Saturday, September 24, 2016

Dave Zirin on American Football

New World Notes #447, 28:17 (September 27)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

University of Pennsylvania football team, 1901

Progressive sports commentator Dave Zirin explains the upper-class origins of American football. And he shows football's connections with "muscular Christanity" and with 19th century US imperialism.
The game has always been violent and has caused countless player injuries and deaths--but Zirin argues against those who would ban the sport. Zirin's solution: for all jobs--including NFL football--is this: support the workers in their struggle to control workplace rules and working conditions.

I have never been a sports fan. I think the last football game I watched was in 1968. We--that is to say, Bucknell--won. Or maybe we lost. Who cares? Instead of warming the bleachers, I should have burning my draft card.

But even I find Zirin's talk to be to be witty, interesting, and well worth a listen.

Dave Zirin

I have condensed Zirin's talk, which he delivered at the Socialism 2012 conference, in the Chcago area, in September 2012.

This program was previously broadcast, as NWN #240, in October 2012. Audio files downloaded fro the links, above, are identified as #240.


Bill C said...

W/out your intro, for the first time I would have skipped "Dave Zirin on American Football", thank you for quickly getting to the point. It was thought provoking in spite of my non-interest in sports.

Kenneth Dowst said...

Bill, thanks for listening, and many thanks for the kind words. I feel much the same way you do about Dave Zirin. Others (including Andrew Bacevich) also have noticed that the NFL acts like the propaganda division of the Defense Department--but I especially like the way Zirin puts this in its historical context.

Best, Ken