Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Article 1: Sport and Politics

In our October 2nd and October 7th class we discussed the relationship between sports and politics. Sport and politics are very much related. Every sport league is a governing body similar to our nations government. A Sports Business Journal article talks about the governing power in the National Football League is response to the domestic violence scandals going through the league this season.  Much like people say about a Presidential Candidate, people are saying the National Football League commissioner, Roger Goodell should be fired because he didn’t do enough to correct the problem when it first occurred. Also much like the President of the United States, there is a Vice President or a second-hand person to make important decisions when the President is not able to. In the sport industry, there are the commissioners and most have a second hand person to help with important decision. Except in the National Football League where Roger Goodell is the only person making the decisions. He eliminated the second hand position when he took over the league in 2006. Similarities between politics and sports closely resemble one another and often decisions are made based off one or the other. In class we discussed some ways that they are associated with one another such as the president throwing out the first pitch at a ballgame, the league champions being invited to the White House to be honored and many athletes become politicians after there playing days are over due to the established following that they have. According to our notes, some noted politicians that have come from the sport industry are Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who ran for governor of the state of Pennsylvania, and Steve Largent, of the Seattle Seahawks, who ran for governor of the state of Oklahoma after being in the House of Representatives for eight years.
                            Example of Championship Team being honored at the White House

Article 2: Reasons for Studying Sport

On August 28th and September 2nd, our class discussed some reasons for studying sports. One of the many reasons that people study sports is because gambling is big business in the sport industry. According to our notes, sports’ wagering, done legally or illegally, brings in about $382.4 billion. An article I found on Press of Atlantic City reports that the recently elected commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Adam Silver, says that legal sports betting will happen at some point in the United States.  Due to the popularity in sports’ wagering already today, I expect the amount to rise if this were to ever happen. According to the article, Commissioner Adam Silver is a proponent of this opportunity because it would bring in more interested fans. In class we discussed some forms of sports’ wagering which include fantasy sports leagues, College Basketball Tournament leagues, as well as the many other games people could place a bet on. In the past you had to go to Las Vegas if you wanted to place a bet, however with today’s advancement in technology, people are able to place a wager right from the comfort of their own home.  According to our notes, sports’ wagering is big business revenue. While it can come with the success of winning, there are many problems that can occur if you become addicted to sports’ wagering.
                                                Example of Sports Wagering in Las Vegas

Article 3: Sport and Education

In our September 25th and September 30th classes we discussed Sport and Education in American Sports in the 21st Century. One the subtopic that was discussed was the participation of students while they are pursuing their education. The Snohomish Times out of Snohomish, Washington, discusses the increase in sport participation. According to a study conducted by National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 7.8 million student-athletes participate in sports.  According to the article, the state of Washington ranks in 17th place for participation of student-athletes with 159,548. The state with the most participation is Texas with 805,299 student -athletes.  According to our notes, some of the reasons that students participate in high-school athletics is to be involved in student activities, build self-esteem, enhance fitness and participation, and to develop skills needed further in life. According to the study, girls’ participation increased for the 25th consecutive year. One of the things that we learned as well is that academics usually improve due to being a student-athlete because you are held to a much higher standard. One of the rules at many institutions is the eligibility rule, which requires that you have to have a certain grade in order to participate in that week’s games so student-athletes usually take their studies more seriously.  

                                                       Example of High School Athletics



Article 4: Youth Sport

During the September 18th and September 23rd class in American Sport in the 21st Century we discussed the topic of youth sports in the United States. One of topics that we discussed in relation to youth sport was the Little League World Series that takes place in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. According to the Sports Business Journal article focusing on the 75th Anniversary of the Little League World Series, talks about how it was founded and some statistical data about the event. According to the article, it was founded by Carl Stotz, a lumber store clerk. According to the article, it is the world’s largest and most funded youth sport organization in the world. There are about 2.4 million players over a span of 76 countries. About 1.9 million of the 2.4 million come from the United States.  It was created as a 501(c) or non-profit organization as a way to allow kids to participate in sports regardless of their ability. Today, the Little League World Series is very commercialized due to the television contract that it currently has with ESPN and sponsorship with national companies such as Honda. In our class notes we discuss how the Little League World Series has evolved into what it is today and some of the problems associated with this.  One of the problems that is associated with this regards the pressure that is put on these young kids. I believe that some of that could be cut down without the media and production that is associated with the Little League World Series.
                                            Little League World Series 75th Anniversary Logo