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Should Babble have a ":Sports" forum?

Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Not only is there usually a hockey or CFL thread going in various forums, there have been a number of threads created in the name of a progressive or Left critiqque of sports(or "sport", if you're feeling Anglophilic that day).

Also, sports fandom is traditionally one of the most working-class things there is, and I'm thinking it might be a way of getting people who might be interested in what Babble discusses but don't usually come here to check the board out.

Wondering if other folks here thought this might be worth having.


Comments

Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

I've long felt that rabble.ca itself should have sports columnists or reporters or bloggers.  There is lots of progressive politics and analysis that can be had when it comes to sports. 


lagatta
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Joined: Apr 17 2002

I agree - don't we already have one? Perhaps sport is too conflated with fitness, exercise, whatever?

Sport is also a huge aspect of popular culture, in all countries and cultures.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

I think we already accept too much, and uncritically, the current state of the sports industry, including sports marketing, the gendered nature of sports marketing, and sports spectatorship in general, and to have a forum dominated by "yay, team!" type discussions, imo, would go against the principles of this board.

Sports spectatorship is the opiate of the (largely gendered) masses.


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

jas wrote:
to have a forum dominated by "yay, team!" type discussions, imo, would go against the principles of this board.

I don't think that's what's being proposed. Discussions in a sports forum would still be subject to babble policy, no different from existing sports-related threads.

That said, I think sports fits well within 'Humanities & Culture', so I'm not sure a new forum is needed. But I wouldn't object to one either.

And I disagree with the opinion that spectator sports are the "opiate of the (largely gendered) masses".


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Michelle wrote:
I've long felt that rabble.ca itself should have sports columnists or reporters or bloggers.  There is lots of progressive politics and analysis that can be had when it comes to sports.

I agree! I was happy when rabble added Left Hook to its blog roll -- although they haven't posted for a while. And there is the occasional sports-related podcast. There's not a lot currently...but this could change in the near future!

As for the proposed babble forum, no I don't think it's required or desirable.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

I love watching amateur and professional athletes in motion. For me it is one more reminder that people from the barrios and lower middle classes have far more talent than the elite few born into money and privilege they didn't earn.


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Nah, and not a "sport" section either.

I certainly don't mind sport threads, but I think they work just fine under humanities or body and soul.

It's not just that I'm not a sport fan, and question why it is the only demographic which is so important that it gets to push the national news around during the playoffs. There is also a great deal about the culture - particularly team sports - which is decidedly un-progressive, and does a hell of a lot of damage, and thrives by appealing to blind faith.

http://exigenomicon.typepad.com/exigenomicon/2012/07/the-innumeracy-of-t...

We don't even have a designated music section . I can't see why sports somehow need special recognition.

 

 


Left Turn
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

Michelle wrote:
I've long felt that rabble.ca itself should have sports columnists or reporters or bloggers.  There is lots of progressive politics and analysis that can be had when it comes to sports.

I think it would be great for rabble to run Dave Zirin's weekly column. It's more U.S.-centric than what would be ideal for rabble, but it's still some of the best sports journalism out there. And I know rabble editor Derrick O'keefe is a big Dave Zirin Fan. I once received a Dave Zirin book from Derrick as a birthday present.

On the actual topic this thread, I'd also say no to a "sports" forum. Sports can be handled well under existing forums, whether it be Humanities & Culture for threads that are purely about sports, or one of the other forums if the focus is appropriate. Threads about homophobic bullying in sports, for instance, fit well in the LGTBQ forum, and I'd hate to see them posted in a "sports" forum. There are many other instances where sports threads fit well or better into other existing forum categories, given the nature of some of those discussions.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Yeah, as for babble, I'd also say that sports is easily captured by humanities and culture - wherever other pop culture threads go, sports threads can go, since it's also popular culture.  Otherwise we'd need a music forum, a drama forum, etc. etc.  The forum list could go on forever.


