This paper examines how images of the male body are reproduced in media coverage of professional football. Specifically, it examines television coverage of football games broadcast during the 1993–1994 season on ABC’s Monday Night Football, paying special attention to the discourse of sportscasters Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, and Dan Dierdorf and to the production techniques (eg., camera angles, slow-motion replays, etc.) of the program. Guided by a critical orientation, the paper examines how three patriarchal images of the male body and football, and the resulting paradoxes, are reproduced on Monday Night Football, including (a) the body as tool: football as work, (b) the body as weapon: football as war, and (c) the body as object of gaze: (watching) football as pleasure.
Nick Trujillo is with the Department of Communication Studies, California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA 95819.