Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Uni Watch" by Paul Lukas: a favorite sports blog

As a dilettante sports blogger, I spend quite a bit of time following legitimate, established sports bloggers. One of my personal favorites in Paul Lukas' "Uni Watch" - the guy notices everything and helps the uninitiated develop an appreciation for the aesthetic side of sports. Check him out; he "gets it" (his term):

http://www.uni-watch.com/

Also, as a scholar of the Renaissance, I *love* how the colors, crests and fanfare of athletic uniforms are modeled after medieval and early modern heraldry and regalia. A few personal favorites (logos, *not* necessarily teams) that also "get it": KC Royals, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Real Salt Lake, Real Madrid, Racing Metro 92, USA Perpignan, Olympique Lyonnais, Paris Saint Germain - all classic, not overly wrought, uncommercialized in the global age. Your favorites?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ozzie Being Ozzie, Sports Being Political

Ozzie Guillen mentioning he respects Fidel Castro? Stupid.

Guillen saying something inflammatory? Not surprising.

The number of people claiming politics and sports don't mix? See above.

Sports and politics mix all the time. The only time most people notice it is when sports mix with politics they don't agree with.

There are, of course, the obvious examples: Jackie Robinson "breaking" the color barrier in Major League baseball, Tommie Smith and John Carlos offering the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics, the US hockey team defeating the Soviet team at Lake Placid as a symbol of Cold War dominance, and Ozzie Guillen admiring Fidel Castro in Miami..., etc., etc.

But every professional sporting event in the USA begins with the national anthem, placing it under the aegis of nationalist politics. Issues of race, immigration, social class, and corporate authority are ever-present features of professional sports the world over. Sports, like other high profile spectacles, reflect the political tensions of their cultures. Not surprising.