Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dave Zirin on American Football

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New World Notes News
Vol. 5, No. 42 -- October 21, 2012

This week in New World Notes, radio program #240, October 23, 2012

Dave Zirin on American Football

Harvard player Ben Ticknor, 1930

In brief

I'm no sports fan, but commentator Dave Zirin is. And I am a fan of Zirin's thoughtful, Progressive commentaries on sports in America.

Here he's discussing professional football. He tells of the upper-class origins of football, its connections with "muscular Christanity" and with 19th century U.S. imperial adventures abroad.

The game has always been violent and has caused countless player injuries and deaths--in its early years even more than today. But after describing the havoc, Zirin argues against those who would ban the sport. To Zirin, NFL football is a job, and its problems are best fixed the same way as in any other job: support the workers in their struggle to control workplace rules and working conditions.

Even if you don't like football ... or even if you do ... I think you'll find this an informative, witty, and very interesting talk.

Above: Dave Zirin. Below: University of Pennsylvania team, 1901

Notes, credits, & links

I've condensed Dave Zirin's talk, which he gave at the Socialism 2012 conference, near Chicago, in September 2012.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "first floor") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio. See the gray sidebar on the right ("CONTENTS [Links]") for a table of contents.

Series overview:
Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

The definitive sociological analysis of college football: Horse Feathers, 1932

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)
  • October 30 -- The Surprising Power of the People
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1 comment:

college football said...

And now this sport is being played in other countries and surely in the future it will be recognize by all countries in the world.