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Michelle wrote:
Otherwise we'd need [...] a drama forum

'Canadian Politics' is the drama forum. Laughing


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

I sat down for coffee with two older Euro-Canadian guys who worked with my dad years ago. They started it not me. We talked politics and highlights of history since WW II. Through their still thick accents came words of wisdom and knowledge I never thought possible for two old guys who don't know a URL from a postal code. Eventually we realized it's hopeless to even try to move the most significant roadblocks to real democracy. They segued off into talk about Portuguese footy, and so I decided to get back to running errands. It was raining, and I was a fool on foot to my car at the other end of the parking lot.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Michelle wrote:

Yeah, as for babble, I'd also say that sports is easily captured by humanities and culture - wherever other pop culture threads go, sports threads can go, since it's also popular culture.  Otherwise we'd need a music forum, a drama forum, etc. etc.  The forum list could go on forever.

So I guess a forum dedicated to Apres Air Sport mixology and hors d'oeuvres won't be happening then? This is highly disappointing.


Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

jas wrote:

Sports spectatorship is the opiate of the (largely gendered) masses.

Actually, I took the kids to a Blue Jays game yesterday. It was a wonderful family outing and Jose Bautista knocked in a winning run in extra innings to clinch the victory!


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

yes.

As a sports fan, I have always found it weird to post, say, the anti-Don Cherry or pro-Arsenal threads in the Humanities section, along with discussions of postmodernism and Rousseau etc. Better a discrete Sports forum.

nota: Our Dear Leader, Judes, says in her bio she is interested in everything, "except sports". ha. That'll teach her.


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

Mr.Tea wrote:

jas wrote:

Sports spectatorship is the opiate of the (largely gendered) masses.

Actually, I took the kids to a Blue Jays game yesterday. It was a wonderful family outing and Jose Bautista knocked in a winning run in extra innings to clinch the victory!

lighten up, Jas: people find it fun and entertaining, a great stress-reliever, too;

we await the definitive analysis of the appeal of sports, but it is some kind of projection of social drama and conflict onto a field/rink/pitch.... whatever, I have a beer and a laugh with it all;

someone called it "drama without consequences", good enough for me

 


Sineed
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Joined: Dec 4 2005

jas wrote:

I think we already accept too much, and uncritically, the current state of the sports industry, including sports marketing, the gendered nature of sports marketing, and sports spectatorship in general, and to have a forum dominated by "yay, team!" type discussions, imo, would go against the principles of this board.

Sports spectatorship is the opiate of the (largely gendered) masses.

I had a similar thought initially, but a critique of the points you mention could be part of the babble sports forum: the veneration of callow millionaires in their early twenties, the staggering sexism and homophobia of the mainstream professional sports, the separation of fitness from performance at the elite levels, how spectacles divert attention from ongoing injustice a la Chomsky, and suchlike.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Sineed wrote:

jas wrote:

I think we already accept too much, and uncritically, the current state of the sports industry, including sports marketing, the gendered nature of sports marketing, and sports spectatorship in general, and to have a forum dominated by "yay, team!" type discussions, imo, would go against the principles of this board.

Sports spectatorship is the opiate of the (largely gendered) masses.

I had a similar thought initially, but a critique of the points you mention could be part of the babble sports forum: the veneration of callow millionaires in their early twenties, the staggering sexism and homophobia of the mainstream professional sports, the separation of fitness from performance at the elite levels, how spectacles divert attention from ongoing injustice a la Chomsky, and suchlike.

