Saturday, September 25, 2010

A few of Allen Guttman's Characteristics of Modern Sport

I find Guttman's characteristics of modern sport very interesting. Because although some may seem pretty obvious, I have never quite thought of them or seen them actually written and explained. His first characteristic, Secularism is one of the most obvious in my opinion. Sport has lost a lot of it's religious origin. One example I can think of here are the female athletes such as Amanda Beard, Anna Kournikova posing for risque pictures for magazines like Playboy. Female athletes are more of a sex or media icon. Two things which definitely have not come from a religious background. One reason someone could argue secularism in sport may seem appropriate is that there is a wide variety of religions in the world now and even those with not many religious beliefs, therefore it is good that everyone can feel comfortable and able to participate in the sport.The second characteristic of equality is very important. Everyone has an equal opportunity to play sports in their community from as young of an age of about 4, such as tee-ball, and soccer. They are relatively inexpensive and open to everyone. This equal opportunity continues into middle school when students are given a chance to participate in athletics and represent their school. Specialization of Roles, Guttman's third characteristic. Specialization of roles is his fourth characteristic specialization is a positive aspect in that each athlete is given a very important role. Each athlete has different talents and this has led to for successful teams once all roles are filled with the optimal talent. However, one could view specialization as negative if they consider the situation where a baseball team already has enough pitchers, or catchers, or if a football team already has plenty of good quarterbacks, then if that was your specialization you would not have a spot on one of those teams, because you would not be needed. The last characteristic that I am going to mention because it is one of my personal favorite characteristics of modern sport is Bureaucratization. One reason I think it is neat is because it has provided jobs for people like me! Like UT Kinesiology, Physical Culture & Sports major. In the days of ancient Greece sports, there were no need for sports managers, sports attorneys,  NCAA governing officials, sports media photographers, etc. Bureaucratic Organization has established the NCAA, and a whole different, sophisticated level of sport. One other part of Mrs. Todd's lecture I enjoyed learning about was the Greek word for honor arete, and that's where we get our modern day sportsmanship. 

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