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On Sport and Society

Sports Studies

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The Oakland Nomads, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2017

The Oakland Nomads, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The announcement last week that the Oakland Raiders would, for the second time in its history, leave the city of Oakland came as a shock to no one. The synergistic relationship between the greed of the National Football League and the greed of the principal owner of the Raiders, made such a move an inevitability on the wheel of time. Such “loyalty” to the city of Oakland and its rabid football fans will not go unrewarded. Indeed, both the Raiders owner and the NFL will make out like bandits once again.


The Week In Woman's Sport, Richard C. Crepeau Apr 2017

The Week In Woman's Sport, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

While much of the country was caught up in the final weekend of March Madness in Phoenix, the biggest stories were taking place in Women’s sport, both on and off the field of play.


Wbc, Nba, And Nhl, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2017

Wbc, Nba, And Nhl, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Now that the World Baseball Classic has ended and the United States has finally notched a WBC championship, it is time to reflect on the event. For me, it was a great success not because the U.S. won, although that was important, but rather for a number of other reasons.


Great Fun At Wbc In Miami, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2017

Great Fun At Wbc In Miami, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

My fellow Americans, today I want to report to you that although I have been going to baseball games for over a half-century, I have never been to a baseball game like the one I went to in Miami last Saturday night.


Ed Garvey’S Legacy, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2017

Ed Garvey’S Legacy, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Ed Garvey died this week at age 76. For many younger NFL fans his name will mean little. Once called “The Karl Marx of the Shower Stall,” Garvey was one of the most significant figures in the history of the National Football League in the 1970s and early ‘80s. Garvey was appointed legal counsel to the National Football League Players Association in 1970 and became Executive Director in 1971, a position he held until 1983. Along with John Mackey and others he led the players in there decades long struggle with the Commissioner and the owners. Although he did not ...


Denial, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2017

Denial, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It seems that by now most everyone, except Patriot and Falcon fans, should have fully recovered from the Super Bowl. As someone who has seen all fifty-one of these championship games, this one certainly ranks among the most exciting, if not the best played game.


The Nfl's Alternative Facts, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2017

The Nfl's Alternative Facts, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

One of the new buzz phrases spreading across the nation out of Washington is “alternative facts.” For those of us who have lived through several administrations and any number of sporting scenes, “alternative facts” are quite a familiar commodity.


The Australian Open, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2017

The Australian Open, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Each year the Australian Open seems to produce some excellent tennis in the form of a dramatic match, a surprising winner, or some other wonder. It is the first of the Grand Slam events of the year and as such has a significance for anyone even slightly interested in tennis.


A New Year, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2017

A New Year, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It is a new year in the world of sport and in just two weeks there have been a number of notable events and achievements. Yesterday there were two remarkable NFL playoff games that once again remind us of the unpredictability of sport and the excitement that is generated by it. Both games ended in dramatic fashion.


Basketball's Birthday, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2016

Basketball's Birthday, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Invented in the United States by a Canadian in the late 19th century, basketball may be the most American of all sports. Within less than a half century it became the most popular participatory sport in North America. Yesterday was the 125th Birthday of what is often called, “The City Game.”


‘Tis The Season For Bowling, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2016

‘Tis The Season For Bowling, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Every year at this time the college football world is blessed with a deluge of bowl games, and every year it is certain that there could not be any place in the United States that would seek to host a new bowl. Every year, of course, that certainty is smashed by the addition of yet more bowl games.


Sexual Abuse In British Youth Football, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2016

Sexual Abuse In British Youth Football, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It has been almost three weeks now since the first stories of child abuse in British football were published in The Guardian. The first revelation involved one player coming forward to describe how he was abused by his youth football coach at the Crewe Alexandra football club.


Pearl Harbor-75th Anniversary, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2016

Pearl Harbor-75th Anniversary, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

This piece on Pearl Harbor and Baseball was the fifteenth of this series of essays on Sport and Society. It dates from December of 1991 the 50th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and was written as a radio commentary for WUCF-FM an NPR affiliate in Orlando. It aired on December 6, 1991. This is the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor


Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Richard C. Crepeau Nov 2016

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Four years ago Ben Fountain’s disturbing novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, was published to critical acclaim and an eventual National Book Award nomination. It was one of the first pieces of fiction coming out of the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In July of 2013 I wrote that Fountain’s novel was an important work addressing the issue of the relationship between American sports fans and American soldiers who are commonly acclaimed as American heroes.


World Series Hangover, Richard C. Crepeau Nov 2016

World Series Hangover, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Are you feeling a sense of loss? Has a slight sadness settled into your baseball psyche? Are these feelings part of a strange undertone in your celebration of the Cubs World Series victory? If you suffer from any of these symptoms, let me welcome you to the new world of the Chicago Cubs. The curse has ended. Long live the Lovable Losers!


The Cubs Quest, Richard C. Crepeau Oct 2016

The Cubs Quest, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The first step has been taken, but then it has been taken previously. Are we moving inexorably towards Armageddon? We will know in less than four weeks, and what we will know is not the results of the presidential election. We will know if the Cubs are about to end their long running March of Futility. Cubs fans around the world will remain focused on their team, rather than that other long March towards Armageddon.


