Other Side of Sports 3-Pack
First program: Dave Zirin - The Other Side of Sports
Are sports simply a form of entertainment or is there some deeper meaning off the field we are not seeing? From ancient Greece to modern times, sports have always been a big attraction. But in the cable and digital age it is bigger and more lucrative than ever. Sports encompass the world. From soccer in Latin America to cricket in India to hockey in Canada, millions of people are energized by and care about their teams and players. Heroes rise and fall. Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, Lance Armstrong. There are sex scandals, doping, and murder trials. And it’s not just compromised athletes but the owners too. Witness the racist comments by Donald Sterling, the disgraced owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. Media coverage once again demonstrated how sports intersect with critical societal issues.
Second program: Harry Edwards - The Fire This Time
"People are practical," Howard Zinn said. "They want change but feel powerless, alone. They do not want to be the blade of grass that sticks up above the others and is cut down. They wait for a sign from someone else who will make that first move. And at certain times in history there are certain intrepid people who take the risk that if they make that first move others will follow quickly enough to prevent their being cut down. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
Third program: Jules Boykoff - The Olympics: Celebration Capitalism
The Olympics are perhaps the crown jewels of sports. The pomp and circumstance, the pageantry and international competition make the games special. They began over 2,700 years ago in Olympia, Greece. They were held in honor of Zeus, king of the gods. Today, the gods are fame, fortune, and national pride. The Olympics are a multi-billion dollar extravaganza. Behind the spectacle of athletic prowess and the patina of global harmony, brass-knuckle politics and brute economics reign. One hears of public-private partnerships in financing the games but it is often the public holding the bag when costs skyrocket, as they often do. The 2016 Summer Games will be in Rio. Brazilians are already protesting against the projected expense. But right now world media attention is on the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia where gold medals may place second to security issues.
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