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The Irish Soccer Split

by Cormac Moore

The Irish Football Association (IFA) was founded in Belfast in 1880. It was the governing body for soccer for the whole of the island of Ireland. Soccer in Ireland was united for over forty years. It was, though, an uneasy alliance. Many in the south believed the governing body was heavily biased towards Ulster. Most internationals were played in Belfast, most players selected were from the North-East. With the country moving politically towards partition, soccer in Ireland was arguably affected more by the political environment than any other sport. As tensions rose between unionist and nationalist communities, soccer, with strong support bases in both communities, became embroiled in the conflict, playing host to many ugly sectarian incidents.Divisions in the sport reached a climax after the First World War, culminating in the split of 1921 when Leinster seceded from the IFA and formed the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).Making use of extensive primary sources from the IFA, FAI, the English FA and the Leinster Football Association as well as contemporary newspaper sources, The Irish Soccer Split details the events and causes that led to the split in soccer in Ireland. It compares soccer to other sports that remained or became united after partition. The Irish Soccer Split recounts the early years of the FAI and its attempts to gain international recognition. Many efforts were made to heal the division throughout the 1920s and the early 1930s. Efforts were renewed during the Troubles in the 1970s and 1980s to bring about an all-Ireland international team. Some came very close, all ultimately failed, leaving soccer in Ireland today, as it is politically, divided North and South.

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Jack Parker's Wiseguys

The National Champion BU Terriers, the Blizzard of ’78, and the Miracle on Ice

Tim Rappleye

Over the winter of 1977–78, anyone within shouting distance of a two-mile stretch of Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue—from Fenway Park to the trolley curve at Packard’s Corner—found themselves pulled into the orbit of college hockey. The hottest ticket in a sports-mad city was Boston University’s Terriers, a team so tough it was said they didn’t have fans—they took hostages. Eschewing the usual recruiting pools in Canada, Jack Parker and his coaching staff assembled a squad that included three stars from nearby Charlestown, then known as the “armed robbery capital of America.”

Jack Parker’s Wiseguys is the story of a high-flying, headline-dominating, national championship squad led by three future stars of the Miracle on Ice, the medal-round game the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team won against the heavily favored Soviet Union. Now retired, Parker is a thoughtful statesman for the sport, a revered figure who held the longest tenure of any coach in Boston sports history. But during the 1977–78 season, he was just five years into his reign—and only a decade or so older than his players. Fiery, mercurial, as tough as any of his tough guys, Parker and his team were to face the pressure-cooker expectations of four previous also-ran seasons, further heightened by barroom brawls, off-the-ice shenanigans, and the citywide shutdown caused by one of the biggest blizzards to ever hit the Northeast.

This season was to be Parker’s watershed, a roller-coaster ride of nail-biting victories and unimaginable tragedy, played out in increasingly strident headlines as his team opened the season with an unprecedented twenty-one straight wins. Only the second loss of the year eliminated the Terriers from their league playoffs and possibly from national contention; hours after the game Parker’s wife died from cancer. The story of how the team responded—coming back to win the national championship a week after Parker buried his wife—makes a compelling tale for Boston sports fans and everyone else who feels a thrill of pride at America’s unlikely win over the Soviet national team—a victory forged on Commonwealth Avenue in that bitter, beautiful winter of ’78.

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James Naismith

It seems unlikely that James Naismith, who grew up playing “Duck on the Rock” in the rural community of Almonte, Canada, would invent one of America’s most popular sports. But Rob Rains and Hellen Carpenter’s fascinating, in-depth biography James Naismith: The Man Who Invented Basketball shows how this young man—who wanted to be a medical doctor, or if not that, a minister (in fact, he was both)—came to create a game that has endured for over a century.

James Naismith reveals how Naismith invented basketball in part to find an indoor activity to occupy students in the winter months. When he realized that the key to his game was that men could not run with the ball, and that throwing and jumping would eliminate the roughness of force, he was on to something. And while Naismith thought that other sports provided better exercise, he was pleased to create a game that “anyone could play.”

With unprecedented access to the Naismith archives and documents, Rains and Carpenter chronicle how Naismith developed the 13 rules of basketball, coached the game at the University of Kansas—establishing college basketball in the process—and was honored for his work at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.

