On January 1, 1926, Alabama upset the University of Washington, 20–19, in the Rose Bowl. The game has been assigned a high degree of significance, both athletically and culturally. This paper employs both quantitative and qualitative methods in exploring how newspapers interpreted the 1926 Rose Bowl from a regional and national perspective. The sample comprises newspapers from the state, the region, and the nation for the week before and the week after the game. The quantitative method of framing is used in a descriptive content analysis, to analyze the frames employed by sportswriters in their coverage. Then the Burkeanbased concept of symbolic boasting is used to analyze how media outlets used the team's performance to fashion a strong common identity for the rebuilding South. The content analysis describes differences in frame from the Birmingham News, an Alabama newspaper, compared to newspapers in Seattle, Chicago, or Los Angeles. The qualitative rhetorical analysis revealed elements of symbolic boasting as a means of strengthening regional identity, throughout the South after the game.


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pp. 1-19
Launched on MUSE
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