is the international love that baseball has. From Japan to Central America, these countries have produced some of the best baseball players, the world has ever seen and is beloved by some many. With the Park piece, we get to see how thanks to the Spanish American war and Manifest Destiny, the spread of American influence over Puerto Rico. With the Gonzalez piece, we get to see the growth of baseball in Cuba and the influence it had there. Both countries had a great deal of influence from the United States thanks to the previously mention of Spanish American war. Eventually, the game would grow in both countries. For Puerto Rico, Park tells us that the foundation of the University of Puerto Rico allowed for college athletics to come and help get many people involved. As the college game began to grow, so did high school and other levels of the game. Then comes the YMCA, who tried to go international with sports. Park tell us that the YMCA wasn’t as influential in Puerto Rico but still managed to push the sport. Even with the onset of WW2 baseball and other sports grew in Puerto Rico. In Cuba, baseball grew before the Americans even arrived. Established around 1870, the Cuban people began to adopt the American sport and play their own games. Throughout Cuba’s change in government, social unrest, wars, and other forces, baseball would still continue to grow and have a root in Cuban nationalism. Baseball in Cuba would eventually grow into rivalries between Havana and Almendares. This rivalry would stay at the core of Cuban baseball and shape it throughout the 19th century. These two factors would help propel baseball and help build the professional leagues in Cuba. Both Puerto Rico and Cuba have rich history and influence in the world of Baseball. Both the countries and the sport has been shaped by outside forces, but have allowed for later generations to thrive in the sport. The rise of baseball has allowed a new found pride for these countries and has helped the way these countries view sports.
For the readings this week, we get to take a dive into Kittelson’s book, The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil. In this book we get to see the history of soccer in Brazil and how it has helped shape the past and the present of Brazil. From racial issues of what defines “blackness”, to political issues, to different cups fighting it out both physically and when it comes to playing the sport. The intro even points out how at times, the nostalgia of the sport has lost its touch a bit. One thing is clear from the intro and that is that soccer is ingrained to the culture of Brazil and will forever be a part of it, on all levels of life. While the rise of the Brazil to winning multiple World Cups has been more of the background of this story, one cannot forget to mention just how promising Brazil was. From wins in the late 50’s, early 60’s, to the their most recent in 2002, the national soccer team has made its impact on the sport. When it comes to the societal impact we see how race relations have played out. Players like Garrincha and Pele became the focus of media scrutiny do to being Afro-Brazilian which ties into the definition of blackness that was brought up in the intro. Race relations were being handled differently throughout the world as the media would begin to expand and more eyes were put on countries throughout the world. Like in the U.S. the Civil Rights movement was beginning to pick up and African Americans were still under attack because of their skin color. Nonetheless, players like Garrincha and Pele would go on to pave the way for Brazil’s rise on the world stage and would prove to be very important in soccer’s rise. Though Pele would eventually become the bigger star, both helped Brazil dominate. Both Pele and Garrincha helped define a new style of soccer called futbol-forca (soccer strength) and futbol-arte(soccer art). Garrincha would be considered the strength on the soccer field, while Pele would be considered the beauty thanks to the way each played. While they would go on to define their own careers, play styles, and win more world cups, the country as a whole would have a problem. Brazil would have one problem though, and it was comparing itself to Europe. The book tell us that commentators in Brazil, “the idolized Europe and their own tropical nation had been a crucial nation throughout the nineteenth century. The modernity of Europe amazed and wowed the people of this tropical nation, so it became almost an achievement of sorts to be like Europe. But thanks to the stars of Brazil, they achieved what the chapter is, as their own mature modernity. Thanks to these few men, Brazil was able to show the world the melting pot it was and how the game of soccer brought them together. Though the country itself would face harsh moments thanks to social and political change, the country itself was able to show what that got and have a small moment of patriotism.
