Radio Appearance: Humboldt Magazine, KHSU 90.5 FM Arcata, CA

 Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their connection to popular culture and politics:  Brazil’s incomparable SENNA

 
He was more than an just an athlete – a perfectionist, devout Christian,  confident, complex, fearless and yet soft-spoken.   A child of privilege, he nonetheless had a profound sense of social justice and gave millions to the under-privileged during his life and left a legacy after his death through his foundation.  He set a standard of excellence and artistry that his peers and fellow athletes admire to this day.
He transcended sport and politics and was beloved and sainted in his home country, but he also had racing fans around the world.   Generations who never saw him can see footage of his races as well as the award-winning 2011 documentary Senna https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BTqnKH3amY . He was only 34 when he died in a crash while racing in 1994.  And, if you’re not Brazilian or a race-car driving fan, he’s the greatest athlete you’ve never heard of – Ayrton Senna.

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Radio Appearance: Humboldt Magazine, KHSU 90.5 FM Arcata, CA

 Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their connection to popular culture and politics:  Baseball’s Havana Sugar Kings

Friday, March 23, 2018

 

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The relationship between the United States and Cuba under the current administration is now in limbo after the recent thawing of relations under the Obama administration.  Baseball has always been one of the important shared cultural traditions between the the two countries  going all the way back to the 19th century.   58 years ago, there was a brief moment in time when a professional baseball team, the Havana Sugar Kings, represented the potential for cultural commonality between the US and Cuba even after Cuba’s revolution in 1959.   Ultimately, the Sugar Kings, who won the International League World Series in 1959, became a political pawn between  Major League baseball and the Eisenhower administration and Fidel Castro.   The demise of the Sugar Kings in Cuba presaged the rapid deterioration of US-Cuban relations that was to continue for more than a half a century.   But, hope springs eternal.   With some of the best major league players in baseball  hailing from Cuba, and a need for Major League Baseball to expand international markets in order to stay competitive with professional basketball and football, one never knows what role baseball holds for potential cooperation between the two countries in the future.  

 

“One more step…and we arrive!”

 

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Radio Appearance: Humboldt Magazine, KHSU 90.5 FM Arcata, CA

 Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their connection to popular culture and politics:  Basketball in Mexico and Guatemala

Friday, January 8,  2018 at 1:00  PM   

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Join Danielle and Doc today as they begin 2018 by first looking at two of our neighbors to the south, Mexico and Guatemala.  Mexico has a time-honored tradition of basketball, and its popularity continues to grow at the national and local level.  Basketball is also played in small communities in Guatemala including indigenous Mayan groups – notable for participation by women and young girls.  And finally, a fascinating brief look back at a Mexican-American high-school basketball team team in Texas that won an improbable city championship almost 80 years ago – and its cultural reverberations today.  
Further reading/podcasts:

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Radio Appearance: Humboldt Magazine, KHSU 90.5 FM Arcata, CA

 Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their Connection to Popular Culture and Politics:  

2017 Year in Review  

Friday, December 8,  2017 at 1:00  PM   

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Join Danielle and Doc as the look at themes from 2017 that included Mexico’s unique interconnection to US economics, border culture and history through the lens of sport, the varied connections to Latin America and the Caribbean via the sport of baseball in particular, and finally the national and hero worship of two distinct transcendent athletes:  Argentina’s Diego Maradona and Puerto Rico’s Roberto Clemente.   

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Radio Appearance: Humboldt Magazine, KHSU 90.5 FM Arcata, CA

 Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their connection to popular culture and politics:  Maradona

Friday, November 3,  2017 at 1:00  PM   

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Argentina’s Diego Maradona is considered, along with Brazil’s Pele, to be the greatest soccer player of the 20th century.  Short, stocky, part devil, part angel but all too human, Maradona was blessed with extraordinary vision, unparalleled dribbling skills and an operatic sense of the dramatic.   Maradona is an athlete that transcended sport.  His career was a rags-to-riches rise-and-fall and a symbol of nationalism in Argentina and even in Italy where his professional team in Naples became synonymous with regional southern Italian pride.   And, in the space of one World Cup game, Argentina’s quarter-final against England, in 1986 , he scored two of the most iconic goals in the history of soccer – they both were “epic,” for different  reasons – we’ll discuss  why in today’s show.  You don’t have to be a soccer fan or even sports fan to appreciate the Odyssey and grand narrative of Maradona.   Sam Blair’s ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, Maradona ’86 is one of many about Maradona.  Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow is a beautifully written book about the world of soccer in its many dimensions and perspectives.

http://khsu.org/#stream/0

 

Tour of Jack London’s Wolf House – Jack London State Historic Park, Glen Ellen, CA

Doc will lead a Tour of the Wolf House Ruins at Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen, CA, 1:00 PM – 2:20 PM, Saturday, September 16, 2017.

 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442  ·  T: (707) 938-5216  $10.00 Vehicle entry fee. Tour:  Free

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Jack London was the most popular American author of his day – adventurer, romantic, realist, revolutionary, sportsman, socialist, dreamer…combative, contrary, contradictory, charismatic, and courageous – Jack London’s legacy lives here amidst the mystical magic of Valley of the Moon and the silent stones of the burned out Wolf House that was to stand for a thousand years.

http://www.jacklondonpark.com/wolf-house-tour.html

Radio Appearance: Humboldt Magazine, KHSU 90.5 FM Arcata, CA

 Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their connection to popular culture and politics:  

The confluence of sport and politics on the world stage in the  XIX Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, 1968

Friday, September 8,  2017 at 1:00  PM   

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Join Danielle and Doc – Next year will be the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic images in the history of sport and politics – the photograph of United States sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their black-gloved raised fists on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City in support of the Olympic Project for Human Rights and in protest of the injustices and poverty in the American black community .  Mexico was the first Latin American and Spanish-speaking country to host the Olympics, and the government was eager to use the Mexico City games as a way projecting the image of a modern and progressive country.  But a week before the games, student protests about economic and political injustice in Mexico took a violent turn in what is now known and commemorated as the Tlatlelolco massacre where a still undetermined number of students (some estimates are from 300-400) were killed by government troops and more than a thousand arrested.  Today we’ll look back at those turbulent times that are strangely similar to recent political events in both Mexico and the United States.
200 meter dash victory stand:  gold-medalist, USA, Tommie Smith (center), bronze medalist, USA, John Carlos (right),  silver-medalist, Australia, Peter Norman (left).   Norman also supported Smith and Carlos and the Olympic Project for Human Rights but was ostracized for his political stance upon his return to Australia, much like Smith and Carlos were in the USA.  Smith and Carlos carried Norman’s coffin at his funeral in 2006.
Student protests in Mexico City and the Tlatlelolco massacre prior  to the opening of the 1968 Olympic Games.

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