Monday, November 24, 2008

CFP: British Philosophy of Sport Conference

This came in from a regular blog reader, Meghan Ferriter of the University of Abertay Dundee. Meghan says that more information will be available at at the BPSA website (which unfortunately seems to be down at the moment). For more information I would suggest contacting Meghan directly at: or

The details sound pretty interesting... especially golf at Carnoustie! (Hopefully the golf and whisky tasting are not at the same time). Don't forget the deadline is fast approaching.
Call for Abstracts
British Philosopy of Sport Conference
Dudhope Castle, Dundee, Scotland
March 26-28, 2009
Hosted by University of Abertay Dundee
Local organizers: Professor Steve Olivier and Ms. Claire Morton (; telephone 0044 (0) 1382 308727.

Deadline for first call December 12, 2008

This annual conference brings together academic experts in the study of the nature and values of human movement, including the ethics and unique values of games, play and sport. Abstracts are welcome from within any area of the philosophy of sport and related areas such as philosophy of the body, health, coaching; and of physical education. Abstracts should be 350-500 words long (including references). They must be submitted electronically to BPSA Vice-Chair Dr. Andrew Elgar ( Preferred format is MS Word. Contributors will be notified about acceptance or rejection no later than January 26, 2009. Authors whose work is accepted for the conference are invited to submit their papers for review to the Association's Journal, Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, edited by Dr. McNamee (

*Formal dinner on Friday evening with traditional Scottish Pipe at the RSS Discovery.
*Day trip to play a round of golf at historic Carnoustie combined with a traditional Scottish whisky tasting.
*Reception hosted by the Lord Provost.
*Additionally, the conference is ideally suited for visiting many of Scotland's tourist sites.

Friday, November 21, 2008

One of the many benefits of working in higher education is some nice time off around the holidays. I'll be out of the office next week and may (or may not) post on this blog. I know that sounds terrible, but maybe motivation will strike at some point. I am leaving to attend a wedding in Ft. Worth the weekend of the 29th, so I'm sure I will be out of touch at least for that.

Anyway, as we count our blessings for another year we are thankful for the many people who help make the Journal of Sports Media successful. That includes our publisher, the University of Nebraska Press, our editorial board, and our many reviewers, submitters and subscribers. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eye on Sports Media

Ran across an interesting blog site called Eye on Sports Media. It's done by a guy named Christopher Byrne, who describes himself as a long time freelance production specialist for several network sports properties. Christopher has done an excellent job packaging and presenting a lot of information on the site, including valuable links to other sports media blogs (including JSM!). In fact, I'm starting to feel a little bad because comparing his site to this one is like comparing a Maserati to a Model-T (but a really nice looking Model-T).

Anyway, I encourage you to visit his site, but be sure to check back with us when you can.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BCS, Part II

It's been an interesting weekend for the BCS. Fox Sports, which currently televises the BCS bowl games, has announced its dropping its bid to renew the package, which means ESPN is virtually guaranteed to become the new BCS home. While this was going on, president-elect Barack Obama stepped into the BCS muddle saying on 60 Minutes that college football needed a playoff system. But almost as soon as the interview had concluded the people who run the current system pretty much told the soon-to-be leader of the free world to take a hike. Check out these comments:

Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe: "I am disappointed that there isn't more full discussion before he comes to a conclusion on this. I would only hope that [he] would take under full consideration all the aspects."

Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney: "Whether it's the president-elect or college football coaches and fans debating it, the First Amendment is alive and well."

ACC Commissioner Jim Swofford: "I'm glad he has a passion for college football like so many other Americans. For now our constituencies--and I know he understands constituencies--have settled on the current BCS system, which the majority believe is the best system yet to determine a national champion."

If you read between the lines it seems like Obama will have a much easier time creating world peace than he will trying to create a football playoff.
On a completely unrelated note:

June 25-28, 2009
London, Ontario

Deadline: April 24, 2009

The 26th Annual Conference of the Sport Literature Association will be held June 25-28, 2009, at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. The Program Committee of the Sport Literature Association invites proposals for individual papers and complete sessions. All submissions should relate to the literature of sport in some way.

