Friday, March 19, 2010

One Big Happy Family

The Fourth Summit on Sport Communication has not disappointed in terms of excellent research presentations and networking opportunities. The hosts at Kent State and Youngstown State are to be commended for their work in putting the conference together (Bradley University will host in 2012).

Although most of the scholars here are from Sports Comm (as opposed to Sports Media or Sports Mass Comm/Journalism), I really enjoy the new perspectives and approaches. This morning, JSM Board member Michael Butterworth of Bowling Green gave an interesting presentation on media representations of Tim Tebow as a quasi-religious figure.

We'll hear even different perspectives next month at the BEA Conference in Las Vegas. The new sports division there continues to move forward and has several panels and papers on the schedule, including one hosted by JSM.

Sometimes it seems as if all these sports scholars move in vastly different worlds. (For example, here the main convention for the scholars is either NCA or NASSM; for me, it's AEJMC). And with the economy down, scholars are usually limited in how many conventions they can attend.

But there is a decided "one for all" feeling here in Cleveland; the idea that no matter what area of sports research we practice, the important thing is the increased vitality of all sports-related scholarship. I respect all the contributors here, and although I probably won't be able to see them at BEA or AEJMC, we continue to build bridges, share ideas and promote research.

It's been a great time in Cleveland and I'm sorry it will be another two years until Bradley.