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The SportsThink Weekly Review #90
July 28, 2023
Welcome new readers! The SportsThink Weekly Review highlights my favorite sport-related reading of the week. Most articles are recently published, but some are not; the only rule is that I’ve read them within the past week. Some are relevant to my day job as a professor teaching courses on the business, history, and philosophy of sports. Others are just plain interesting, relevant to my lifelong obsession with the games we play. I also occasionally share articles and assorted musings on Twitter. The newsletter is free, but comes with two requests. 1. I’m always open to suggestions, so send me the good stuff that you read! 2. If you enjoy the newsletter, please share it with other folks who might enjoy it as well. Finally, I try to focus on non-paywalled writing, but if you find yourself unable to access anything, just hit reply to the email and I’ll do my best to get you a copy. Thanks for reading!
Howdy everyone, happy Friday. Hope that you are somewhere other than Texas, where it is Very Hot. Another busy week for me: sick kids, two Ph.D. defenses (congrats Doctors Murtha and Nelson!), teaching, and so forth. Once again, not much commentary, but a few things worth reading. Hope you enjoy.
The Women’s World Cup is off to a very entertaining start, setting viewership and sponsorship records left and right. Some traditional powers (Canada, the US, Australia) are looking less-than-invinceable, making for a better competition overall (the US is still winning it all!) Several teams are making their debuts, including the Philippines, who upset co-hosts New Zealand earlier this week. What’s novel about the Philippine team is that only one of their players is truly native, with the overwhelmingly majority of the team hailing from the US, eligible via their family lineage. Foreign born players are not that unusual in international sport. I once harbored a fantasy of leading the charge for the Turkish national snowboard team. The scale of the the foreign born players on this roster is a bit unusual though and Bushnell tells their story well, not just introducing us to the athletes, but also digging into the systematic effort over the past decade+ to develop a competitive team for a nation that has never been particularly invested (or even interested) in women’s soccer.
This is a fun story. On the annual Snoopy Senior Hockey tournament, where amateur teams with names like the California Antiques and Seattle Seniles compete for sporting glory. (and yes, Snoopy as in the comic-strip dog, as the tournament was founded by the late Charles Schultz). The athletes range from 40-90 and, for some reason, think it is a good idea to play ice hockey. Maybe it’s because I just turned 40 and am feeling a wee bit old, but I really enjoyed this. Great pictures as well.
I don’t really keep up with professional wrestling, but it somehow remains the most honest sport out there. A really nice essay from Theisen, ostensibly about a trip to watch the aging Japanese star Kota Ibushi, but there are layers here, as with any good wrestling match. (And yes, that’s two articles about aging athletes, so maybe I’m working through something over here.)
As always, thanks for reading. Please share the newsletter with friends and family, and share good content with me.
See you next week,