Posts Tagged ‘David Brooks’

Big Red gets a shout out from David Brooks

February 7, 2010

From Brooks’s column on big-time college sports in the NYT on Friday.

Several years ago, I arrived in Madison, Wis., for a conference. It was Saturday morning, and as my taxi got close to campus, I noticed people dressed in red walking in the same direction. At first it was a trickle, then thousands. It looked like the gathering of a happy Midwestern cult, though, of course, it was the procession to a football game.

The analysis that follows I could not agree with more.

In a segmented society, big-time college sports are one of the few avenues for large-scale communal participation. Mass college sports cross class lines. They induce large numbers of people in a region to stop, at the same time, and share common emotional experiences.

The crowds at big-time college sporting events do not sit passively, the way they do at a movie theater. They roar, suffer and invent chants (especially at Duke basketball games). Mass college sports are the emotional hubs at the center of vast networks of analysis, criticism and conversation. They generate loyalties that are less harmful than ethnic loyalties and emotional morality plays that are at once completely meaningless and totally consuming.

Just another reason to never minimize the importance of athletics.

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Brunch Links

July 12, 2009

Good ideas are meant to be copied. Dane101 does “breakfast links,” and now I will start with “Brunch links” for those of you who enjoy browsing through the best material of the blogosphere with a slice of cantaloupe, but mostly for those of you who don’t wake up until I do. Content is always a little weak on Sundays, but I’ll try my best to find some goodies.

Might as well start with Dane101, which will be hosting another MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness at the Sundance Bistro.

Forward Our Motto reminds us that Madison is not the only place to find shit-faced badgers. “A motorist called police near the central town of Goslar to report a dead badger on a road — only for officers to turn up and discover the animal alive and well, but drunk.

From the man who was defeated by Mayor Dave in 6 years ago: In Madison our mayor’s aggressive work in this area needs support.

Brenda Konkel makes the right choice and enables comments on her blog.

David Brooks and Ann Althouse are bigger sensationalists than I am.

And, in case you missed it, our former vice-president is a huge creep.