Bowled Over

As a reminder, if you choose to answer more than one (or all) of the questions, please make sure at least one of the responses "dives deep" and provides more detail–both content and analysis. The essay should assert arguments (ideas) and support them with evidence from sources (the assigned materials in the course), and should be at least 500 words.

Discussion Content and Questions

Michael Oriard’s Bowled Over: Big-Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era (Introduction and Part I, pp. 1-125)

1. How does Oriard present the idea that football became bound up in understandings of “the American Way”? What specific historical context does he present to support his ideas?
2. Oriard seeks to complicate the more simplistic idea that all football players were conservative “jocks” and understood themselves as antithetical to their radical student peers. Explain Oriard’s position and include one of the stories Oriard uses to illustrate his ideas.
3. How does Oriard show that black college football players were very much part of the broader movement of black athlete protest in the late 1960s? Tell one of Oriard’s stories (Oregon State or Wyoming, for example) to illustrate this point.
4. How does Oriard make sense of Ben Williams’s election to the honorary position of Colonel Rebel? Be sure to explain the broader historical context of the desegregation of SEC football in your essay, and bring in some thoughts on the film for this week, Ghosts of Ole Miss, if you’d like.

Discussions Grading Rubric:
Total Points: 5, broken into 3 components
1. Analysis (2 points): posts assert ideas/arguments, and include analysis and critical thinking
2. Content (2 points): posts include information from the sources to support arguments/ideas
3. Engagement (1 points): posts in response to fellow students engage the ideas presented by others, assert new ideas in creative ways, and demonstrate critical thinking.

Question 1

Football is a significant part of American culture. From early in American lives, football is introduced as the sport that links people to the country. It is perceived as a sport of intense competition, strict habit, and immovable loyalty, characters that are assumed to carry the spirit of the land. Through the media, football is now more than a sport but a part of the American history and culture. Oriard notes that American professional and college football plays an important role in adjusting, re-adjusting, contesting, and expressing the character of being an American. The link is noted through the treatment of football issues by the national government. For instance, phenomena such as the use of steroids in football have quickly turned from a sporting problem to an item worthy of government attention…

Question 2 As football expanded into the commercial space, it took an increasingly political view. The radical student movement of 1930’s was well represented in the sport of football, resulting in a “jocks-versus-pukes” conflict. In Columbia, the football players who were considered to be radical conservatives attacked liberal students who were performing a peaceful boycott of classes to protest the expulsion of a newspaper editor…

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