Transcript: Andrei Markovits on American Sports Culture | Jan 31, 2004

Andrei Markovits appears in the studio. The walls are decorated dark blue curtains with light green and light blue patches.
Andrei is in his early fifties, clean-shaven, and balding with medium-length grey hair. He’s wearing a grey suit with a blue shirt and black undershirt.

Andrei Markovits says UHM, THE
TALK TODAY IS UH, ABOUT THIS.

He holds up a newspaper. The front page reads, "U.S.A. Today." An image of David Beckham’s face appears below. He is a clean-shaven man in his thirties with short brown hair.

Andrei Markovits says UH, U.S.A.
TODAY OF UH, IT WAS IN MAY 9-11
AND IT SAYS AS YOU CAN SEE ON
THE FRONT PAGE THIS IS NOT IN
THE SPORTS SECTION.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Andrei Markovits. University of Michigan. Offside: America's Sports Culture. University of Toronto. October 14, 2003."

He places the newspaper down.

Andrei Markovits says BUT THE
FRONT PAGE, HE IS THE MOST
FAMOUS ATHLETE IN THE WORLD
EXCEPT IN THE U.S.A.
IT'S OF COURSE DAVID BECKHAM.
UHM, I ACTUALLY JUST FINISHED AN
ARTICLE HOW WE HAVE THESE
DIFFERENT CULTURAL TRANSFERS
HOW DAVID BECKHAM HAS BECOME A
MAJOR ICON IN THE UNITED STATES
BY DINT OF A MOVIE.
SO THESE VERY INTERESTING KIND
OF SHIFTS WHICH I WILL TALK
ABOUT TODAY AS WELL.
UHM, IN A CERTAIN WAY THIS
PROJECT WHICH HAS BEEN
WONDERFUL UH, TO ME, UH, IS
COMPLETELY BASED ON A HOBBY AND
THE HOBBY IS THAT I'VE BEEN A
HUGE SPORTS FAN ALL MY LIFE AND
UH... JEFF KINDLY MENTIONED I
WAS A HUGE FAN OF SHTINSA WHICH
WAS THE UH, UNIVERSITY TEAM.
THEY WORE PURPLE IN COLOUR AND
THEY WORE THE BLUE AND UHM, I
COMPLETELY IDENTIFIED WITH THEM
AND UH, THROUGHOUT MY YOUTH IT
WAS ALSO SOMETHING THAT REALLY
TIED ME VERY CLOSE TO MY FATHER
AND WHEN I CAME TO THE UNITED
STATES THE FIRST THING THAT MY
FATHER DID WAS TAKE ME TO A
YANKEE RED SOX GAME.
BY THE WAY, I'M AMAZED YOU'RE
HERE.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
EXCUSE ME, I MEAN, YOU KNOW,
UH, I KNOW WHAT I WOULD BE
DOING.
ANYWAY, UHM, SO CLEARLY IT'S A
VERY AUTOGRAPHICAL BOOK UHM,
WHICH HAS BEEN ACTUALLY I'M
VERY PLEASED TO SAY VERY
SUCCESSFUL AS ACADEMIC BOOKS
GO.
UHM, AND IT'S ALSO, THE PROJECT
IS ALSO BASICALLY A... A
COPOUT.
IT'S ALSO A WONDERFUL WAY OF
UH, JUSTIFYING HUNDREDS OR
PROBABLY THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF
WATCHING SPORTS UNDER THE GUISE
OF RESEARCH.
UH, AND BELIEVE ME, MY
COLLEAGUES ARE VERY, VERY
ENVIOUS AND UPSET ABOUT THIS
THAT I CAN SAY YOU KNOW, I HAVE
TO WATCH MANCHESTER UNITED OR I
HAVE WATCH THE NEW YORK YANKEES
OR THE DETROIT RED WINGS UH,
UH, IN ORDER TO DO RESEARCH.
THE PROJECT ITSELF STARTED ON A
DANUBE BOAT RIDE FROM VIENNA
DOWN TO THE BLACK SEA AND IT
WAS IN JUNE OF 1986 WHEN UHM,
UH, THE NBA FINALS BETWEEN THE
BOSTON CELTICS WAS PLAYED
AGAINST THE HOUSTON ROCKETS UH,
AND I WAS THE LECTURER ON THIS
BOAT AND AT THE SAME TIME, KIND
OF CULTURAL YOU KNOW, LECTURE,
TALKING ABOUT AS YOU GO THROUGH
THE DANUBE, SLOVAKIA, WHATEVER,
POLITICS AND BY DINT OF MY
BACKGROUND I WAS ACTUALLY
FAIRLY GOOD AT THIS AND THE
AUDIENCE WAS... IT WAS ON A
RUSSIAN BOAT OR SOVIET BOAT AND
ALMOST ALL THE SAILORS WERE
UKRAINIAN OR BELARUSIAN OR A
COUPLE OF BULGARIANS AND THE
PASSENGERS WERE ALL COLUMBIA,
YALE AND U.C. BERKELEY ALUMNI,
ALUMNI.
UH, WHO CLEARLY UHM, IT WAS
REALLY THIS WONDERFUL UPSTAIRS
DOWNSTAIRS KIND OF WORLD FOR
ME.
UPSTAIRS ALL WE TALKED ABOUT
AMONG THE MEN WAS UH, TRYING TO
GET AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNE TO
FIND OUT HOW THE CELTICS WERE
DOING AGAINST THE HOUSTON
ROCKETS.
I REMEMBER ACTUALLY FINDING ONE
IN BELGRADE WHICH WAS A BIG
DEAL.
WE WERE VERY, VERY HAPPY TO DO
THIS AND THEN MY WORLD CHANGED
COMPLETELY IN THE DOWNSTAIRS AT
1 A.M. I WENT DOWN TO THE
BOTTOM OF THE BOAT AND I WOULD
BE WATCHING WITH THESE PEOPLE
WHOM DO NOT SPEAK SLAVIC
LANGUAGES UH, WATCHING GAMES
THAT WERE BEING PLAYED IN THE
WORLD CUP IN MEXICO IN 1986.
YOU KNOW, BULGARIA, TURKEY AND
ESTABLISHING A LANGUAGE, IN
OTHER WORDS YOU'LL SEE THAT MY
WHOLE ARGUMENT ABOUT SPORTS AND
SPORTS AS HEGEMONIC CULTURE IS
REALLY A LANGUAGE.
IT'S HOW YOU LEARN AND HOW YOU
CONSTRUCT IN THIS LANGUAGE AND
WHAT I NOTICED IS THAT THERE...
THE UPSTAIRS SPOKE, I DON'T
KNOW, ENGLISH AND THE
DOWNSTAIRS SPOKE 'CAUSE THEY'RE
RELATED, YOU'LL SEE, LET'S SAY
FRENCH.
LET'S USE THE ROMANCE LANGUAGES
OR GERMAN AND SWEDISH AND I WAS
KIND OF WONDERING WHY THIS IS
THE CASE AND MORE AS I WAS
WONDERING WHY IS IT THE CASE
AND YOU'LL HEAR THIS TOMORROW

