Sports... generally

zodiac zodiac at interlog.com
Sat May 18 11:08:49 MDT 1996


Since I just revealed the arcane workings of the greatest game in the
world, hockey... I'd like to add a few more ramblings about something else
sports related... "race."

I recently saw an HBO movie on the history of Jackie Robinson... the first
black man to play baseball in the major leagues in 1947. (Back then, the
Land of the Free featured a special "black league" and kept the major
leagues all-white.)

It focused on Branch Rickey's move to recruit black players for the
Brooklyn Dodgers (they are now the LA Dodgers). But the main dramatic
conflict was the choice between choosing Jackie Robinson or Satchel Page.

Satchel Page was probably one of the greatest pitcher EVER to play
baseball then. But, being black, he couldn't play in the major league of
America's Game. But Satchel wasn't chosen because Robinson was far more
"palatable." He was a war vet, good grades, that kind of shit. Satchel was
his own man, partied, drank, spoke his mind, etc. The whites wouldn't
approve.

Watching all this, I remembered, when younger, the endless schoolyard
"theorizing" that blacks were "physically superior" to whites, that is
what made them better atheletes, today disproportionately represented in
pro sports, etc. (The extension of this was that whites were mentally
superior, and thus it was justified to let whites rule society, and let
all the blacks be the workers, etc. Which brings us back to Ernst
Zundel... see, these posts are all tied together!)

When you are young, and you live inside an ideologically rootless atomized
society, you are susceptible to the racialist theories that continually
percolate as a by-product of an entirely individualist society. "Look at
all the black atheletes," they say. "Maybe there _are_ these genetic
differences..." And then it was not too far from starting to wonder why
the rich were usually white... this, too, must have some genetic basis.

Many sports writers dance around the "race" issue -- until they get drunk.
Like that idiot US TV sports commentator who got drunk and said something
like the reason blacks were better football players was because they were
"bred" that way by white plantation owners!

This level of "common sense education" is rampant in sports "thinkers."

However...

Anyone recall baseball statistical writer/guru Bill James? This apolitical
Kansas baseball-statistic freak analyzed numbers on players going back to
the 1800s.

He finally came to a controversial conclusion in the 1980s. Sociologists,
of course, wouldn't find it very shocking, but sports groupies did: James
pointed out that before blacks were disportionately represented in pro
sports, another ethnic group had dominated: The Irish. The numbers were
conclusive.

James was then forced to examine briefly the prejudice and economic
horrors the Irish suffered at the hands of the English ruling classes.
Children, in a culture which crushed all hopes, had one venue for heroes
and role models -- sports champs, who always bested the more ruling class
types.

In other words, James was discovering, in his own circuitous way, a
Marxist theory of sports. He'd be horrified to know that.


Ken.


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