Yes I've thought of the same but not quite so critically I suppose. I mean, why should we revere elite athletes and venerate them as ideal human beings? Are elite athletes a normal reference for human beings and what everyone should strive to in society in general? I think everyone realizes that this is unrealistic, and so why should we should even try to emulate this non-normal standard for people in general? I certainly can't relate to even the least talented NHLer or PGA golfer. This is like god-worship and even sports occultism on a Saturday afternoon. We should get real and demand a basic and attainable standard of fitness for Canadians of every age group and act on it- pressure governnments to make fitness mandatory part of education and the work place. We were designed to be in motion. We are physical beings afterall and should revolt over being chained to desks and  made idle without pay. We should demand working mens and women's exercise clubs with free memberships to gymns open 24/7. Fuck those guys making millions - I want that guy across the street sat awake all night losing self-respect under the "blue glow"to be able to live the good life not become a liability to national health care before his time. Obesity and poor health are neoliberal insults to us all.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Michelle wrote:

Yeah, as for babble, I'd also say that sports is easily captured by humanities and culture - wherever other pop culture threads go, sports threads can go, since it's also popular culture.  Otherwise we'd need a music forum, a drama forum, etc. etc.  The forum list could go on forever.

Actually, having forums for each creative form might be a good idea.  It would help revive the idea of the artist as "cultural worker", and might bring people interested in or involved with specific forms into the discussions we have here.  Not that we need to disgress too deeply on that, but it's an interesting thought.

And to clarify,by a "sports" forum I was talking as much about a forum that dealt with sports criically as about a "rah rah" thing.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

DaveW wrote:

lighten up, Jas: people find it fun and entertaining, a great stress-reliever, too;

we await the definitive analysis of the appeal of sports, but it is some kind of projection of social drama and conflict onto a field/rink/pitch.... whatever, I have a beer and a laugh with it all;

someone called it "drama without consequences", good enough for me

Well, it would be interesting to study the appeal of spectator, esp team, esp arena sports. Especially for men. The similarities and correlations to martial battle, nationalism, jingoism and other blood sports cannot, imo, be ignored.

For the record, I too enjoy watching (and participating in) sports. Skiing and tennis on tv, team sports live. It's the culture that has been built around some of it that I find disturbing. Why NHL hockey dominates so many conversations, private and public. Why we have to have TV screens blaring it at us in every pub from October to June. Why taxpayers have to subsidize teams when we can't seem to afford other basic necessities. Why spectator participation has to be so absolute as to be almost cultish. Why such fanaticism is accepted uncritically by otherwise progressives.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

No. Sorry Ken.

And "sports fandom is traditionally one of the most working-class things there is"?

So is national chauvinism, spousal abuse, racism, homophobia, drinking to excess, avid consumption of pornography, petty crime, and a number of other recreations I could mention.

Workers are way way higher in the evolutionary scheme than these bullshit stereotypes. We are the future. What you appear to call "sports" isn't part of that future.

How about a forum on binge drinking?

 


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

On NHL hockey in particular, I enjoyed what writer had to say here:

Quote:

Overwhelmingly, the category of the indifferent-to-hostile includes women, but there are others who feel the same way. There is absolutely nothing comparable within the realm of what is acknowledged as of particular interest to women, populated by women, chewing up everybody else's primetime, pushed as somehow universal. I sometimes kiddingly opine that we'll know there's gender equity when quilting bees get as much coverage as these tedious grunt fests.

...

Maybe there are other, better, reasons so many of us are just not that into it. And that we'd kind of like to see something else get as much time and space as this recurring cultural feature. 

 


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Ken Burch wrote:
sports fandom is traditionally one of the most working-class things there is

 

I'd say that's true.


Mr.Tea
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Joined: Jul 9 2011

I'd say the nice thing about sports is that it unites people from all walks of life. The President of teh United States and a kid on the South Side of Chicago both care about the fate of the White Sox.

There are probably few things in Toronto that are enjoyed by such a broad section of society than the Maple Leafs. Of course, actually attending a game is probably out of reach for most working class folks.


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Unionist wrote:

No. Sorry Ken.

And "sports fandom is traditionally one of the most working-class things there is"?

So is national chauvinism, spousal abuse, racism, homophobia, drinking to excess, avid consumption of pornography, petty crime, and a number of other recreations I could mention.

Workers are way way higher in the evolutionary scheme than these bullshit stereotypes. We are the future. What you appear to call "sports" isn't part of that future.