Scholarly and critical submissions for the conference should follow general guidelines set forth in the association's publication, Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, which "celebrate[s] the intersection of literature with the world of play, games, and sport." Submissions "should address
treatments of sport in texts or textual media (print, film, performance, digital or other media)." We invite essays on sport literature (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, or film) or on the rhetoric of sport. Cultural-studies approaches to sport texts are welcome. We also encourage sessions focused on presenters' original fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Those interested in presenting should send abstracts of individual papers or original work or proposals for complete sessions by April 24, 2009, to the program chair at the following address:

Dr. Mark D. Noe
Professor of English
School of Integrated Studies
Pennsylvania College of Technology
One College Avenue
Williamsport PA 17701
Phone: 570-320-2400, x7508
Fax: 570-320-2424

Submissions (preferably electronic) must include presenter's name, phone number, postal and email addresses, paper title, and a 250-word abstract. (Abstracts are mandatory since they will be printed in post-conference proceedings). Indicate the type of presentation as critical study, fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Proposals may also include suggestions for possible panels.

Friday, November 14, 2008

BCS Mess

No, we're not talking about the formula to determine what two college teams will play for the national championship (there's plenty of that chatter all over the Internet).

Rather, the contract to televise the Bowl Championship Series package is up for bids again and it appears ESPN is making a very serious bid to take away the rights from FOX. If ESPN wins the bid it would not televise any of the games on its Disney-partner ABC. That means for the first time a national championship event will not be available to network viewers.

Given that ESPN currently reaches 96 million of the 112 million U.S. television households, it's not that big a deal. But as Stuart Mandel of Sports Illustrated says, "There remains an undeniable prestige difference between network and cable television." That's why the networks get first pick of the best games.

In addition, it's yet another signal that the future of costly sports programming (we're talking $500 million for four years) may be on niche channels.

Another interesting comment from TV sports consultant Neal Pilson: "Of all the sports that face the recession we're about to experience, college football is probably the most recession-resistant. If you look ahead the next four years, I'm sure ESPN and Fox see college football as being a relatively safe investment." A good point and the ratings for the BCS championship game have been dynamite, except in those games that were blowouts. If ESPN wants the BCS it will also have to take the other games that typically don't fare so well.

Which brings up another point--the BCS has created a situation where only one game counts and the rest are just window dressing (unlike the NFL playoffs, where obviously the outcome is important in terms of advancing to the Super Bowl). Does anyone else miss the old days where sometimes #1 would play #4 in the Cotton Bowl, #2 played #6 in the Orange Bowl and #3 and #5 played in the Rose Bowl? That way, you watched every game because they all mattered for determining the national champion. Just as personal opinion--either go back to the old system or have a playoff. The current BCS format doesn't work for anyone.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two CFPs

A couple of calls for papers that recently found their way into my email box ...

1. 12th Annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference, July 16-18, 2009, Pittsburgh, PA
Theme: Crossroads of Black Baseball

Paper or Panel Proposals: Due March 6th, 2009

Paper or panels proposals may include all topics related to the theme or other related Negro Leagues topics: players who crossed into the Majors from the Negro Leagues, Pittsburgh as a crossroads from Eastern League to Midwestern, players who came from Latin America and those who went south of the border to play, etc…
Proposals are encouraged from all disciplines. Previous presenters have included full-time faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars and researchers. Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words, and brief curriculum vitae with contact information.

Poster Presentations: Proposals due March 6th, 2009

Poster presentation proposals should be 150 words or less, explaining the main focus and intent of the poster, including how many posters will be used in the display.

Please send one hard copy of your proposal and one disk, plus your contact information or send as an e-mail attachment in Word to Dr. Leslie Heaphy, Kent State University, Stark Campus 6000 Frank Rd. North Canton, OH 44720
or to 330-244-3304 for further questions.

2. 3rd International Qualitative Conference in Sport and Exercise, 10-12 June 2009

Hosted by the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Research in Sport at Roehampton University, London, UK

Conference website

Qualitative research in sport and exercise is increasingly committed to finding ways of communicating the dynamic, embodied, nature of sport and physical activity. Such approaches are central to understanding the complexity of sporting experiences; promoting physical activity for therapeutic gain; enhancing performance in sport; engaging with social inclusion/exclusion initiatives; encouraging care of the athlete; building sustainable communities; and developing effective approaches to leadership and sport development.

This ‘Communicating Experiences’ Conference will build on the cross-disciplinary, innovative and sometimes challenging work presented at past conferences, and provide spaces to reflect and communicate means of refining our methods, and to explore and propose new ways of investigating and representing our social worlds.