- HOW I FORMED MY RESEARCH IN
A LOT OF WAYS WHY IS IT THAT IN
A WORLD THAT IS SO CULTURALLY
DOMINATED BY THE UNITED STATES
AND AS I'LL ARGUE TOMORROW ONE
OF THE MANY REASONS THAT YOU
HAVE IN FACT IS RESENTMENT OF
THIS KIND OF... ANGER THAT YOU
HAVE PRECISELY BECAUSE THERE IS
THIS DOMINATION, KIND OF A
IRRESISTIBLE DOMINATION UHM, WHY
IS IT IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS
AND YOU WILL SEE I'M TALKING
ABOUT SPORTS AS CULTURE NOT AS
ACTIVITY, WHY IS IT THAT IN
THIS INSTANCE THE UNITED STATES
HAS ACTUALLY PLAYED ZERO ROLE
IN THE MOST IMPORTANT SPORT
CULTURE BY FAR, BY ANY MEASURE
NAMELY THAT OF SOCCER.
OKAY?
OR PUT DIFFERENTLY ERIC HOBBS
QUESTION WHY IS IT IN THE 20th
CENTURY ALL CULTURES AS HE PUT
I THINK PARAPHRASING, ALL
CULTURE WAS EITHER AMERICAN OR
IT WAS PROVINCIAL WITH ONE
EXCEPTION, NAMELY THAT OF
SOCCER OR SLASH THAT WITH THE
REST OF THE WORLD IN MANY WAYS,
VARIOUS FORMS CALLED FOOTBALL
OR FOOTBALL, WHATEVER.
OKAY, EVEN THE HUNGARIAN...

He says a Hungarian word.

Andrei Markovits continues IS LITERALLY KICKING SORT OF
BASICALLY FOOTBALL, OKAY.
I THOUGHT THIS WAS AN
INTERESTING, AN INTERESTING
QUESTION AND I KIND OF LINKED
IT UP WITH THE LARGER DEBATE
ABOUT AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM.
NOW I DON'T THINK I HAVE TO GO
INTO THAT WITH THIS AUDIENCE
BUT BASICALLY THE ARGUMENT
ABOUT AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM
WHAT IS OF COURSE AN EXCEPTION
TO.
THESE ARE BASICALLY HEURISTIC
METHODS TO EXPLAIN A PARTICULAR
CASE.
UH, SOCIAL SCIENTISTS ALWAYS
LIKE TO DEAL IN EXCEPTIONS.
YOU KNOW...
WELL, GERMANY KIND OF
CONSTRUCTED ITS POLITICAL UH,
MODERNIZATION, ITS ECONOMIC
MODERNIZATION IN CONGRUENT WAY
WITH THE WAY THE WESTERN POWERS
DID NAMELY BRITAIN, FRANCE AND
THE UNITED STATES.
SO IT'S KIND OF A SPECIAL WAY.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Andrei Markovits. University of Michigan. Offside: America's Sports Culture."

Andrei Markovits says WELL, IN
THIS CASE A VERY EUROCENTRIC
VIEW, THE EXCEPTION OF THE
UNITED STATES IS THAT IT IS IN
FACT THE ONLY ADVANCED
DEMOCRACY.
UH, UH,
THAT DOES NOT HAVE WHAT VERNON
SUMBACH CALLED SOCIALISM.
OF COURSE THAT'S RIDICULOUS
BECAUSE EUROPE DIDN'T HAVE
SOCIALISM EITHER BUT WHAT IT
REALLY MEANT WAS A REALLY LARGE
MALE INDUSTRIAL BASED SKILLED
WORKER PARTY.
OBVIOUSLY SOCIALISM IS A
QUICKER WAY TO SUMMARIZE THIS.
WHY DOES IT NOT HAVE A MASS
BASED SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC SLASH
COMMUNIST PARTY MOVEMENT?
AND AGAIN I'M NOT GOING TO GO
INTO THE REASONS FOR THIS THAT
HE GIVES AND IT SPAWNED A HUGE
LITERATURE OF COURSE UH, LOUIS
HART BUT BASICALLY THE ARGUMENT
IS I THINK AND AGAIN YOU'LL
HEAR THIS TOMORROW THAT IT'S
NOT SO MUCH THAT THE UNITED
STATES IS REALLY THE OTHER BUT
THAT THE UNITED STATES IS JUST
MERELY DIFFERENT AS UMBERTO
ECCO ARGUED IN A BEAUTIFUL
ARTICLE JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS
AGO.
UHM, THAT IT CREATED ITS OWN
MODERNITY AND IN CREATING ITS
OWN MODERNITY IT ACTUALLY ALSO
CREATED ITS OWN WHAT I WILL
CALL SPORTS BASE AND IT STARTED
WITH UHM, WHEN I FLEW BACK TO
UH, BOSTON AT THE TIME FROM
THIS TRIP I REMEMBER VERY WELL
THAT OF COURSE IT WAS IN THE
AFTERNOON THAT FRANCE PLAYED
BRAZIL.
IT WAS A GREAT BRAZILIAN TEAM
AND A VERY GOOD FRENCH TEAM.
AND OTHERS IN GUADALAJARA WHICH
ACTUALLY THE NOTED BRITISH
SOCCER MAGAZINE "GOAL" TO THIS DAY
CALLS THE BEST GAME EVER PLAYED
IN WORLD CUP HISTORY.
AND I REMEMBER LANDING AT LOGAN
AIRPORT AND I ASKED THE
IMMIGRATION OFFICER EXCUSE ME,
DO YOU KNOW WHO WON BRAZIL -
FRANCE AND THE GUY LOOKED AT ME
EITHER LIKE I WAS DERANGED OR
ACTUALLY SOMEHOW IN A HOSTILE
WAY LIKE YOU KNOW MAYBE HE
WON'T LET YOU IN.
THANK GOD I HAD AN AMERICAN
PASSPORT BUT IN THIS BOOTH IN
THE FAR CORNER I NOTICED A
SMALL TELEVISION.
I'M SURE IT'S PROBABLY NOT
LEGAL.
I DON'T KNOW.
SMALL TELEVISION, WHAT WAS HE
WATCHING?
THE RED SOX PLAYING THE ORIOLES
AND IN FACT CLEMONS WAS
PITCHING A GREAT GAME AND OF
COURSE I ASKED HIM ABOUT THIS
GAME AND CLEARLY WE IMMEDIATELY
SPOKE THE SAME LANGUAGE AND
THIS THEN KIND OF LED TO THIS
ARTICLE WHICH THEN WAS
TRANSLATED IN A NUMBER OF
LANGUAGES WHICH LATER ON LED TO
THE BOOK.
THE QUESTION THEN AGAIN IS WHY
IS IT THAT IN MY MILIEU OF
BASICALLY UPPER MIDDLE CLASS
INTELLECTUALS WE ACTUALLY SHARE
PRETTY MUCH THE SAME LANGUAGE
IN VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING OR
WATCH THE SAME MOVIES ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC UH, WE GO
TO THE SAME FILMS.
WE ARE BASICALLY INVOLVED IN
THE SAME DEBATES BUT WHEN IT
COMES TO SPORTS THERE WAS
ALWAYS THIS AMAZING HIATUS AND
CLEAVAGE.
MY FRIENDS IN BERKELEY OR
HARVARD OR WHATEVER KNEW
IMMEDIATELY WHAT 56 MEANT OR
UH, JUST CERTAIN NAMES OR
STATISTICS OR MICKEY MANTLE OR
WHATEVER AND THIS MEANT NOTHING
TO MY FRIENDS IN BERLIN, VIENNA
OR PARIS AND THEY OF COURSE
KNEW BECKENBAUER, POOSKASH OR
MANCHESTER UNITED OR OLD
TRAFFORD.
AND THE ANSWER THAT I BASICALLY
GIVE IS THE FOLLOWING IN ORDER
FOR US TO ESTABLISH AMERICAN
EXCEPTIONALISM WE HAVE TO FIRST
SEE WHAT IN FACT IS COMMON TO
THIS MODERN SPORTS WORLD THAT
IN FACT IS CREATED BASICALLY
BETWEEN EIGHTEEN SIXTY AND 1920 AND HERE
I GO BACK TO MAJOR
LITERATURE SPAWNED BY SIMON
MARTIN LIPSIC AND MARTIN ROCAUN
WHO TALK ABOUT HOW THE PARTY
SYSTEMS OF THESE ADVANCED
INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACIES, THE
CLEAVAGES THAT THEY TALK ABOUT
REALLY WERE CREATING THE
POLITICAL TOPOGRAPHY THAT HAS
BASICALLY EXISTED THROUGHOUT
THE 20th CENTURY AND BEFORE I
TALK ABOUT THE AMERICAN
EXCEPTIONALISM AND WHAT MAKES
AMERICA DIFFERENT UH, YOU KNOW
WHAT MAKES IT KIND OF ITS OWN
MODERNITY LET ME BRIEFLY TALK
ABOUT SOME COMMONALITIES.
FIRST OF ALL, THIS MODERN
SPORTS WORLD AROSE NOT BY
CHANCE IN BRITAIN, PARTICULARLY
ENGLAND UH, AND OF COURSE SOME
OF THE ENGLISH COLONIES SUCH AS
OBVIOUSLY CANADA AND THE UNITED
STATES, UHM, AND THIS IS NOT BY
CHANCE.
IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO AGAIN
WITH THE...