Fernandez And Palmer, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2016

Fernandez And Palmer, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

There is crying in baseball and in Miami this past week there was a flood of tears. The shocking news that Jose Fernandez had been killed in a boating accident produced disbelief and sadness. For his family, for teammates, for Marlin fans, and for baseball fans across the country, it was a jolting piece of news that greeted them on Sunday morning. The following day came the announcement of the death of Arnold Palmer, the man who is credited with making golf a favorite sport for ordinary fans in the new television age. The juxtaposition of the two deaths has ...


Goodell And Drones, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2016

Goodell And Drones, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

For the past few years the NFL, through the pious pronouncements from its Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has professed a heavy commitment to safety, with a particular focus on hits to the head. This of course followed years of cover-up and denial of any connection between CTE and football related head trauma, not to mention an active and aggressive campaign against anyone and any evidence to the contrary.


Us Open Tennis, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2016

Us Open Tennis, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

In London it is the Wimbledon Fortnight. What can be called simply “two weeks of damn good tennis” concluded this weekend at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center where the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the tennis season was contested. As it often does the U.S. Open produced some very high quality tennis, along with some “interesting” moments, and promising new, and not so new, faces arriving in the spotlight.


The National Anthem, Richard C. Crepeau Sep 2016

The National Anthem, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It has been over a week now since Colin Kaepernick sat during the playing of the National Anthem prior to an NFL Exhibition game. He was protesting discrimination against African Americans and police brutality in the United States. These issues have been in the forefront of public discussion since the shooting of Michael Brown just over two years ago. At various points and venues since the Brown shooting athletes have protested and offered various forms of support directly and indirectly to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Kaepernick’s action joins a long list of protests, and as has often been ...


Olympic Contradictions, Richard C. Crepeau Aug 2016

Olympic Contradictions, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

There are times when I think that the Olympics should be wiped off the sports calendar once and for all. Then when the games begin I flip into reverse and find myself watching the performances and admiring the high level of skill on display.


Rio 2016, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2016

Rio 2016, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It’s beginning to appear that the Russians will be the big winners at the Olympic Games opening next week in Rio. You may wonder how this could be given the fact that large numbers of Russian athletes, including all the track and field team, have been banned from participation in the Games of 2016. That of course is precisely the point.


Nba Finals, Summitt, And Howe, Richard C. Crepeau Jul 2016

Nba Finals, Summitt, And Howe, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

It is always a surprise to me that so much can happen in SportsWorld in only two weeks. It was just over two weeks ago that I left for Canada and the annual conference of the Sport Literature Association. That was followed by several days on Prince Edward Island. The developments over these last two weeks have left me with much to contemplate.


Sport Is The Thing, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2016

Sport Is The Thing, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

In the face of the oozing cesspool of stories of corruption, crime, and cheating in sport filling the various forms of media, there is a danger that the reason people are drawn to sport will get lost in the muck. We love sport because it reveals the high levels of achievement that can be attained by humans, it offers the excitement and drama of competition, and at times it reaches the sublime. We need to keep reminding ourselves of this simple truth.


Ali, Richard C. Crepeau Jun 2016

Ali, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Looking back on this remarkable life, it seems to me that Muhammad Ali changed nearly everything. He and I are nearly the same age and so our lives ran in parallel paths that seldom crossed but often swept across similar territory. Ali in full public view, a hero and a villain, to different people at different times, he was often both, at one and the same time. Where you sat in time and space and in the American social and political landscape shaped how you viewed this remarkable bellwether of American life.


Penn State Scandal, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2016

Penn State Scandal, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

One of the biggest shocks to hit sportsworld in the past few years came in the form of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University that led to the firing of Joe Paterno as head football coach. In addition, the University President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and VP of Business and Finance Gary Schultz were all removed from their positions on the Penn State campus and all three were indicted on various charges connected to the scandal.


Spring Training Optimism, Richard C. Crepeau Mar 2016

Spring Training Optimism, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The atmosphere at Spring Training is one of the special qualities of baseball in America. The optimism generated by fans and players alike tends to reach beyond reality. Rookies and career minor leaguers anticipate a breakthrough season. Veterans look forward to the dawning of a career year. Spring is the season of rebirth, hope and high expectations. The failures and disappointments of the previous season, or decade, or in one case, the previous century, are cast aside.


Super Bowl Superness, Richard C. Crepeau Feb 2016

Super Bowl Superness, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The Rev. Norman Vincent Peale once said that if Jesus were alive today he would be at the Super Bowl. No doubt the Reverend was on to something.


The Rams Move On, Richard C. Crepeau Jan 2016

The Rams Move On, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

The City of Angels, Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States, the second largest television market, the city of cars and air pollution, the city waiting for the next big earthquake, etc. etc. etc. It is a city that has not had a team in the National Football League for over twenty years. It is remarkable that the so-called New National Pastime had no presence in LA for two decades and still claimed this high position in American sport.


Concussion The Film, Richard C. Crepeau Dec 2015

Concussion The Film, Richard C. Crepeau

On Sport and Society

Several months ago there was a minor flap over the fact that the National Football League was given the right to delete parts of the film “Concussion” before its general release to the public. At the time many, including myself, feared that the NFL would defang the bite of the film. It did not. In fact it’s hard to imagine what the NFL censored in “Concussion” given the devastating nature of the final product which is now in release.