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Japanese Sports

by Allen Guttmann and Lee Thompson

In this first synthetic, comprehensive survey of Japanese sports in English, the authors are attentive to the complex and fascinating interaction of traditional and modern elements. In the course of tracing the emergence and development of sumo, the martial arts, and other traditional sports from their origins to the present, they demonstrate that some cherished "ancient" traditions were, in fact, invented less than a century ago. They also register their skepticism about the use of the samurai tradition to explain Japan's success in sports. Special attention is given to Meiji-era Japan's frequently ambivalent adoption and adaptation of European and American sports--a particularly telling example of Japan's love-hate relationship with the West. The book goes on the describe the history of physical education in the school system, the emergence of amateur and professional leagues, the involvement of business and the media in sports promotion, and Japan's participation in the Olympics.

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Jews in the Gym

Judaism, Sports, and Athletics -SJC Vol. 23

edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon

For some, the connection between Jews and athletics might seem far-fetched. But in fact, as is highlighted by the fourteen chapters in this collection, Jews have been participating in—and thinking about—sports for more than two thousand years. The articles in this volume scan a wide chronological range: from the Hellenistic period (first century BCE) to the most recent basketball season. The range of athletes covered is equally broad: from participants in Roman-style games to wrestlers, boxers, fencers, baseball players, and basketball stars. The authors of these essays, many of whom actively participate in athletics themselves, raise a number of intriguing questions, such as: What differing attitudes toward sports have Jews exhibited across periods and cultures? Is it possible to be a “good Jew” and a “great athlete”? In what sports have Jews excelled, and why? How have Jews overcome prejudices on the part of the general populace against a Jewish presence on the field or in the ring? In what ways has Jewish participation in sports aided, or failed to aid, the perception of Jews as “good Germans,” “good Hungarians,” “good Americans,” and so forth? This volume, which features a number of illustrations (many of them quite rare), is not only accessible to the general reader, but also contains much information of interest to the scholar in Jewish studies, American studies, and sports history.

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John McDonnell

The Most Successful Coach in NCAA History

Andrew Maloney

When John McDonnell began his coaching career in 1972 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville—choosing it over Norman, Oklahoma, because Fayetteville reminded him of his native Ireland—he could hardly have imagined that he would become the most successful coach in the history of American collegiate athletics. But, in thirty-six years at the university, he amassed a staggering resume of accomplishments, including forty national championships (eleven cross country, nineteen indoor track, and ten outdoor track), the most by any coach in any sport in NCAA history. His teams at Arkansas won the triple crown (a championship in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track in a single school year) five times. The Razorbacks also won eighty-four conference championships (thirty-eight in the Southwest Conference and forty-six in the Southeastern Conference), including thirty-four consecutive conference championships in cross country from 1974 to 2008. McDonnell coached 185 All Americans, fifty-four individual national champions, and twenty-three Olympians. And from 1984 to 1995, his Razorback teams won twelve consecutive NCAA Indoor Track Championships, the longest streak of national titles by any school in any sport in NCAA history. This new biography tells the story of the great coach’s life and legacy, from his childhood growing up on a farm in 1940s County Mayo, Ireland, to his own running career, to the beginnings of his life as a coach, to all the great athletes he mentored along the way.

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Joining the Clubs

The Business of the National Hockey League to 1945

J. Andrew Ross

<i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Joining the Clubs presents readers with the history of professional hockey in Canada and America. Tracing the evolution of the sport from its roots as an example of uniquely Canadian sensibilities to a sport which modeled itself on American professional baseball, this text encompasses broad and thorough research into archives, newspapers, and government records. The author explores the tension between business priorities and local pride in the history of some of the major hockey clubs and explains why the NHL became the preferred choice for uniting these top clubs. Ross shows how American capital helped grow the sport but was never allowed to dominate it, how hockey was far ahead of other major league sports in its use of media as a means of promotion, and how a “hockey capital” business model successfully merged the sport’s economic and cultural assets.

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Journal of Sport History

Vol. 37 (2010) through current issue

The Journal of Sport History is published three times a year in spring, summer, and fall by the North American Society for Sport History. The purpose of the North American Society for Sport History is to promote, stimulate, and encourage study and research and writing of the history of sport, and to support and cooperate with local, national, and international organizations having the same purposes. The Society conducts its activities solely for scholarly and literary purposes and not for pecuniary profit.

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Journal of Sports Media

Vol. 1 (2006) through current issue.

The Journal of Sports Media is a response to the undeniable influence of sports media on contemporary culture and the growing interest in the field as an area of study and research. It provides a broad-based exploration of the field and promotes a greater understanding of sports media in terms of their practices, value, and effect on the culture as a whole. The journal features scholarly articles, essays, book reviews, and reports on major conferences and seminars. While the majority of the articles are academic in nature, it also includes articles from industry leaders and sports media figures on topics appealing to a nonacademic audience.

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Kansas Baseball, 1858 - 1941

The first book to chronicle the history of baseball in Kansas

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