He speaks in a foreign language and continues
IT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE
FACT THAT THIS WAS INDEED THE
MOST KIND OF COMMERCIALIZED UH,
BOURGEOIS CULTURE THAT IN FACT,
KIND OF CREATED THIS MODERN
SPORT.
SPORTS OF COURSE AS IN THE FORM
OF GAMES OR PLAY EXISTS IN ALL
CULTURES.
IN FACT, I WOULD SAY IN
PRIMATES GOES BACK TO INCAS,
THE EGYPTIANS, EVERYTHING,
OKAY, BUT THERE'S A HUGE
DIFFERENCE THAT STARTS
BASICALLY AROUND EIGHTEEN FIFTY, '60 AND
UNITED STATES STARTS A LITTLE
EARLIER WITH THE FORMATION OF

- QUANTIFICATION OF BASEBALL
IN EIGHTEEN FORTY-SIX.
UH, WHICH REALLY MAKES IT
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TO REALLY
WENT ON BEFORE, OKAY.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Andrei Markovits. University of Michigan. Offside: America's Sports Culture."

Andrei Markovits continues AND IT HAS
A LOT TO DO WITH
INDUSTRIALIZATION.
IT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH THE
FACT THAT YOU CREATE
URBANIZATION, YOU CREATE URBAN
SPACE, YOU CREATE A SEPARATION
OF WORK AND LEISURE.

UH, FOR
NOT... NOT TOO LONG AGO ENGLISH
LEAGUE GAMES TYPICALLY STARTED
AT A TIME WHEN THE FACTORY
GATES CLOSED.
THIS HAS BEEN TOTALLY LIFTED
NOW WITH BISCABEE AND MURDOCK
BUT OBVIOUSLY THERE'S A LINK TO
THIS, NAMELY THE SEPARATION OF
WORK AND LEISURE.
UH, THE CREATION OF THE TRAM,
THE CREATION OF UH, OF
TRANSPORTATION, UH, THE
ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT
DEVELOPMENT OF STATISTICS SORT
OF KEEPING RECORDS OF MAKING
THEREBY KIND OF CREATING A
CONTINUITY AND THE ABILITY TO
IN FACT, COMPARE BOTH
SYNCHRONICALLY AND
DIACHRONICALLY AND TO HAVE THE
NOTION OF RECORDS WHICH CLEARLY
YOU KNOW YOU DISCOURSED WITH
THE PAST I MEAN, USE ANY OF
THESE GAMES, THESE PEOPLE WHO
ARE INSIDE BASEBALL, WHAT A
WONDERFUL EXPRESSION FOR THE
GERMAN, YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS
THOUGHT THE GERMANS...
IN OTHER WORDS IF YOU REALLY
ARE SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE WELL,
YOU'VE USED THE WORD INSIDE
BASEBALL MEANING YOU'RE AN
EXPERT.
AND FOR THOSE INSIDE BASEBALL
IT'S ALL ABOUT HISTORY.
CONSTANTLY.
LOOK AT THE CUBS, IT'S ALL
ABOUT HISTORY.
SO CLEARLY UH, STATISTICS ARE
IMPORTANT IN THIS.
THE UHM, CREATION OF UNIFORMS,
OF, OF, OF BASICALLY THE WAY
THE BUREAUCRATIZATION, THE
INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SPORTS
OCCURS AT THIS TIME.
UHM, AND AGAIN, MY ARGUMENT THEN
IS THAT IF YOU DON'T MAKE IT BY
THE 1920's WHAT ECONOMISTS CALL
THE LIABILITY OF NEWNESS IS
VERY, VERY HIGH OR THE BURDEN
OF A LATECOMER IS VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT TO OVERCOME SO HERE I
DEVELOP THIS ARGUMENT OF SPORTS
SPACE, THAT IN FACT, THERE'S A
FINITE SPACE WHICH IS CONTESTED
AND IF YOU ENTER THAT SPACE AT
THIS EARLY TIME, YOU HAVE A
VERY GOOD TIME OF IN FACT,
DOMINATING OR REMAINING
DOMINANT BY VIRTUE OF
REPRODUCING THE CULTURE AND SO
ON EVEN TODAY, ALL RIGHT?
UHM, I'LL TALK ABOUT TELEVISION
LATER ON.
THIS IS ACTUALLY...
IT ADDS TO IT, IT MELIORATES
CHANGES BUT IT ACTUALLY DOESN'T
AT LEAST NOT UNTIL NOW REALLY
SHIFT THIS CONSTELLATION.
TEAMS ARE ALSO IMPORTANT
BECAUSE TEAMS ARE CONTINUOUS.
WHAT YOU HAVE IS... AGAIN, IN
THE IBERIAN WAY, YOU CREATE A