This conference aims to be truly multi-disciplinary and provides an excellent opportunity for those from different academic and practitioner communities to share and discuss their experiences of conducting qualitative research and/or working in sport, exercise and physical activity. Attendance and contributions are welcome from experienced and neophyte practitioners and academics in any relevant field including sport psychology, sport sociology, sport and health development, movement therapy, physical education, community and youth work, coaching, drama, music, creative writing, and journalism among others.

We welcome abstracts on any relevant qualitative topics including those that address one or more of the conference themes:

  • Performance, Movement and Embodiment
  • Inter-Sensory Experience
  • Reflecting on Methodologies
  • Working with Experience(s)…
  • Care of the Athlete
  • Identity, Narratives and Memories

Abstracts should be submitted by 26th January 2009, although earlier submission is highly recommended as a high number of submissions is anticipated. Abstracts can be submitted for one of three forms of presentation. Please state which form of presentation clearly on the covering letter:

  • oral presentations (15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions). Both traditional and non-traditional forms of presentation, eg autobiographies, poetry, are welcome
  • poster presentations (presenters must be available to present/discuss their poster)
  • symposium presentations (1½ hours including time for questions): symposia are organised by a Chair and present four papers by different authors on a particular topic of interest. Please email the Conference Chair Caroline Marlow (email: if you wish to discuss an idea for a symposium prior to submission. The Chair should submit the four symposium abstracts all together with an overview of the symposium theme. Symposia will be reviewed following the submission deadline to prevent replication of themes. The Symposium Chair will be informed of the outcome by the end of January.

Please send abstracts of 300 words electronically as a Word document in accordance with the following guidelines to the Conference Administrator, Indaka Weerasekera, E-mail:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans ... and Longhorns

God's blessings to all our veterans on this Veteran's Day. We have so much because they have given so much ...

On a completely unrelated note, interesting story in Business Week on a proposed new channel dedicated to University of Texas athletics. We know that the Big 10 already has a channel, but it would be a first for one school to do it.

Texas already has the largest athletic budget in the country ($120 million!) and some fear that this could make the rich even richer, in the same way the Yankees and Mets are profiting from their own sports networks.

The main questions are whether enough distributors will carry the channel and whether enough fans will pay the additional fee to subscribe. The main problem for Texas is that its most valuable asset, football, is already committed to ABC, ESPN and Fox Sports Net. That would leave the network with sports such as baseball, softball and track.

But despite such obstacles, the 24/7 network hopes to launch next fall. It could set a precedent whereby other schools (Notre Dame?) create their own networks and try to reap a potential windfall. It will also be interesting to see whether a powerhouse like Ohio State or Michigan would be tempted to break away from the Big 10 Network and create its own channel.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

More Odds and Ends

Some things to fill the emptiness we all feel not getting any more of those political ads or phone calls ...

Then University of Florida is looking for an Assistant Professor of Sport Management (Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management). Deadline to apply is December 8 and applications must be made online (position # 00004407, requisition # 0800952). Direct any questions to: Dr. May Kim, 352-392-4042,

Also, the research chair for the Entertainment Studies Interest Group in AEJMC is looking for paper reviewers. According to Kelly Poniatowski, "While this division is not specifically sports, it deals with any aspect of mediated entertainment including sports. All methods of inquiry are encouraged. I am in need of volunteers to read and review papers for the (AEJMC) conference.
The deadline for submission is not until April 1 and you would be required to review a few papers and return your comments. Even if you cannot read more than one paper I would lvoe to have you."

She can be reached at: kls482@PSU.EDU

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fan Media Network

There is a new sports reporting opportunity for college students through the Fan Media Network. This is another technology-driven 'citizen journalist' system where students can report on games and upload their stories back to the network and the Web. According to the company:

Fan Media Network is building a network of fan video reporters (correspondents) for 190 NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA teams in over 40 major media markets across the U.S. and Canada. The first step is to build a reporter / fan profile page at our website and upload a 1:00 - 2:00 audition video on the team(s) pages in your area under the 'Become A Reporter' area. Some requirements to be a correspondent include: having access to a digital video camera, camcorder or professional camera, and being able to edit video. Our video journalists cover the teams from the fan's perspective, from the streets to your seats - entertaining fan video reports you won't see on ESPN, CBS, FOX or YouTube. This is highly organized and professional citizen video journalism for professional and collegiate sports. FMN is interested in working with the first available correspondents who meet the requirements, can collaborate on editorial direction and represent the network in a professional manner. If there are any questions we can be reached at

If you are your students are interested, there is another contact name. Kirk Berridge is the CEO of FMN and can be reached at 408-595-4900,