This weeks readings is something that speaks to the hearts of all of us this year. Through this year our country has been going through change and unrest in hopes of a better future for everyone. In regards to the piece on Muhammad Ali, the three writers points out how Ali’s protest of being drafted wasn’t just because of the war, but a religious and racial protest as well. With the piece on Nike and Kapernick, we see the main focus on policy brutality and social justice for African Americans. I went out and found an older article from NPR that highlights several cases of protest in sports from the then St. Louis Rams doing the hands up don’t shoot gesture while walking out to a game, the protest from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, to protest throughout college sports, and up to today. These athletes have faced backlash for bringing light something that has been an issue and of promonance in America for a long time. For Ali, he faced jail time and a ban from sports, to Kap who hasn’t seen an NFL field since 2016 and some would say has been blackballed from the league all together. Both have had similar reactions to their protest as both were labeled as “traitors” or “Anti-American” by the country that they loved. Athletes today face similar insults from their fellow Americans today. An example of this is when Lebron James and other fellow NBA players were told to just “shut up and dribble” and “sports and politics don’t mix”. Many of us know that this more than just a political issue and I believe it is very American and patriotic for one to stand up and protest for something they believe in. Protest is what our country was built off of and it is what helped us to get here today. Now, we have seen corporations like Nike come out and support players like Kap, NBA players, and NFL players. It is my hope that many of them want the same change as them and are not just in it for the money. Today we even see companies like EA and its game Madden come out and give Kap another shot as they put him back in the game for the first time in a long time. What these many have faced in regards to their own protest and racing awareness to racial injustice in this country, shouldn’t have happened. Now, we know America has faced growing pains in the past, but it is my hope that we will come out as a better nation on the other side of this. Regardless, of what side you student on, we have to nod our cap (no pun intended) to these men for standing up for what they believe in and throwing away the sport they love, so our country can look itself in the face and see that we need change. A good quote I have heard is, “some things are bigger than sports”.
In these articles, “On Searching for the Latin American Sportswomen and Finding an Argentine Sports Historian” and “When I Fell in Love with Sports History“, talks about how two historians, Patricia Anderson and Louis Moore fell in love with the world of sports. Both having to start on college research papers like we all have to do and would eventually help shape their lives. The one common theme that kept coming up from the two articles is that sports is for everyone, no matter what race, gender, nationality, etc. No matter what team or country a person cheers for, we have come together time and time again to learn about and celebrate the sports we love, even if we have never played a sport. Sports itself has been misrepresented in many history departments around the world and it has caused both Moore, Anderson, and many others to find their own tools to bring sports to the historical forefront. As something that has unified us for generations, why hasn’t it been researched like many other disciplines of history? Both Moore and Anderson argue that sports deserves its own spot in history as it has become the scene of so many great and dark moments in the history of the world. Both sides universally agree that being a sports historian is great as it can lead down many avenue’s, whether it be economical and even political. Both do have different approaches to this though. Anderson talks about how approaching it from the views of gender and other social norms, sports can be trust into the light and help connect it to the bigger picture. Moore on the other hand, thinks we should take a hands on approach to sports history and mentor those around us in order to put sports history on the map. Both approaches can lead to the use of social media. Moore even points out his use of twitter to spread some of his findings, so that others may see his work. There is no doubt that social media plays a huge part of our lives, the way we see history, the way we can reach others with history, and the sports world. By combining them all, we as historians can help bring in the sports world and its impact on history to the lime light, that both Anderson and Moore talk about.
Hi, My name is Riley Price and I am from just down the mountain in a town called Hudson, North Carolina and its about 30 minutes from Boone. I am a Senior and I am a Secondary History Ed. major. Sports has been a big part of my life, I grew up and still am a fan of the 6x Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots (Yes, I miss Brady and Gronk, but at least we still have Edelman). I am also a fan of the Boston Celtics and hopefully one day I can go to Boston and Foxborough and see both teams. I just recently got engaged to the love of my life and my best friend, so I am trying to juggle work, school, and wedding planning, so this should be and interesting semester. I look forward to this class and I hope everyone does well.