19 June 2007

Welcome to the Terrordome

I have to do another book plug this week (I can't believe I've read two whole books in the past seven days; what's happening to me?), this time for "Welcome to the Terrordome" by Dave Zirin. Zirin writes about politics, race, resistance, activism and other subjects in sports, so when I learned about him I couldn't get my hands on his material fast enough. His prose isn't otherwordly, but he has an pleasant enthusiasm and a reasoned, methodical approach to polemic. It's a great tribute to how sports are significant to society, not in the outcome of the events themselves, but how they reflect us in our unguarded moments.

There are any number of things I could pull out to talk about, but I'll settle for one that highlights this point. It's a national travesty that proto-fascist gasbag Rush Limbaugh can pollute the public airwaves while seeing only modest resistance, except in one case. Limbaugh, like any good 'Murican male, fashions himself an armchair quarterback, and several years ago was hired as a commentator for ESPN. Being unable to contain his political hobbyhorse for long, Limbaugh suggested that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated by the media because if its "social concern" to see a black quarterback succeed. Suddenly, the public was outraged, not because Limbaugh had injected politics into sports, but because he thrust his politics into a realm which everyone understood and saw them to be ridiculous.

Zirin writes a weekly column which you can find on his website edgeofsports.com