Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election Countdown "A to Z" (E is for Edge of Sports)

I've decided that out of sheer ambition and a dose of chutzpah, I'm going to do a post every day between now and the election and tie it to a letter of the alphabet. All the posts—in order, from A to Z—will be election and politics oriented.

E is for EdgeofSports.com

Yes, sports.

Anybody who knows me is scratching his head, thinking, "Raymond Roker going on the record about sports!?!" But I don't intend to embarrass myself with clumsy analogies or scrambled historic dates. Instead, I'm interested in the one element of sport that commands my attention: politics. Called 'the best young sportswriter in America,' Dave Zirin's Edge of Sports blog makes an ongoing case for that intrinsic link between sport and the political landscape.

With an election season rife with gutter balls, hockey moms, jump shots and endless boxing references, sports is never really far from the, ahem, political playing field. For Zirin—who also blogs for the Huffington Post—it goes beyond Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico Olympics or the anti-war protest of Muhammad Ali. His A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play is an encyclopedia of the important intersection and collisions between two core American pastimes.

Check out this interview with Zirin:

and this excerpt from his blog:

"When this country was discovered, or conquered as the case may be, sports were considered a sin, the devil’s work, and blasphemy against God and Church. Then as the country developed and sports became something to both sell to people as entertainment, and socialize working class immigrants to see America as the greatest country on earth. But the 20th century saw numerous examples, public and private, where sports exploded in growth but also became a platform for spectacular dissent."

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