- WITH INDIVIDUAL SPORTS I
CALL THEM SLIGHTLY LESS MODERN
BECAUSE OF COURSE THEIR LINK TO
THEM IS CHARISMATIC.
YOU SEE IT EVEN WITH THE DATA
FOR INSTANCE, IN GERMANY TENNIS
YOU KNOW WITH STEFFI GRAF AND
BORIS BECKER GONE GERMAN TENNIS
KIND OF JUST NOSE DIVES.
UH, WHEREAS WHAT YOU HAVE WITH
TEAMS IS THAT THEY ARE IN FACT,
MORE IMPORTANT THAN INDIVIDUALS
AND THEY CREATE THIS CONTINUITY
AND THEN OF COURSE TEAMS THEN
CREATE LEAGUES FOR VIRTUE OF
AMORTIZATION BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY
THEY HAVE TO PLAY EACH OTHER
AND PLAY EACH OTHER MORE OFTEN
THAN ONCE AND SO ON AND SO
FORTH SO THIS IS A VERY
IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THIS
MODERNIZATION, OKAY.
UHM, HISTORY AS I SAID COUNTS
MASSIVELY.
UHM, ALL SPORTS LANGUAGES ARE
BASED ON HISTORY AND THEREBY
ALMOST KIND OF A GLORIFICATION
OF HISTORY AND I FORGET A
GERMAN COMMENTATOR I WAS
WATCHING UH, A GAME ON THE EURO
2000 WHICH WAS 1996, SORRY,
PLAYED IN ENGLAND AND IT WAS
NOT EVEN GERMANY.
TWO TEAMS PLAYING AND HE STARTS
TALKING ABOUT OLD TRAFFORD AND
I SAID IT'S LIKE BASICALLY
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A CHURCH.
HERE WE ARE OLD TRAFFORD, YOU
KNOW, THE GREAT, LONG, THE
GREAT BUZBY BABES, IT WAS
BASICALLY LIKE WRIGLEY OR... OR
ANY OF THIS MAJOR VENUES.
THE WHOLE THING OF COURSE OF
HISTORIZATION IS IMPORTANT
BECAUSE IT AGAIN REINFORCES
DISCOURSE AND IN FACT, IT
CREATES A COMMONALITY.
WITH YOU KNOW, YOU'RE
CONSTANTLY REPRODUCE THINGS.
IF YOU ARE INSIDE THE LANGUAGE
YOU'RE CONSTANTLY ARE
COMPARING.
A COUPLE OF OTHER GENERAL
THINGS THAT I'D LIKE TO MENTION
BEFORE I TALK ABOUT THE
AMERICAN EXCEPTION, EXCEPTIONS.
EVERYWHERE THERE IS A CLEAR
CLASS COMPONENT WHICH GOES
SOMEWHAT LIKE THIS.
UHM, THESE ARE... THE SPORTS ARE
STARTED BY AMATEUR GENTLEMEN.
UH, AND IN FACT, ARE... THE
WHOLE EMPHASIS ABOUT AMATEURISM
UH, INDEED IT SPLITS, FOR INSTANCE, RUGBY
UNION FROM RUGBY LEAGUE, OKAY,
UH, I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO TALK
ABOUT THIS.
I THINK IT'S A VERY ODD THING
ABOUT AMERICAN COLLEGIATE
SPORTS I MEAN, TALKING ABOUT A
PLACE LIKE MICHIGAN WHERE YOU
KNOW I CANNOT BUY A MICHIGAN
FOOTBALL PLAYER UH, DIET COKE
BECAUSE I WOULD BASICALLY
COMPROMISE HIS AMATEUR STATUS
BUT THIS NOTION OF AMATEURISM
IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL BECAUSE
IN ONE OF AVOCATION THAT IN
FACT, YOU DON'T DO IT PERFECTLY
BECAUSE THEREBY YOU ARE
BETRAYING YOUR CLASS POSITION
BUT YOU DO IT KIND OF AS PART
OF A GENERAL... CORPORATE... IN
OTHER WORDS IT'S BASICALLY GOOD
TO BE A WELL EDUCATED PERSON.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE A GOOD
SPORT, OKAY?
UHM, WHAT HAPPENS THEN IS THAT
MY ARGUMENT THEN IS THAT I'M
INTERESTED ONLY IN WHAT I CALL
HEGEMONIC SPORTS.
IN OTHER WORDS, THIS IS A BOOK
ABOUT COUCH POTATOES.
I'M NOT INTERESTED IN THOUSAND
OF SPORTS THAT ARE PLAYED.
WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN ARE
THOSE VERY FEW THAT ARE
FOLLOWED WHERE PEOPLE WHO HAVE
NEVER PLAYED AMERICAN FOOTBALL
ARE CRAZY ABOUT THIS GAME OR
BASICALLY WHICH MOVES SOCIETIES
WHERE YOU KNOW THIS IS WATER
COOLER TALK AND SO ON AND SO
FORTH.
IN ORDER TO SHOW THIS HEGEMONIC
DIMENSION, UH, HAVE A LOT OF
STUFF FOR INSTANCE OF HOW THESE
SPORTS PLAY A ROLE IN
LITERATURE AND HOW BASEBALL,
FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, BASEBALL
BY THE WAY IS MUCH MORE SO...
OOPS, SO IMPORTANT FOR
LITERATURE IN... IN AMERICAN
LITERATURE AND CONVERSELY BY
THE WAY CRICKET AND RUGBY AND
UH, FOOTBALL OR SOCCER OF
COURSE AS WE CALL IT IN THE
UNITED STATES IS VERY IMPORTANT
IN THE LITERATURFOR INSTANCE,
ENGLAND AND UHM, OBVIOUSLY
SOCCER AND LITERATURE OF
EUROPE.

Andrei Markovits says UHM, IN
ORDER FOR IT TO BECOME THIS
HEGEMONIC SPORT, CULTURE, IT
HAS TO ACTUALLY DRIFT INTO THE
WORKING CLASS AND IT IS THE
WORKING CLASS A LA MODERN
INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES THAT ALSO
SOCIAL DEMOCRACY AND SO ON.

