Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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TV got game? The NBA on NBC and other b-ball tunes

June marks the end of a long season for professional basketball in the US—the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoff finals cap the end of a season that begins in October. American television broadcasts professional basketball games just as it does other major sports, and seeks to draw an audience for sports telecasts by dramatizing broadcasted games. To help draw audiences, many networks use dramatic theme music for the games.

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Wimbledon, Shakespeare, and strawberries

By Daniel Parker
It’s time to dust off your racket and wrestle the tennis balls from your dog’s mouth. Wimbledon 2013 is upon us! Using Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) as my experienced, disciplined, but approachable coach, I cast a hawk-eye over OSEO’s collection of Shakespeare texts to look for references to tennis.

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Oh, I say! Brits win Wimbledon

By Philip Carter
It’s 1 July 1977: the Jacksons are Number 1 in the UK charts; a pint of beer costs 40 pence, milk per pint is 11p; Elvis has just given what will be his final concert; Virginia Wade becomes the last British player to win the women’s singles tennis championship at Wimbledon. – See more at: https://blog.oup.com/?p=45004&preview=true#sthash.r1cxNYqs.dpuf

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Baseball scoring

What is it about the sounds of baseball that make them musical, and so easily romanticized? In Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball, George Plimpton says that “Baseball has these absolutely unique sounds. The sounds of spring and summer….The sound of the ball against the bat is absolutely extraordinary. I don’t know any American male that doesn’t hear that in the springtime and get called back to some moment in the past.” These sounds are especially vivid in a game that’s often so quiet.

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Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey

15 April 2013 marked the fifth Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, an event which broke baseball’s racial barrier. In each game that is now played on 15 April, all players wear Jackie Robinson’s iconic #42 (also the title of a new film on Robinson). Thirty years ago, historian and ardent baseball fan Jules Tygiel proposed the first scholarly study of integration in baseball, shepherded by esteemed Oxford editor, Sheldon Meyer: Baseball’s Great Experiment.

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A day in the life of a London marathon runner

By Daniel ‘pump those knees’ Parker and Debbie ‘fists of fury’ Sims
Pull on your lycra, tie up your shoelaces, pin your number on your vest, and join us as we run the Virgin London Marathon in blog form. While police and security have been stepping up after Boston, we have been trawling Oxford University Press’s online resources in order to bring you 26 miles and 375 yards of marathon goodness. Get ready to take your place on the starting line.

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Reflections on Ebbets Field

By Daniel Campo
At the turn of the 20th century, the baseball team in Brooklyn was known as the Superbas and they played ball at Washington Park, between First and Third streets along Third Avenue near the Gowanus Canal. While the park was convenient for its patrons, located in a densely developed part of the borough and connected to trolley lines on 3rd and 5th avenues, fans and players frequently complained about the awful odors emanating from the canal and nearby industrial works.

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Why is baseball exempt from antitrust law?

By Stuart Banner
As the baseball season opens and fans wonder how their favorite teams and players will do this year, a certain sort of fan will also wonder about a perennial question. Why is baseball the only sport exempt from antitrust law? The answer cannot be found in the text of the antitrust statutes, which do not distinguish between baseball and other forms of enterprise.

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Five things you might not know about Bobby Moore

By Daniel Parker
From the iconic image of Bobby Moore holding the World Cup trophy aloft to the famous embrace between him and Pele during the 1970 World Cup, from his loyalty to West Ham United Football Club to his brave struggle against bowel cancer in his later years, Bobby Moore represents a significant chapter in the history of world football. But what about the man behind the bronze? Here are five things you might not have known about the man known as Mooro:

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Why football cannot last

By Anthony Scioli, Ph.D.
“Just look at the gladiators… and consider the blows they endure! Consider how they who have been well-disciplined prefer to accept a blow than ignominiously avoid it! How often it is made clear that they consider nothing other than the satisfaction of their [coach] or the [fans]! Even when they are covered with wounds they send a messenger to their [coach] to inquire his will.

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Reveries of a solitary fell runner

By Matthew Flinders
New Year is – or so I am told – a time to reflect upon the past and to consider the future. Put slightly differently, it is a time to think. Is it possible, however, that we may have lost – both individually and collectively – our capacity to think in a manner that reaches beyond those day-to-day tasks that command our attention?

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Football, festivity, and music

Sports fans eagerly anticipate television broadcasts of their favorite sports, whether it is baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, boxing, golf, auto racing, or any of the other events aired on the tube. In the USA, the biggest television sports event is undoubtedly (American) professional football: the National Football League. In 2011, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the highest-rated program on American TV.

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American football on TV and the music of the night

Monday Night Football has been a staple of American television for over forty years. The first Monday night broadcast aired on the ABC network on 21 September 1970, with a game between the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns. Ever since, Monday Night Football (MNF) broadcasts have rarely been topped in the Nielsen ratings. After a storied run on ABC, MNF moved to the popular sports cable network, ESPN, in 2006.

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What would the ancient Greeks make of London 2012?

By Nigel Spivey
Overheard somewhere near London’s Green Park tube station, amid a throng of spectators for the 2012 Olympic triathlon: “What would those ancient Greeks make of this?” I had no opportunity there and then to attempt a response, but it still seems worth considering. What indeed? Triathlon, for a start, they should comprehend; an ancient Greek word (meaning ‘triple challenge’), it would seem like some fraction of the ‘Twelve Labours’ (dodekathlon) undertaken by Herakles, and the winner duly heroized.

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Short answers to snappy questions about sports doping

Largely because of the furor about the Chinese swimmer, Ye Shewin, I have spent a lot of time in TV and radio studios recently. My book, Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat is really about the science of doping now and what could happen in the future. But of course I get asked a lot of more general questions as well. I thought I would indicate the most common queries and my thoughts here:

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An Olympic roundup of blog posts

It’s been a long, hard road to London 2012 and while the closing ceremony brings an end to the sporting events and spectacle, we all know it’s not truly the end. The Paralympics begin in a few weeks. There will continue to be reports, analysis, and even a few more blog posts from us. Let’s take a look back on Olympic news, analysis, context, and history from the past few months. And we’ll see you in Rio de Janeiro in 2016!

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