Sports And American Culture Essay

Sports And American Culture Essay-32
“Me and my four or five friends took academics very seriously,” says 2010 Harvard graduate J. However, beyond the intricately-wrought gates of Harvard and other such American universities, all too many American students are less concerned than they should be with academics. At a school like Harvard, such a statement is not uncommon.In the nerd-athlete clashes, the athletes usually win in the court of public opinion.

“Me and my four or five friends took academics very seriously,” says 2010 Harvard graduate J. However, beyond the intricately-wrought gates of Harvard and other such American universities, all too many American students are less concerned than they should be with academics. At a school like Harvard, such a statement is not uncommon.In the nerd-athlete clashes, the athletes usually win in the court of public opinion.

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Over the seventeen days of the 2012 summer Olympics, NBC drew a daily average of 31 million American viewers. Children grow up to admire the hoop-swishing basketball players and the homerun-hitting baseball players that they see on TV, while they complain about school. Combined, pop culture and televised sports form a lethal cocktail.

The result is a belief in the mutual exclusivity of athletics and academics, and, more worrisome, a clear tendency to prioritize athletics.

The two groups are almost always distinct: nerdy athletes and athletic nerds are virtually nonexistent.

Moreover, on shows in which one character fits the nerd paradigm and another fits the athlete paradigm, the two characters sometimes blatantly clash.

This increase from 2010 to 2012 is no outlier; athletic participation has increased for twenty-two consecutive years. walked away with more gold medals than any other country.

While sports participation has risen, American educational rankings in comparison to other countries across the world have troublingly continued to plummet. Yet Americans accept not first but 31st in global math education, 23rd in global science education, and 14th in reading when compared to these global competitors.Few Americans would openly subscribe to such an over-simplification.However, a closer look at American culture reveals a tug-of-war between sports and school, in which school is losing sorely.Brick Heck, the über-nerdy middle school student who reads novels with which Albert Einstein would have struggled, adds immeasurably to the comedy in The Middle.And who can resist laughing at The Office’s Dwight K. In addition to nerds, athletes are a mainstay of popular TV shows.Axl can be a loving big brother, while Jim is a doting boyfriend and charismatic salesman, when he actually works. They are often so ridiculous that they cannot possibly be taken seriously.Instead, they become the laughing stocks of their respective shows, the best source of comic relief.But, that said, we don’t actually know that the values you learn [in sports] don’t ultimately help with being successful in life.” In an interview with the HPR, New York middle school teacher and softball and bowling coach Marni Torgersen listed the skills learned on sports teams that, in her experience, translate into success in the classroom: leadership, resilience, self-discipline, patience, persistence, time management, and self-esteem.Sports participation is an incredible opportunity, as long as it is balanced with concern for academics.A Report Card to Keep off the Fridge In the 2010-2011 school year, 7.6 million American high school students played sports.For the 2011-2012 school year, almost 4.5 million boys and about 3.2 million girls—a total of roughly 7.7 million—participated on high school sports teams.

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