Sports: The All-American Addiction

By John R. Gerdy | Go to book overview

9
“GET OVER IT!”

Take two of these and call me in the morning.

—A doctor's prescription

As we enter a new millennium, many of our American institutions are being scrutinized to determine their societal relevance in the next century. From our schools to our welfare system, old ideas, institutions, and philosophies are being examined, revised, or discarded, replaced by new ones more acceptable to the age with the fundamental standard of evaluation being utility. Do these institutions continue to serve the public in relevant and timely ways?

Organized sport is an important American cultural institution. As such, we as individuals and, collectively, as a society, must critically assess its impact on our culture. If it is deemed to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on our society we should invest more heavily in sport. But if many of these supposed positive benefits are disproved, as individuals and as a society, we would be wellserved to reconsider that investment.

Again, I would like to be clear. I love sports. I love playing them. I love watching them. I believe they play an important role in our lives. I do not advocate the elimination of organized sport in America. This is neither wise nor realistic. It is, however, critical that we honestly

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Sports: The All-American Addiction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Sports 1
  • 1 - The Essence of the Game 3
  • 2 - Buying In 9
  • 3 - The All-American Addiction 21
  • 4 - Sport and a Civil Society 40
  • 5 - Dumb Jocks in the Global Economy 65
  • 6 - The Athlete as Couch Potato 114
  • 7 - Give Me Your Money! 144
  • 8 - Sport and Upward Mobility 171
  • 9 - “get Over It!” 191
  • 10 - Mind Over Body in the Information Age 208
  • 11 - What If? 235
  • References 253
  • Index 259
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