Five Years of PopMatters


by PopMatters Staff

1 December 2004


Turn on any sports radio program today and you may think you’ve found just another of the hundreds of conservative broadcasts that populate the airwaves. In just five minutes, you’ll hear that all athletes are ingrates, the sporting industry is corrupt beyond repair, and everything was so much better back in the “good old days”, before MTV and money ruined everything. Such knee jerk vitriol abounds among fans and media, and rare is the sports writer, show host, or commentator that actually takes the time to bring thoughtful analysis to the much maligned sporting world.

This is where PopMatters steps in. Recognizing that it’s never “just a game”, PopMatters Sports delves deeper than the glossy magazines and highlight reels of your typical sports coverage. We understand that sports are particular products of the societies that produce and consume them, and, as such, sports have much to tell us about the world in which we live. Beyond the box scores, beyond the highlights, beyond the “Boo-Ya!“s, PopMatters thinks about sports, and allows you to do the same.

— Tobias Peterson, Sports Editor

PopMatters Editors’ Picks

When Fashion Throws Back
Feature by Michael Calderone
This is a prime example of the kind of writing our Sports section has to offer. Even those who don’t follow sports are gripped by this piece’s story; the insanity, the insight, the research.

The “I” in Team
Feature by Tobias Peterson
Peterson explores the paradox of the star athlete — simultaneously upheld and reviled — and asks what role fans and media play in the athlete’s public persona? This pieces displays the kind of balance and critical prowess particular to PopMatters.

That’s Entertainment
Feature by Michael Weinreb
Athletes as entertainers vs. personalities. Especially noteworthy is the look at Manhattanville College’s Toni Smith’s back-turning at the playing of the National Anthem. This is a fine example of a writer using current events to make a larger statement.

Why Does a 14-Year-Old Matter?
Feature by David Leonard
Leonard makes important points about why the NBA works to prevent youth from coming up, while youth is praised in other sports (esp. the “white” sports of golf and tennis).

Rush to Judgement: America’s Mishandling of the Donovan McNabb-Rush Limbaugh Controversy
Feature by Marc L. Hill
A sharply incisive piece skewering the media’s response to a race and sports controversy, Hill looks beyond the invective surrounding the event to see how media handling and opportunism effectively work to close down public discourse on race and sports in America.


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