Andrei Markovits says THAT IN
FACT, PROPELS THIS INTO SORT OF
GENERAL CULTURE, OKAY.
AND WITH THAT YOU HAVE OF
COURSE THE NEW DEVELOPMENT
CALLED PROFESSIONALIZATION.
UH, IN OTHER WORDS SUDDENLY YOU
HAVE THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE
PLAYING IT NOT BECAUSE IT IS
UHM, KIND OF AVOCATION AND IT'S
FUN AND IT'S NICE BUT IN FACT,
BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO WIN.
FOR INSTANCE, BASEBALL IT'S
FASCINATING TO WATCH THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PITCHER
AND BATTER CHANGES IN THIS
PROCESS.
THAT INITIALLY IN FACT, THE
PITCHER WAS THERE TO SERVE THE
BATTER.
IN OTHER WORDS TO BE KIND TO
HIM.
ONCE WINNING BECOMES IMPORTANT
YOU HAVE WHAT YOU HAVE NOW.
BEAN BALLS, SPIT BALLS, IN
OTHER WORDS, THE WHOLE THING
ABOUT DECEPTION, BETTING, ALL
THESE THINGS BECAUSE IT BECOMES
OF COURSE COMMODIFIED AND HERE
CLASS PLAYS A CRUCIAL ROLE.
IN ALL THESE INSTANCES YOU HAVE
THE FOLLOWING PHENOMENON TODAY.
THAT TYPICALLY THESE HEGEMONIC
SPORT CULTURES OF THIS DAY THEY
STILL DISPROPORTIONATELY PLAYED
BY PEOPLE, BY MEN, OF THESE, OF
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS,
OKAY.
UH, THIS HOLDS TRUE FOR THE...

He speaks in a foreign language and continues
AND IT HOLDS TRUE FOR BASEBALL,
BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL AND UH,
ACTUALLY THERE'S QUITE A BIT OF
HOCKEY IN THERE.
IT HOLDS TRUE FOR HOCKEY AS
WELL.
THAT YOU HAVE THESE KIND OF
WORKING CLASS CULTURES UH, AND
THEY BECAME THAT BY CERTAINLY
BY 1920 ACTUALLY EVEN BEFORE
AND BECOME POPULAR BY THIS
PHENOMENON.
MOREOVER, WHAT IS INTERESTING
IN THIS UH, UHM, UH, KIND OF
COMMON LANGUAGE TO ALL OF THESE
WHETHER UNITED IS NOT A
SEPARATE ENTITY AT ALL IS OF
COURSE THE GENDER DIMENSION.
FEW THINGS THAT I CAN THINK OF
HAVE UNTIL RECENTLY BEEN SO
GENDERED AS THIS.
THIS WAS A WORLD... IS A WORLD
OF MEN BY MEN FOR MEN, THE
OWNERS ARE MEN, THE WRITERS ARE
MEN, THE PLAYERS ARE MEN, UHM,
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST GENDERED
THINGS THAT ONE CAN THINK OF.
MOREOVER, IT IS ALSO ONE OF THE
VERY FEW LANGUAGES THAT I KNOW
WHICH IN FACT, IS COMPLETELY
UH, CUTS ACROSS CLASS AMONG
MEN.
I KNOW VERY FEW OTHER THINGS
WHERE A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR
AND A JANITOR OR AN EXECUTIVE
AND A UHM, CABBIE COULD IN FACT
ESTABLISH A COMMON LANGUAGE AND
FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES OR
MAYBE EVEN A COUPLE OF HOURS
HAVE A DISCOURSE WHICH THEY
OTHERWISE WOULD NOT, NAMELY
TALKING ABOUT THE RED SOX IN
BOSTON THE LEAFS HERE OR
WHATEVER WHERE YOU HAVE THIS
KIND OF HIGHLY MALE WORLD.
MALE AND HISTORIZATION IS ALSO
LINKED UHM, IN... THE FIRST TIME
I EVER TAUGHT THIS COURSE I...
IT'S BECOME NOW A REGULAR
COURSE.
IN FACT, UHM, SHE ATTENDED MY
CLASS.
THE FIRST TIME I TAUGHT AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AND IT'S
NOW BECOME A HUGE CLASS UHM, UH,
THE FIRST TIME I TAUGHT THIS
WAS IN 1995 IN GERMANY UHM, FOR
SORT OF THE GERMAN MERIT
SCHOLARS.

He speaks in German and continues
THESE ARE KIND OF THE BEST
GERMAN STUDENTS AND I REMEMBER
WALKING INTO THE ROOM THERE
WERE ABOUT 30, MAYBE 28 YOUNG
STUDENTS ALL OF COURSE BORN IN
THE LATE 70's AND I TOLD THEM
TO WRITE DOWN THEIR NAMES SO I
COULD YOU KNOW 3 BY 5 CARDS OR
WHATEVER AND THEN I SAID COULD
YOU PLEASE WRITE DOWN UH, IF...
THE BEST AS YOU CAN WRITE DOWN
AS MANY MEMBERS OF THE 1954
WORLD CUP TEAM AS YOU CAN.
OKAY, AND OF COURSE THE ROOM
SPLIT INTO TWO.
THE... LITERALLY KIND OF THE
BODY LANGUAGE.
THE WOMAN ALL LOOKED AT ME
EITHER WITH SOME HOSTILITY OR
INCREDULOUSLY OR BASICALLY YOU
KNOW THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A
DERANGED GUY.
UH, AND... AND EVERY SINGLE ONE
OF THE MEN KIND OF STARTED
RACKING THEIR BRAINS AND
STARTED TO WRITE DOWN AND
BASICALLY OF COURSE MEMBERS OF
THE TEAM THAT OF COURSE THEY
NEVER SAW LIVE.
IN THIS SURVEY, I'M DOING THIS
BIG SURVEY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
MICHIGAN ATHLETES, STUDENT
ATHLETES AND ALSO HARVARD
STUDENT ATHLETES I HAVE IN
FACT, A HUGE QUESTION COMPLEX
IN THE BACK ABOUT SPORTS
HISTORY SO I ASKED THEM PLEASE
NAME AS MANY AS YOU CAN OF THE
1950's YANKEES UH, OF THE
1950's MONTREAL CANADIENS UH,
OF THE 60's...
THE BOSTON CELTICS, THE GREEN
BAY PACKERS AND SO ON.
IT'S VERY INTERESTING THAT THE
WOMEN I'VE NOTICED WHEN I
HANDOUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE ALL
THE OTHERS ALSO NOTICE THIS UH,
BECAUSE I ASK THEM TO, THE
WOMEN HAND IN THESE QUESTIONS,
QUESTIONNAIRE USUALLY ABOUT 15
MINUTES EARLIER.
WHY?
BECAUSE THEY DO IN FACT NOT
FILL OUT THE POINT... AND THIS
WHOLE COMPLEX AND I'LL GET BACK
TO WOMEN IN A MINUTE WHEN WE
TALK ABOUT AMERICAN DIFFERENCE.
IT IS INTERESTING THAT OF
COURSE THE GUYS ARE COMPLETELY
OBSESSED WITH THIS AND A COUPLE
OF THEM THE OTHER DAY SAY
PROFESSOR MARK CAN I USE EXTRA
PAGES?
I SAID, FINE.
BASICALLY THIS GUY KIND OF
RATTLED DOWN ALL THE YANKEES OF
THE 50's AND THE CELTICS AND SO
ON.
SO CLEARLY THIS IS A GENDERED,
A TOTALLY GENDERED WORLD.
TWO OTHER COMMONALITIES BEFORE
I CONCLUDE WITH THE AMERICAN
DIFFERENCES.
OBVIOUSLY FOR THOSE IN THE KNOW
INSIDE BASEBALL, SPORTS AND
HEGEMONIC SPORTS CULTURES ARE
CLEARLY AN AESTHETIC
EXPERIENCE.
LOTS OF STUDIES ABOUT THIS AND
IT'S CERTAINLY TRUE.
WATCHING A YOU KNOW, A GRETZKY
PASS, A JOE MONTANA PASS, YOU
KNOW, BECKENBAUER HEADER, THESE
ARE IN FACT, IT BECOMES A
CERTAIN KIND OF AESTHETIC
EXPERIENCE WHICH THOSE IN THE
KNOW CLEARLY APPRECIATE WHICH
MAKES THEM EVEN... IT'S A
CUMULATIVE PROCESS AND THEY
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE BETTER.
UHM, AND THEN CLEARLY THERE'S
ALSO A DIMENSION OF SEXUALITY
AND PHYSICALITY.
UH, WHICH AGAIN BY THE WAY
UNIQUE UH, IN THIS WORLD SO FAR
FOR MEN, NAMELY IT'S THE ONLY
ONE... ONLY REALM WHERE I KNOW
OF WHERE MEN CAN OPENLY BE
PHYSICAL.
YOU KNOW WHEN THE UNIVERSITY OF
MICHIGAN TEAM RUNS IN HAND
HOLDING EVERY TIME, THIS IS...
THEY WOULD NOT DO THIS IN ANY
OTHER CONTEXT OR KISSING OR
TAKING DOWN THEIR JERSEYS,
HUGGING, ALL THESE THINGS WHICH
ARE IN FACT, COMPLETELY PART OF
THE SPORTS WORLD AND NO ONE
WOULD CONSTRUCT IT AS BEING GAY
OR EVEN QUASI-GAY, CLEARLY IT
HAD CREATED A CULTURE WHICH IT
DEEMED OFTEN TIMES PROBABLY
HOMOPHOBIC WHERE THIS
EXPERIENCE IS NOT SEEN IN ANY
WAY UH, UH, KIND OF GAY.
LASTLY, NATIONALISM.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Andrei Markovits. University of Michigan. Offside: America's Sports Culture."

