I’m trying something a bit new over on the Sport in American History blog today. We want to take advantage of current events as both teachable moments and ways to lure in new readers. This week we’re focusing on the new College Football Playoff to share the history of college football. We’re kicking things off today with a special-double post.
The first post is a historiographical overview of college football’s relationship with mass media and the influence of money on the sport. It advances an argument while also surveying important books in the field. One of our goals for the blog this year is to do a better job of introducing our readers to sports history literature. Linking a current event with a historiographical post that explains it is one of the ways we hope to accomplish this.
The second post outlines the history of the college football postseason and the changing methods of determining the sport’s national champions. While there are some historiographic elements to this post, it is mostly just an assemblage of facts that explain how we got to the playoff. It is more narrative driven, though at times it simply lists facts. It’s not a deep exploratory post nor is it argumentative. It tells facts that are familiar to some, but probably not everyone.
I hope our readers find them interesting and appealing. Later in the week we’ll have another post that looks at Southern football culture and social media reactions to the playoff games. I’m really looking forward to that post as an almost rapid-reaction piece mixed with some cultural explanation. If all goes well, I’d like to see more of these double posts and week-long current event themes. I took the lead on this one because college football is my area of research, but I could see someone else doing something on the Super Bowl, the Women’s World Cup this summer, or even Major League Baseball’s opening day.