The National Football League Is One Of The Most Significant Cultural Engines In Contemporary American Life Yet Despite Intense And Near Ubiquitous Media Coverage, Commentators Rarely Turn A Critical Lens On The League To Ask What Material And Social Forces Have Contributed To Its Success, And How The NFL Has Influenced Public Life In The United States The Editors Of And Contributors To The NFL Examine The League As A Culturally, Economically, And Politically Powerful Presence In American Life The Essays, By Established And Up And Coming Scholars, Explore How The NFL Is Packaged For Commercial Consumption, The League S Influence On American Identity, And Its Relationship To State And Cultural Militarism The NFL Is The First Collection Of Critical Essays To Focus Attention On The NFL As A Cultural Force It Boldly Moves Beyond Popular Celebrations Of The Sport And Toward A Fuller Understanding Of Football S Role In Shaping Contemporary Sport, Media, And Everyday Life Contributors Include David L Andrews, Aaron Baker, Michael Butterworth, Jacob Dittmer, Dan Grano, Samantha King, Kyle Kusz, Toby Miller, Ronald L Mower, Dylan Mulvin, Oliver JC Rick, Katie Rodgers, And The Editors Oates Furness, two researchers whom one is a die hard Steelers fan and one is apathetic but sees the overall draw of the NFL, edit this volume of critical essays on NFL history and present, as a phenomenon that encroaches across American culture They note in the introduction that its rise is closely linked with television, as it was a small regional sport far outpaced by college football, but within a decade of the famous 1958 televised NFL championship, it had surpassed even MLB as the most popular sport in the United States Prior to that, the NFL had too few games and was not supported by other institutions, but television enabled it to directly market itself as an event to households.The book is divided into three parts, the first being a historical account of founding myths and the careful curation of NFL as a product The first chapter looks at the foundational myth of the 1958 Championship game between the Balti Colts and the New York Giants, which made it seem simpler and a throwback to pure masculinity, where players were played poorly but made it work Instead, this covered up the times of turmoil of civil rights and urban restructuring Chapter two looks at how the NFL carefully used technology to push its product, which at the basic level has always been Instant Replay, where the same play could be viewed at multiple angles, enabling the NFL to curate the game perfectly Chapter four explores the pheneomon of Chad Ochocinco, who legally changed his last name to put his nickname on his jersey and explicitly marketed himself outside the confines of the NFL s package, through social media, which challenges the NFL s control over their product Chapter four explores how the rise of fantasy football, video games, and other new media invites the fans to place themselves as coaches, players, and owners Part two moves to looking at sociological analysis of the identity in the NFL Chapter five argues that the strong heterosexual male athlete fits into the suppression of any queerness in sexuality by athletes, even though the majority of players say they would play with a gay teammate Chapter six argues that the NFL, as it has become 2 3rds African American players, has a certain ghetto centrism , where the black body is supposedly honed to athletic prowess, where poverty is assumed with any black players, no matter the actual background Chapter seven argues that pain suppression and dealing with hard masculine bodies is apart of the image of the NFL has one of true manliness, as players push through pain Finally, Franco Harris, the Steelers running back during the 1970s dynasty, and his biracial background led to the Italian American community of Pittsburgh to adopt him as one of their own, even as he grew up in a black neighborhood.Part three linked explicitly the history of militarism in the NFL, by opening with the NFL s war boosterism of the Bush era invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq after 9 11, particularly in how it marketed Pat Tillman s joining the military Chapter 11 zooms to the dawn of NFL Films during the turmoil of the Vietnam War era in the mid 1960s, as a way of choreographing the NFL as a bastion of strength and order even as the country seemed to be falling apart Chapter 12 looks to how Pat Tillman was memorialized, sacrificing himself for his country, even though it was eventually revealed that he was killed by friendly fire and was a avid leftist.Key Themes and Concepts The NFL promotes masculinity, militarism, and authoritarian control through carefully controlled product.
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- Kindle Edition
- 268 pages
- The NFL
- Thomas Oates
- 10 September 2019 Thomas Oates