Archives For Sports

 

Tackling the Sacred Cow
of Youth Sports

 
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
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle  ]
 
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.

Continue Reading…

 

Football: A Lover’s Struggle

A Feature Review of

Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto

Steve Almond

Hardback: Melville House, 2014Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Cody Stauffer
 
I love football. I have played it well. I have inflicted damage and my body has taken damage. I have devoted entire days to watching it live and listening to people talk about the glorious nuance of the game.
 
Lately, I have struggled with my love for the sport. It began when Dave Duerson, a Super Bowl champion safety, took his own life in 2011. He left a note requesting that his brain be donated to a brain bank doing research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a debilitating brain injury found in many boxers and now an increasing number of former NFL players. It became serious when I learned about Nathan Stiles, a 17-year-old football player who died shortly after his homecoming game due to a series of concussive and subconcussive blows to the head.

Continue Reading…

 

The Gifts of Vitality, of Community, and of Transformation

A Review of

Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports

Marcia Mount Shoop

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Bernie Schock
 
In Touchdowns for Jesus, Marcia Mount Shoop offers a unique perspective on the inside world of big-time college athletics, especially big-time football. She is a trained theologian (PhD in religious studies from Emory University), an ordained Presbyterian minister, and her husband has coached in the NFL and NCAA Division I football.

 

Even though Marcia Mount Shoop and I may not agree on all issues, I appreciate her efforts to find “God’s fingerprints” in the world of sports. She believes that God is involved in complex ways in the details of our lives—even our sporting lives—and she is on a “quest for truth that can both convict and transform us.”

Continue Reading…