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Simon McEnnis

This article presents a study that examined what citizen journalism on Twitter has meant for the professional identity and working practices of British sport journalists, using data from a series of in-depth, semistructured interviews. Sport journalists recognized the need to strive for higher professional standards to ensure that their output is of greater cultural significance than that of citizen journalists. Trust—achieved through the ideologies of truth, reliability, and insight—was seen as essential to achieving this distinction. The democratization of breaking news has meant that red-top tabloid and 24-hr rolling news environments must reinvent themselves by making greater use of other journalistic practices including investigative reporting.

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Martin Mooses and Anthony C. Hackney

Maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), fractional utilization of V̇O2max during running, and running economy (RE) are crucial factors for running success for all endurance athletes. Although evidence is limited, investigations of these key factors indicate that East Africans’ superiority in distance running is largely due to a unique combination of these factors. East African runners appear to have a very high level of RE most likely associated, at least partly, with anthropometric characteristics rather than with any specific metabolic property of the working muscle. That is, evidence suggest that anthropometrics and body composition might have important parameters as determinants of superior performance of East African distance runners. Regrettably, this role is often overlooked and mentioned as a descriptive parameter rather than an explanatory parameter in many research studies. This brief review article provides an overview of the evidence to support the critical role anthropometrics and body composition has on the distance running success of East African athletes. The structural form and shape of these athletes also has a downside, because having very low BMI or body fat increases the risk for relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) conditions in both male and female runners, which can have serious health consequences.

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Russell R. Pate, Bonnie J. Miller, J. Mark Davis, Chris A. Slentz and Lisa A. Klingshirn

This study was designed to observe iron status and prevalence of iron deficient conditions in adult female habitual runners (n=111) and inactive females of comparable age (n=65). The runners were significantly lower (p<.05) than the reference group in mean serum ferritin (SF), total iron binding capacity, and red blood cell count, but significantly higher (p<.05) in mean corpuscular hemoglobin. The groups did not differ significantly in hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, serum iron, percent saturation of transfenin, or red cell protoporphyrin. Chi square analysis indicated that iron depletion (SF <20 ng·ml-1) was significantly more prevalent (p<.005) in the runners than in the controls. Anemia was extremely rare in both groups. A multiple regression analysis revealed significant negative associations between serum ferritin and coffeeltea intake (p<.001) and running activity (p<.05). These results indicate that habitual runners, as compared with inactive women, are at increased risk for iron deficient states but that full-blown anemia is a rare consequence of this deficient iron status.

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Gordon Sleivert, Val Burke, Craig Palmer, Alan Walmsley, David Gerrard, Stephen Haines and Roger Littlejohn

To determine the effects of deer antler velvet on maximal aerobic performance and the trainability of muscular strength and endurance, 38 active males were randomly assigned in a double-blind fashion to either deer antler velvet extract (n = 12), powder (n = 13), or placebo groups (n = 13). Subjects were tested prior to beginning supplementation and a 10-week strength program, and immediately post-training. All subjects were measured for circulating levels of testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, erythropoietin, red cell mass, plasma volume, and total blood volume. Additionally, muscular strength, endurance, and VO2max were determined. All groups improved 6 RM strength equivalently (41 ± 26%, p < .001), but there was a greater increase in isokinetic knee extensor strength (30 ± 21% vs. 13 ± 15%, p = .04) and endurance (21 ± 19% vs. 7 ± 12%, p = .02) in the powder compared to placebo group. There were no endocrine, red cell mass or VO2max changes in any group. These findings do not support an erythropoetic or aerobic ergogenic effect of deer antler velvet. Further, the inconsistent findings regarding the effects of deer antler velvet powder supplementation on the development of strength suggests that further work is required to test the robustness of the observation that this supplement enhances the strength training response and to ensure this observation is not a type I error.

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Norbert Hagemann, Bernd Strauss and Rouwen Cañal-Bruland

A major element in expert sports performance, particularly racket-and-ball games, is excellent anticipatory skill. A prestudy combined the temporal and spatial occlusion paradigms to ascertain which key stimuli badminton players use for anticipating the direction of overhead shots. The main study then evaluated a program for training anticipatory skills; 200 video clips were employed to orient attention toward these key stimuli. Participants were 63 badminton novices, 20 national league players, and 21 local league players. A transparent red patch (exogenous orienting) was used to orient attention toward the trunk up to 160 ms before racket-shuttle contact; the arm, from 160 ms to 80 ms before contact; and the racket, from 80 ms before to actual contact. Results showed that badminton novices who trained with this program significantly improved their anticipatory skill between post- and retention test compared with controls. Whereas local league players improved from pre- to posttest, training had no effect on expert national league players. It is concluded that using red transparent patches to highlight the most informative cues in perceptual training programs is a promising way to improve anticipatory skill.