Andrei Markovits continues EVERYWHERE
AGAIN NOT BY CHANCE UH, THIS
BECOMES A MAJOR, MAJOR DRIVING
FORCE.
UHM,
WHETHER IT IS A SURINAME THAT
HAD ANTONE NESTI WHO WON THE
UH, 100 METRE BREASTSTROKE AT
THE BARCELONA OLYMPICS WHICH
THEN LED TO THREE DAY UH,
FESTIVITIES IN THAT COUNTRY OR
YAL ARAD WHO WON THE FIRST
MEDAL FOR THE ISRAELIS OR
WHETHER IT'S THE AMERICANS OR
THE GERMANS OR THE RUSSIANS WHO
UH, BASICALLY CONSTRUCT THEIR
NATIONAL PRIDE BY QUANTITY,
THIS IS A DRIVING FORCE.
I NEED NOT ELABORATE THAT UH,
WHEN SOMEONE IS NOT PLAYING IN
FINAL BASICALLY THE VIEWERSHIP
GOES SOMETIMES AS LOW AS 30 PERCENT.
SO IT'S EVERY TIME N.B.C. OR C.B.S.
IS ABSOLUTE TRAUMA IF AN
AMERICAN IS NOT AT WIMBLEDON OR
UH, AT THE U.S. OPEN BUT THIS
IS NOT UNIQUE TO AMERICA.
WHAT IS UNIQUE TO THE UNITED
STATES AS NOW I COME TO THE UH,
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONS IS THAT IT
CONSTRUCTS IN THE HEGEMONIC
SPORTS, NOT IN TRACK AND FIELD
IT IS IN FACT, THESE ARE HIGHLY
NATIONAL SPORTS AND NOT
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS.
IN OTHER WORDS THE UNITED
STATES CREATED A SPORTS CULTURE
WHICH IS COMPLETELY CONTINENTAL
NOT INTERCONTINENTAL.
SO MUCH SO THAT NO ONE REALLY
CARES THAT THE UNITED STATES
CAME IN SIXTH OR SEVENTH IN THE
WORLD BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
A YEAR AGO IN INDIANAPOLIS.
IT WAS NOT EVEN ON THE RADAR
SCREEN BECAUSE WHAT MATTERS
REALLY IS IN FACT, WHO WINS THE
N.B.A. TITLE.
THIS OF COURSE IS NORTH
AMERICAN BECAUSE I STILL THINK
THAT UHM, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR
THE CANADIANS TO UH, TO WIN
INTERNATIONALLY ESPECIALLY OF
COURSE IN THE OLYMPICS AND IN
THIS CASE BEING THE UNITED
STATES BUT IT'S STILL THE MOST
IMPORTANT UH, SORT OF SIGNIFY
OF HOCKEY IS SORT OF WHO WINS
UH, THE STANLEY CUP.
WHAT ARE THE AMERICAN
DIFFERENCES?
THE DIFFERENCES ARE A COUPLE.
FIRST, IT IS IN FACT, BY IT
BEING THE SORT OF... THE MOST
ORIGINALLY BOURGEOUS SOCIETY IT
CREATED THESE SPORTS ESPECIALLY
BASEBALL EARLIER THAN ANYONE
ELSE IN A COMMODIFIED FORM.
SO THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL TEAM
IN THE WORLD ARE THE CINCINNATI
RED STOCKINGS.
THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE
IN THE WORLD IS THE NATIONAL
LEAGUE EIGHTEEN SEVENTY-SIX, 12 YEARS OLDER
THAN THE TWO LEAGUES OF THE
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION IN
ENGLAND.
UHM, SO BY CREATING THIS AGAIN
EARLY EXISTENCE YOU KIND OF
CROWD OUT LATECOMERS, OKAY, SO
BASEBALL BECOMES THIS AMERICAN
LANGUAGE ALREADY BY THE
ANTEBELLUM BUT CERTAINLY AFTER
THE CIVIL WAR, IT REALLY
BECOMES PART OF THE AMERICAN
NATIONAL DISCOURSE AND BY THE
WAY IN CLEAR OPPOSITION TO
ENGLISH CRICKET, THERE'S A
CONTEST THERE AND BASEBALL WINS
IT AND IT WINS IT BECAUSE IT IS
IN FACT A CONSTRUCTED SELF AS
AMERICAN INCLUDING THE MYTH
THAT IT WAS INVENTED BY
DOUBLEDAY AND SO ON AND SO
FORTH RATHER THAT IT BEING KIND
OF AN ALTERED AND CODIFIED GAME
THAT IS PLAYED BY ENGLISH GIRLS
CALLED ROUNDERS, OKAY.
SO BUT...
THE EARLY DIMENSION HERE IS
IMPORTANT, UH, OF THE AMERICAN
EXCEPTION.
THE NEXT AMERICAN EXCEPTION IS
OF COURSE THE ROLE OF HARVARD
AND THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES
AND UNIVERSITIES SPORTS WHICH
IS THE EXCEPTION WITHIN THE
EXCEPTION.
NO OTHER COUNTRY DO YOU HAVE
COLLEGE SPORTS BECOME SUCH A
MAJOR PART OF THIS SPORTS SPACE
AS IN THE UNITED STATES AND I'M
NOT GONNA GO INTO GREAT DETAIL
UH, INTO WHAT IT IS ABOUT
HARVARD THAT ALTERS BASICALLY SOCCER
AND MAKES IT ACTUALLY PLAY
LATER WHAT BECOMES FOOTBALL.
SUFFICE TO SAY THAT WHAT IS
IMPORTANT HERE IS THE ROLE OF
MODERNITY, THAT HARVARD
STUDENTS ARGUE THIS BETWEEN
EIGHTEEN SEVENTY-ONE AND EIGHTEEN SEVENTY-FOUR
WHEN THEY'RE
PLAYING MCGILL IN A GAME OF
RUGBY THEY BASICALLY ARE
ARGUING THAT A RUNNING GAME IS
IN FACT, MORE SCIENTIFIC THAN
THE KICKING GAME WHY?
BECAUSE IT IS IN FACT IT IS
MUCH MORE MEASURABLE WHICH IS
IN FACT, IS TRUE SORT OF IT'S
TAILORIZED AND SECOND WHICH IS
ALSO IMPORTANT HERE IS WHO DO
YOU LOOK UP TO?
I HAD A STUDENT WHO WROTE HIS
SENIOR THESIS ON THIS BECAUSE I
KNEW ALL OF THIS ABOUT HARVARD
AND OTHERS DID, TOO BUT I
WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS IT?
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED AND IT'S
QUITE CLEAR THAT THE TWO THINGS
THAT DRIVES HARVARD STUDENTS TO
DO THIS IS A - THAT THEY ARE
INTO THIS SCIENTIFIC DISCOURSE
AND SECONDLY EMULATING OXFORD
AND CAMBRIDGE.
YOU HAVE THIS WONDERFUL SORT OF
PECKING ORDER.
HE ALSO DID RESEARCH AT
PRINCETON AND YALE.
THEY'RE OBSESSING ABOUT
HARVARD, HARVARD DOESN'T EVEN
MENTION PRINCETON OR YALE.
THEY'RE OBSESSING ABOUT OXFORD
AND CAMBRIDGE.
SO YOU KIND OF SEE THESE
INTERESTING UH, UHM, UH, SORT OF
DIMENSIONS AND OBVIOUSLY BY
CREATING THIS COLLEGIATE WORLD
UH, IT SPREADS THEN TO YALE AND
TO THE OTHER COLLEGES AND
ALREADY BY THE EIGHTEEN EIGHTIES IT
BECOMES PART OF AMERICAN
MIDDLECLASS DISCOURSE AS
OPPOSED TO BASEBALL WHICH IS
WORKING CLASS.
THE N.F.L. DOESN'T REALLY BECOME
IMPORTANT UNTIL THE 50's.
IN FACT, 1958 WHEN IT SURPASSES
BASEBALL BY VIRTUE OF THIS NEW
ARRIVAL NAMELY TELEVISION,
OKAY, UHM, SO YOU HAVE... UNITED
STATES ACTUALLY HAS THREE...
IT'S THE ONLY ONE THAT ACTUALLY
HAS THREE AND A HALF, IN THE
BOOK I CALL IT THREE AND A HALF
HEGEMONIC SPORTS CULTURES.
MOST OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE ONE
MAXIMUM, TWO.
BY THE WAY, I KNEW THAT THERE
WAS SOMETHING UH, KIND OF
INTERESTING ABOUT THIS BOOK
WHEN I GOT THIS LETTER FROM
SOMEONE IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY
LEAGUE OFFICE "DEAR PROFESSOR
MARKOVITS, UH, HOW DARE YOU
CALL HOCKEY HALF A SPORT."
AND YOU KNOW IT'S A... AND I
SAID I WROTE BACK AND I SAID
IT'S NOT A HALF A SPORT.
IF YOU READ THE BOOK I LOVE
HOCKEY.
IT'S A GREAT A SPORT AS ALL OF
THEM.
THE REASON I CALL IT THE THREE
AND A HALF IS BECAUSE IN THE
UNITED STATES IT IS NOT
HEGEMONIC ACROSS THE BOARD.
TRUST YOU ME THAT IN TOWN THAT
LIVE NEAR NOW, HOCKEY TOWN
THE RED WINGS ARE HEGEMONIC AS
CAN BE.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Andrei Markovits. University of Michigan. Offside: America's Sports Culture."

