Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacle

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Aug 1, 1998 - Sports & Recreation - 352 pages
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Is football an athletic contest or a social event? Is it a game of skill, a test of manhood, or merely an organized brawl? Michael Oriard asks these and other intriguing questions in Reading Football, the first contemporary book-length study of football's

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Reading football: how the popular press created an American spectacle

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The hype surrounding modern football is not new. The sport and popular newspapers and magazines grew up together in the late 19th century. Football, with its play-by-play format, was seemingly made ... Read full review



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Page 14 - The culture of a people is an ensemble of texts, themselves ensembles which the anthropologist strains to read over the shoulders of those to whom they properly belong.
Page 11 - But whatever the level at which one operates, and however intricately, the guiding principle is the same: societies, like lives, contain their own interpretations. One has only to learn how to gain access to them.
Page 14 - Similarly, home team people must bet against outside cocks or the outsiders will accuse it — a serious charge — of just collecting entry fees and not really being interested in cockfighting, as well as again being arrogant and insulting. 17. Finally, the Balinese peasants themselves are quite aware of all this and can and, at least to an ethnographer, do state most of it in approximately the same terms as I have. Fighting cocks, almost every Balinese I have ever discussed the subject with has...
Page 12 - ... a single great collective story; only if, in however disguised and symbolic a form, they are seen as sharing a single fundamental theme - for Marxism, the collective struggle to wrest a realm of Freedom from a realm of Necessity; only if they are grasped as vital episodes in a single vast unfinished plot.
Page 12 - ... a field of force in which the dynamics of sign systems of several distinct modes of production can be registered and apprehended.
Page 15 - ... space in which History itself becomes the ultimate ground as well as the untranscendable limit of our understanding in general and our textual interpretations in particular. This is, of course, also the moment in which the whole problem of interpretive priorities returns with a vengeance, and in which the practitioners of alternate or rival interpretive codes — far from having been persuaded that History is an interpretive code that includes and transcends all the others — will again assert...

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About the author (1998)

Michael Oriard, who played professional football for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1970 to 1973, is Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture at Oregon State University. He is author of Dreaming of Heroes: American Sports Fiction, 1868-1980, The End of Autumn: Reflections on My Life in Football, and Sporting with the Gods: The Rhetoric of Play and Game in American Culture.

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