How about a forum on binge drinking?

If you oppose the idea of a "Sports" forum, that's one thing, but...how did you get to THAT particular response?  Or those conclusions about my feelings about working-class people(fyi, I'm a steward on a ferry boat, so I'm being as working-class as you or anybody else.

I wasn't talking about sports as if it were something I considered myself to be above...nor working-class folks as if I considered myself superior to them...nor would I equate liking sports to any of the horrible, ugly, soul-destroying and life-destroying things on that list, especially domestic violence, objectification of women, imperialism and alcohol abuse.  In my awareness, there are MANY more people who are upper class who indulge in the last four things than workers do.

You and I are both union members, U..  I'd never DISS workers with the kind of stereotypical imaging you use there, and it's kind of amazing that you'd think I'd ever think like that.

Plus, there's a long tradition of Left sports writing...from C.L.R. James on Caribbean cricket, Eamonn McCann(of the Northern Irish radical Left)on(what MOST of the world calls)football and and on rugby, and Dave Zirin in the States.

It wasn't ME doing stereotyping.  And I'm really disturbed that you'd associate interest in sports with ANY of the other things.  There are people who hate sports who are guilty of liking imperialism, brutality, and denigration of women(and gays, and POC).  There are also people who like sports who fight passionately against all of the above.

 


Ken Burch
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Joined: Feb 26 2005

Sports are like culture...they can be as pure or as co-opted as we allow them to be.  And the discussions involved with that world are as political as those regarding any other topic...they deal with corporate power, maldistribution of wealth, bigotry, greed, and any of the other topics we deal with on the Left.


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Ken Burch wrote:
Sports are like culture...they can be as pure or as co-opted as we allow them to be.  And the discussions involved with that world are as political as those regarding any other topic...they deal with corporate power, maldistribution of wealth, bigotry, greed, and any of the other topics we deal with on the Left.

Exactly!


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

I love watching sports for the cool corporate sponsorship ads. I see them so often I sometimes forget that it's a hockey game. Man they are good.  I'm watching.  Occasionally I find myself associating beer and underarm deodorant to being an elite athlete It goes without saying. If I just slather on more hair goop and Old Spice, and buy the latest cell phone with bells and whistles,  and slip me into a new VW or Dodge Ram, it might satisfy my insane lust for material goods and baubles. I realize now after watching the playoffs than I am just a walking sack of unmet material needs and wants. Sometimes I feel naked without brand name gear.


mmphosis
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Joined: Apr 28 2009

jibs 7 eltows 3

nutches 1 verbles 2

I really thought the nutches would win it.  It was close though.  Too bad hablotosh couldn't pull it off in the second.

anyone want a bet on telford taking it on Sunday?


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

I have been told, more often than I like, that "sports teaches us valuable lessons". I am still wondering how important/valuable these lessons are when they have to be repeated so often, or is it just that they are THAT forgettable?

I have been told, more often than I like, that "sports teaches leadership skills". I wonder how that is, it seems to me that it teaches much more about obedience than it does leadership... if it taught about leadership, how come they never seem to break out in new directions?

I have been told, more often than I like, that "sports builds/contributes to community spirit". I am left wondering how antipathy towards other communities qualifies as community spirit?

I have been told, more often than I like, that "sports is a harmless diversion". I don't wonder about this, I just remember how it was much safer not to go south of Sherbrooke Street down by the old Montreal Forum on game nights, I am sure the same applies to the routes passing soccer/football stadiums in lots of other cities.

Do we need a sports forum? Well, maybe if we are going to examine it critically... but if the fanboys and fangirls want to talk about last night's game, couldn't they just go to a bar?


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

bagkitty wrote:
Do we need a sports forum? Well, maybe if we are going to examine it critically... but if the fanboys and fangirls want to talk about last night's game, couldn't they just go to a bar?

There wasn't much support for the idea to begin with, and Catchfire's already nixed it, so I don't understand why this straw is necessary. It comes across as baiting.


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