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Jimmy Sanderson

This research explored people’s expression of parasocial interaction (PSI) on Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s blog, 38pitches.com. A thematic analysis using grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) and constant comparative methodology of 1,337 postings on Schilling’s blog was conducted. Three parasocial aspects emerged from data analysis: identification, admonishment and advice giving, and criticism. The findings of the study provide support for previous research that suggests identification is a PSI component, and given the large presence of admonishment and criticism, the findings extend PSI theory by suggesting that PSI theory must account for and encompass negative relational behaviors. The results also indicate that people’s use of information and communication technologies is reconfiguring parasocial relationships as fans take an active role in soliciting and communicating with professional athletes, subsequently creating more opportunities for PSI to occur.

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Lindsey C. McGuire, Yvette M. Ingram, Michael L. Sachs and Ryan T. Tierney

Depression rates in collegiate student-athletes in the literature are varied and inconclusive, and data have only explored depression symptoms utilizing a crosssectional design. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the temporal course of depression symptoms in student-athletes. Student-athletes (N = 93) from a Division II institution completed six administrations of a brief depression symptom screen once every 2 weeks throughout the fall athletic season. Ten (10.8%) student-athletes’ PHQ-9 surveys were red-flagged for moderate to severe depression symptoms at least once throughout the season. A mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a significant interaction effect for time and sex in depression symptom scores, F(3.69, 335.70) = 10.36, p ≤ .001. The repeated-measures design of this study suggests that there are clinical benefits for screening for depression symptoms in student-athletes at multiple intervals throughout an athletic season.

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George H. Sage

The professional team sports industry has consistently worked at constructing a symbiotic relationship in the collective American mind linking professional team sports with United States patriotism. Professional team sports organizations use a variety of advertising images, rituals, and ceremonies to reinforce this association. One means by which the organizations perpetuate this association is through league logos, all of which use only the colors red, white, and blue—the precise color combination found on the flag of the United States. League logos are prominently displayed on all their licensed merchandise, merchandise that generates about $10 billion in annual revenue for professional team sports. This paper focuses on the contradiction or paradox that exists between the imagery of All-American patriotism professional team sports construct and the fact that much of their licensed merchandise is manufactured in foreign countries by exploited labor. The analysis centers on meaning-production by deconstructing and critiquing the managed image of professional team sport organizations.

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Chang Wan Woo, Jung Kyu Kim, Cynthia Nichols and Lu Zheng

Numerous studies examining the portrayals of gender, race, and nationality in sports commentary have been conducted through the years; however, comparative analyses of commentaries from different countries have been rare. This study examined commentary from 3 different countries (the U.S., Chinese Taipei, and South Korea) during a Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series. An entertainment theory schema was adopted and the 3 countries were categorized based on dispositional relativity (affiliation) with MLB. Findings indicate that South Korean broadcasts, which had the lowest affiliation with MLB, were biased toward the Boston Red Sox and presented the most evaluative commentaries; U.S. commentaries were generally positive and contained the largest portion of informative comments; and Chinese commentaries were unbiased and also provided a large number of informative comments. This implies that sports games using the same visual images can be framed differently by commentators based on the disposition (affiliation) level of audiences.

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Kathleen Woolf and Melinda M. Manore

The B-vitamins (thiamin, ribofavin, vitamin B-6) are necessary in the energy-producing pathways of the body, while folate and vitamin B-12 are required for the synthesis of new cells, such as the red blood cells, and for the repair of damaged cells. Active individuals with poor or marginal nutritional status for a B-vitamin may have decreased ability to perform exercise at high intensities. This review focuses on the B-vitamins and their role in energy metabolism and cell regeneration. For each vitamin, function related to physical activity, requirement, and status measures are given. Research examining dietary intakes and nutritional status in active individuals is also presented. Current research suggests that exercise may increase the requirements for ribofavin and vitamin B-6, while data for folate and vitamin B-12 are limited. Athletes who have poor diets, especially those restricting energy intakes or eliminating food groups from the diet, should consider supplementing with a multivitamin/mineral supplement.