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Michael Silk and Mark Falcous

In an ongoing effort to “police the crisis” (see Denzin, 2004a and b; Denzin & Lincoln, 2003) and critically interrogate the tyrannical (govern)mentality of conservative rhetoric centered on a peculiar or juridical concept of “right” (Baudrillard, 2001; Johnson, 2002; McClaren, 2002) under the agenda of “9/11 America,” this article explores the official moral pedagogies of the sporting media. Through analysis of the media representations of two major sporting events that took place in the first week of February, 2002—the delayed Super Bowl and the Opening of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics—the article focuses on the place of sport as an economy of affect through which power, privilege, politics, and position are (re)produced. The “epistemic panic” (Gordon, 1997; Ladson-Billings, 2000) played out through these two events can be read as part of the wider self-examining, self-referential, existential narrative of the American nation in the wake of the ontological, social, and historical disruption (Giroux, 2002) wrought by 9/11—a politicized and militaristic rhetoric appropriated within, and mobilized through, the affective realm of the sporting popular.

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Mark Falcous and Lauren Turner

This paper explores the narrativization of sports icons within the context of nationalist discourse. The authors explore New Zealand media coverage surrounding the death of Colin Meads in August 2017. Meads, a former all Black rugby captain, coach and administrator, media pundit, and corporate spokesman, was a high-profile public icon. His death was met with saturation national media coverage. The authors’ cultural studies informed analysis of Meads’ narrativization is twofold. First, the authors contextualize the cultural scripts surrounding him prior to his death. Second, they critically read media narrativization following his death within the context of narratives of nation. They explore this mediation in the context of intersecting themes of rurality, Whiteness, masculinity, and rugby. Print media coverage widely articulated Meads to the nation as the archetypical “kiwi,” liturgized his contribution to rugby during and after his playing career, and his “no-nonsense” character. In doing so, it reinforced a selective national narrative, premised on a combination of both remembering and forgetting. This narrative reaffirms White-settler, male heroism, and rugby as central to New Zealand nationhood and assuages contemporary national anxieties and the cultural hierarchies they entangle.

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Mark Falcous and Joseph Maguire

This article addresses the global migration of sports labor. The contested presence of North American players in English basketball, first documented by Maguire (1988), is considered in the context of questions regarding the reception of migrants in local cultures. A 2-year ethnographic project incorporating participant observations, interviews, and focus groups investigated fans’ consumption of local basketball. Complex and nuanced interpretations of migrant players were evident. These were informed by local identities and civic pride, cultural stereotypes, and local experiences of spectating. Thus, the presence of migrant athletes is viewed specifically through the local lens—responses were shaped by the varying roles and interpretations of consuming basketball in the lives of local residents. Such observations reinforce the need for empirically grounded case studies to explore local consumption in light of the wider political–economic patterning of global sport.