Essay about Contributions of Sports to Society

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Contributions of Sports to Society
“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it.” -Vince Lombardi

From 1870 to 1940, sports became one of the most prominent popular culture activities in America. The evolution of American sports transpired in response to the changing needs of society. Each transformation was established and popularized through the positive contribution sports, using them to rationalize the use of resources, required for participation or attendance. During the spread of urbanization and industrialization, the Victorian ideal stressed physical fitness and self-improvement to combat the harsh effects of daily life. During the thirties sports became a way to transmit the All- American characteristics of hard work, team work, honesty, fair play, and overcoming obstacles. Many powerful and respected Americans have viewed sports as a way to build character. Teddy Roosevelt, for example, who in 1912 founded the National Collegiate Athletic Association was a fervent advocate for sports, as can be seen in his essay Character and Success:
“Exactly as one kind of man sneers at college because he does not think it bears any immediate fruit in mony getting, so another type of man sneers at college sports because he does not see their immediate effect for good in practical life…If treated as it should be… as good healthy play,-it is of great benefit not only to the body, but in its effect upon character. To study implies character of the student, and to work hard at a sports which entails severe physical exertion and steady training also implies character.”7
The history of sports in America is overflowing with events that transcend the field of pla...

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...e Historiography of American Sport.” OAH Magazine of History 7, No.1 (1992):10-14.

Schwartz, Larry. “Brown Bomber was a Hero to All.” ESPN Sports Century Top Athletes: Joe Louis. Accessed Feb 2 2014.
Sklaroff, Lauren R. “Constructing G.I. Joe Louis: Cultural Solutions to the “Negro Problem” during World War II.” The Journal of American History 80, no.3 (December 2002): 958-983.

Stets, Jan E. and Peter J. Burke. “Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory.” Social Psychology Quarterly 63, no. 3 (Sep 2000): 224-237.

White, J. Andrew. “Voice-Broadcasting the Stirring Progress of the ‘Battle of the Century’,” The Wireless Age, (August 1921): 11-21. Accessed October 27, 2013,

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