A Review of
Overplayed: A Parent’s Guide to the Sanity in the World of Youth Sports
Margot Starbuck and David King
Paperback: Herald Press, 2016
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Reviewed by Adam Metz
One of the most impressive and respected structures in my hometown of Columbus, OH is Ohio Stadium, nicknamed “The Horseshoe,” and it is where the Ohio State Buckeyes football team plays. Originally built in 1922 (and now on the National Register of Historic Places) it has been expanded and renovated several times over the years to the point where the seating has nearly doubled its original capacity to over 102,000 seats. As the largest venue in the entire state of Ohio, Ohio Stadium illustrates just how powerful sports are in American culture.
What would our communities be without the social cohesion and identity partly forged by our allegiance to professional and collegiate sports teams? Regional pride and identity are best on display through the distinctive college mascots and corresponding colors emblazoned throughout communities: Gators in Florida, Volunteers in Tennessee, Hoosiers in Indiana, Longhorns in Texas, Ducks in Oregon, and – of course – Buckeyes in Ohio. These sports allegiances are further nuanced as attention focuses more locally. At one level, high school athletic programs foster their local community pride, while Saturday morning recreation leagues within those same communities further divide allegiances.