Well, that’s it. It’s all over now. The end of another American football season. Can’t say it was consequential in any meaningful way, but amongst serious thinkers, such diversions are often times woefully underappreciated (while being simultaneously overappreciated by the masses). Oh, sure, they’re ok with “art”–usually of the boring, pretentious, sterile, ultimately of the unchallenged and unchallenging caliber–but serious thinkers are almost invariably dismissive of art in motion. Living Art. Nee: athletic achievement. Athletes, at their best, are spontaneously acting out, on impromptu stages, many of the myths, legends, heroic and tragic archetypes that most artists only think they’re channelling. “Poetry in motion” may be a cliche, but it is so for a good reason. Athletic achievement at its best is very Zen. It’s like a good haiku, or a koan. Fifteen hundred years ago, when a monk asked Zhao Zhou if a dog had Buddha nature, Zhao Zhou replied–legendarily–with “Mu.” (Literally “no,” or “without,” but meaning so much more in the context in which the question was asked.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Sports
Silvio Marcacci via CleanTechnica:
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Media days, star-studded halftime shows, and million-dollar television ads traditionally dominate the news leading up to every Super Bowl, but it’s probably time to add a new tradition to the list: Annual “Greenest Super Bowl Ever” claims.
This trend has picked as Americans become more involved with environmental and climate issues, and this year Super Bowl XLIX is primed to score as perhaps the greenest sporting event yet.
A 100% Wind Powered Super Bowl
As with most CleanTechnica post, this one starts with renewable energy. While Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium doesn’t have any on-site solar or wind power resources, local utility Salt River Project (SRP) has agreed to provide all of the big game’s electricity needs with 100% wind power.
Enjoy American football but not a big fan of most mainstream Sports Talk?
Sam Riches writes at The Pacific Standard:
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What if we eliminated the institution of sport—from the high school level to the pros? Ten academics from around the country weigh in.
The National Football League, despite a reported dip in fan support this year, remains the most popular and profitable sports league in America. Though it generates in the range of $10 billion annually, it’s heavily subsidized by its fans, American taxpayers, who provide 70 percent of the capital costs in stadium construction. NFL headquarters, meanwhile, enjoys tax-free status as a non-profit organization and the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, earned more than $40 million last year.
The athletes that make the league a viable business—the majority of them having worked their way up to the professional level after years of labor exploitation in the NCAA—have an average career length of just over three years, according to the NFL Players Association.
Via The Richest:
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Former Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly once famously said that football is more important than life or death. This sentiment, despite its extreme nature, is not an entirely alien concept to officials, fans and players of practically the entire range of competitive sports across the world.
Sports, in all its various forms and flavours, tap into our ancient tribal instincts, and provide an outlet for our deep seated primal urges. It comes as no surprise then, when these urges manifest themselves during emotionally charged moments in the sporting arena, from cries of rapture to screams of anger. However, some of these urges occasionally appear in much darker tones, often leading to physical altercations.
Evidence of this can be seen from as far back as 2,700 years ago (753 BC) in the chariot races of the Roman Empire. Riders, crews and horses were all fair game for the armed participants and spiked chariot wheels.
No word yet on whether the NFL will consider airing the “Proud to Be” spot, (which had been produced and put online in time for Super Bowl XLVIII), but it will play during the NBA finals, as it was deemed a “significant investment” by sponsors from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. The group would not reveal how much it spent for the coveted advertising slot, only that it was necessary to further an important discussion of racism.
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During this weekend’s highly anticipated NBA final, an ad that the NFL does not want to air will hit the airwaves. It is a powerful and moving plea to change the offensive Washington Redskins name and mascot produced by a group called the National Congress of American Indians.
The ad runs through a list of words that Native Americans actually call themselves: proud, forgotten, Navajo, mother, survivor, Inuit, patriot, underserved . . . and many more.
Our global sporting championship has a higher blood toll than the Hunger Games. Via the Smithsonian:
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In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. Since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup.
A report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says that if conditions don’t get any better, by the time the World Cup kicks off, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died on the job. For comparison, only six workers have died during construction for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that starts this summer.
Workers described forced labour in 50C (122F) heat, employers who retain salaries for several months and passports making it impossible for them to leave and being denied free drinking water. The investigation found sickness is endemic among workers living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions and hunger has been reported.
In The Nation, 2006 Winter Games luge competitor Samantha Retrosi compares the Olympics to “The Hunger Games” while discussing her own experience of being made into a voicebox for Vorizon. According to Retrosi, when corporate sponsorship falls through, many U.S. Olympic athletes are left with one back-up plan: join the Army:
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The socialization of my allegiance to Verizon began the moment I was selected—as an 11-year-old—for the US development team. The culture within the US Luge Association viewed brand loyalty as integral to the survival of the organization. All of my clothing was plastered with the Verizon logo. I was not allowed near any camera without giving a visual and verbal statement of thanks to Verizon for making all of my dreams come true. I went through intensive media training each year to reinforce this allegiance—to learn how to be a better spokesperson for Verizon. During my Olympic year, I signed away my rights to use media time for just about anything other than gratitude to sponsors.
Played on a hexagonal pitch with three teams instead of two, it was devised by the Danish Situationist Asger Jorn to explain his notion of triolectics, his refinement on the Marxian concept of dialectics, as well as to disrupt one's everyday idea of football. The game deconstructs the confrontational and bi-polar nature of conventional football as an analogy of class struggle in which the referee stands as a signifier of the state and media apparatus, posturing as a neutral arbitrator in the political process of ongoing class struggle. The first known game was organized by the London Psychogeographical Association as part of the Glasgow Anarchist Summer School.
With their respective teams going head to head, is this year’s Super Bowl the closest thing to a national holiday commemorating the pioneering legalization of weed in Colorado and Washington? Refinery 29 notes:
The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face off in Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2. The most offbeat narrative to emerge so far is the strange coincidence that the home states of both teams, Washington and Colorado, are the only ones with legalized recreational marijuana in the country. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the Marijuana Bowl. Or the Pot Bowl. Or the Weed Bowl.
The NFL forbids its players to use the drug, even for medical reasons. Marijuana advocacy groups point out that the drug can be helpful to players suffering from serious injuries, especially concussions. Others have pointed out that the NFL’s many tie-ins with the alcohol industry comes off as hypocritical.