Andrei Markovits says IN FACT, I
DID A LITTLE RESEARCH EVEN WHEN
THE RED WINGS WERE IN THE
CELLAR AND THE BAD BOYS PISTONS
WON TWO NBA BACK TO BACK
CHAMPIONSHIPS...
THE LOCAL
NEWS EVERY SINGLE TIME WOULD
START THE SPORTS NEWS... WOULD
ALWAYS START WITH THE RED
WINGS, SO CLEARLY THE RED WINGS
IN HOCKEY TOWN ARE HEGEMONIC
BUT IT IS STILL NOT AS
COMPLETELY... IT'S THE
POCKETED, NEW YORK, CHICAGO,
AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.
MAYBE THAT WILL CHANGE.
UH, THE LAST THING THAT FILLS
OUT THE AMERICAN SPORTS SPACE
IS OF COURSE BASKETBALL AND
BASKETBALL IS UH, IMPORTANT
BECAUSE IN FACT, ALL OF THESE
ARE SEASONAL WHICH AGAIN CROWDS
OUT THE SPACE.
BASEBALL IN THE SUMMER.
FOOTBALL IN THE FALL,
BASKETBALL IN THE WINTER.
IT'S AN INDOOR SPORT.
IT IS EASILY TRANSFERABLE.
IT BECOMES THE SPORT OF... OF
THE IMMIGRANTS AND UNLIKE
SOCCER IT DEFINES ITSELF AS
AMERICAN FROM THE GET-GO SO THE
BUFFALO GERMANS, EVEN THOUGH
THEY CALL THEMSELVES GERMANS
ARE REALLY MUCH MORE AMERICAN.
WHEREAS ALL THESE SOCCER TEAMS,
THE HYPHENATION, IT'S A
QUESTION OF WHICH ONE YOU
WEIGHT MORE?
IS THE AMERICAN MORE OR ONE
THAT COMES BEFORE THE HYPHEN?
AND THIS I THINK IS IMPORTANT
TO SEE WHY SOCCER DIDN'T MAKE
IT.
IT DOESN'T MAKE IT BECAUSE IT
ARRIVES TOO LATE, ALREADY BY
1900 YOU ALREADY HAVE THREE
ESTABLISHED SPORTS.
UHM, WITH HOCKEY BEING A VERY
IMPORTANT ONE AT CERTAIN KEY
AREAS, THE UPPER MIDWEST AND
NEW ENGLAND.
UH, SECONDLY, IT IS AS I SAY IN
THE BOOK SOCCER IS CATHOLIC.
THE AMERICAN SPORTS ARE
PROTESTANT.
WHAT I MEAN BY THIS IS THAT
SOCCER IS OF COURSE PART OF ONE
MAJOR FEDERATION, THE FIFA...
FEDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
FOUNDED IN PARIS IN 1903 NOW IN
ZURICH WHICH HAS VERY STRICT
RULES LEST... LEST UH, WHAT
HAPPENS TO THE RUGBY SPORTS
WHICH ARE ALSO FOOTBALL SPORTS
THAT REALLY SPLIT OFF LIKE THE
ORTHODOX CHURCHES OR THE
PROTESNT CHURCHES AND BECOME
YOU KNOW GAELIC FOOTBALL AND
AUSSIE FOOTBALL AND SO ON AND
SO FORTH.
AND YOU KNOW CANADIAN FOOTBALL
AND AMERICAN FOOTBALL SOCCER
ACTUALLY REMAINED THE CHURCH
AND IF YOU IN FACT,
TRANSGRESSED YOU WERE ACTUALLY
EXCOMMUNICATED AS IN FACT
HAPPENED AT A VERY CRITICAL
JUNCTURE IN THE UNITED STATES
WHEN SOCCER COULD'VE
POTENTIALLY MADE IT NAMELY IN
THE 20's AND EARLY 30's, OKAY,
UHM... TO ROUND THIS OUT, UH,
THE LAST SORT OF EXCEPTIONALISM
WITHIN THE EXCEPTIONALISM IS OF
COURSE THE YOU KNOW THE MARKET
DOMINANCE IN THE UNITED STATES
WHICH DOES NOT EXIST IN OTHER
COUNTRIES.
THE SAME DEGREE THAT YOU CAN
CREATE YOUR OWN LEAGUES UH,
THAT UH, THE... MARKET'S MATTER
THE MOST THAT YOU CAN MOVE
TEAMS FROM CITY TO CITY AGAIN,
UNTHINKABLE IN MUCH MORE STAYTIS
SOCIETIES.
AND LASTLY, A NEW
EXCEPTIONALISM NAMELY WOMEN.
AND WHERE THE UNITED STATES, IN
FACT, ALTHOUGH IT CAME IN THIRD
NOW IS INDEED A FORCE, NAMELY
IN WOMEN'S SOCCER, WHY IS THIS
SUCH AN INTERESTING PHENOMENON?
THE REASON I ARGUE IS BECAUSE
IT'S PRECISELY BECAUSE THE
WOMEN ENTERED A SPACE WHICH IN
FACT WAS NOT OCCUPIED BY MEN.
AND THAT'S WHY IT IS NOT BY
CHANCE THAT IT IS THE... THE
TEAMS THAT ARE NOT PARTICULARLY
GOOD IN SOCCER ON THE MALE
SIDE.
NORWAY, SWEDEN, I MEAN, THEY'RE
OKAY BUT NORWAY, SWEDEN, THE
UNITED STATES AND CHINA THAT
ARE IN FACT, POWERS IN UH, THE
WOMEN'S GAME.
SO WOMEN BY VIRTUE OF TITLE
NINE ENTER MASSIVELY ON THE
ACTIVITY SIDE BUT NOT ON THE
UH, ON THE COUCH POTATO SIDE
AND JUST TO KIND OF CONCLUDE,
UHM, THE QUESTION IS WILL WE...
I'M ALWAYS ASKED WILL IT REMAIN
SO?
I MEAN, IS THERE SOMETHING
INHERENT IN THIS?
AND THE ANSWER IS I HAVE NO
IDEA.
CLEARLY A WORLD THAT WAS
CREATED BETWEEN EIGHTEEN SIXTY AND 1920
HAS BEEN... HAS PROVEN TO BE
IMMENSELY STICKY AND RESILIENT.
IT IS OBVIOUSLY KIND OF A
CULTURE THAT REPRODUCES ITSELF
AND IS IN FACT, STANDING.
I MEAN, UH, I ALWAYS THOUGHT
THESE DEBATES IN THE UNITED
STATES SAID THAT BASEBALL WILL
DISAPPEAR OF COURSE IT'S
NONSENSE.
IT'S OBVIOUS THEY ARE ABATED IN
RELATION TO FOOTBALL BUT
CLEARLY HAVE GOOD PLAYOFFS AND
LOOK AT AGAIN THE NUMBERS, IT'S
UH, OBVIOUSLY A MAJOR
DISCUSSION AND NOT ONLY IN
BOSTON AND NEW YORK AND THE
FOUR CITIES THAT IT'S BEEN
PLAYED AT AND UH, UH, YOU KNOW,
WHERE WILL THIS GO?
OR WHAT WILL... OBVIOUSLY THE
ANSWER TO THIS ON SOME LEVEL
UHM, YOU KNOW, WHO KNOWS?
MAYBE IN 100 YEARS WE'LL ALL BE
PLAYING QUIDDITCH OR SOMETHING,
OKAY?
I HAVE NO IDEA BUT I THINK ONLY
A NEW CARRIER OR A NEW ENTRANT
INTO THE SPORTS SPACE MIGHT IN
FACT OR KIND OF A NEW CARRIER,
MIGHT IN FACT CHANGE THAT AND
HERE THIS IS WHY I'M DOING THIS
BIG RESEARCH ON WOMEN AND WOMEN
UH, SPORTSCASTERS IN THE UNITED
STATES.
INTERVIEWING ABOUT 30 OF THEM.

