Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture

By Andrei S. Markovits; Lars Rensmann | Go to book overview

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This project started in June 2006 when Andrei Markovits, to his immense delight, assumed the summer position of “Fußball-Professor” (soccer professor) at the University of Dortmund when that city featured one of host Germany's most eminent venues of the World Cup soccer tournament. Dortmund also happens to be Lars Rensmann's place of birth and the home of his parents. It was Markovits's honor to meet Gerd Rensmann, Lars's father (now deceased), and one of Germany's most renowned sports journalists, before the two proceeded to the city's famed Westfalenstadion, home to Rensmann's beloved Borussia, to watch Brazil defeat Ghana.

That fall, Rensmann commenced his position, co-sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst—DAAD) at the University of Michigan. We are very grateful to the DAAD and the University of Michigan for giving us the institutional possibility to expand our friendship into a scholarly collaboration that both of us enjoyed immensely. Our being colleagues at the same university led us to coauthor a number of publications, not least a book on sports entitled Querpass: Sport und Politik in Europa und den USA (Verlag Die Werkstatt, 2007). This book constitutes at best a distant sketch to our current work and is in no way its German precursor, let alone equivalent. Above all, being colleagues at the wonderful University of Michigan has provided us many hours of priceless visits to the Big House to watch football, Yost Arena to attend hockey games, Crisler Arena to witness a long-overdue resurgence in Michigan basketball; and the professional sports' offerings in the Detroit metropolitan area, including our enjoying the Red Wings at “the Joe,” the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and the Tigers at Comerica Park. Alas, we have yet to attend a Lions game at Ford Field together. But we are certain that this will happen soon.

Permit us to say a few words about the sports terminology that informs this book. As bicontinental sports fans, we know that our readers in Britain would have preferred our using the word “supporters” instead of “fans.” We are fully aware of the common language that divides us, none more gravely than in the world of sports. We know that “pitch” has a different meaning in Britain than it does in America. Since this book was coauthored

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