A blue caption appears on the screen with a white light bulb. It reads, "Andrei Markovits. University of Michigan. Offside: America's Sports Culture."

Andrei Markovits says BECAUSE
WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN IS THAT
THESE WOMEN WHO TALK SPORTS
LIKE MEN DO, WHAT DO THEY... DO
THEY STILL... IS IT REALLY PART
OF THEIR DAILY LANGUAGE?
IN OTHER
WORDS CAN THEY SCHMOOZE SPORTS
THE WAY MEN CAN DO
INDEFINITELY?
OKAY, IN FACT, ABSOLUTELY NO
DIMINISHING IN RETURN.
I MEAN, YOU KNOW IT'S ONE OF
THE GREATEST THINGS.
YOU CAN GO ON AND ON ABOUT
COMPARING LEMIEUX TO GRETZKY TO
HOW THEY RELATE TO... WHATEVER
THE PARTICULAR SUBLANGUAGE THIS
IS AND UHM, I THINK JUST TO
CONCLUDE THE ANSWER TO THIS UH,
IS ULTIMATELY HOW WOMEN IN FACT
CONSTRUCT UH, OTHER LANGUAGES
AND ABOVE ALL I THINK HOW THEY
CREATE INTIMACY.
I'M STARTING TO REALLY THINK
THAT BECAUSE FOR MEN AS I'VE
SAID BEFORE THIS IS IN FACT,
ONE OF THE VERY FEW UH, UH,
VENUES OF INTIMACY.
OKAY, THAT'S IT.

[Audience applause]

Andrei Markovits says THANK YOU.

Watch: Andrei Markovits on American Sports Culture