How Canadians Communicate V

Fewer Canadians than ever are lacing up skates, swimming lengths at the pool, practicing their curve ball, and experiencing the thrill of competition. However, despite a decline in active participation, Canadians spend enormous amounts of time and money on sports, as fans and followers of sporting events and sports culture. Never has media coverage of sports been more exhaustive, and never has it been more driven by commercial interests and the need to fuel consumerism, on which corporate profits depend. But the power plays now occurring in the arena of sports are by no means solely a matter of money. At issue as well in the media capture of sports are the values that inform our daily lives, the physical and emotional health of the population, and the symbols so long central to a sense of Canadian identity.
Writing from a variety of perspectives, the contributors to this collection set out to explore the impact of the media on our reception of, and attitudes toward, sports—to unpack the meanings that sports have for us as citizens and consumers. Some contributors probe the function of sports as spectacle—the escalation of violence, controversies over drug use, and the media’s coverage of tragic deaths—while others shed light on the way in which the media serve to transform sports into a vehicle for the expression of identity and nationalism. The goal is not to score points but to prompt critical discussion of why sports matter in Canadian life and culture and how they contribute to the construction of identity.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Half-Title 2
Title 4
Copyright 5
Contents 6
Power Plays: Communication and Control in Canadian Sports 10
PART I: The Medium Is the Money 36
1 Troubles in the Toy Department: Conflicts of Interest, the Triumph of Trivia, and the Changing Face of Sports Journalism 38
2 The all of Mirrors 48
3 The End of CBC Sports? 62
4 Playing Make-Believe: How Fantasy Leagues Have Changed Sports 86
PART II: Searching for Heroes in the New Media World 100
5 Questioning Assumptions: A Comparison of Canadian and American University Sports 102
6 Of Home Teams and Visiting Players: Imports and Substitutions in Canadian Professional Sports 124
7 The Changing World of Sports in Québec 144
8 The Olympics as an Iconic Event: The Question of National Unity and the Vancouver 2010 Games 164
9 Debating Disability: Paralympic Athletes and the Media 182
PART III: Hockey Night in Canada 200
10 Hockey, Concussions, and the Media 202
11 The Hockey Calgary Body-Checking Vote: Colliding Views 216
12 Goodbye, Gordie Howe: Sport Participation and Class Inequality in the “Pay for Play” Society 230
13 Cultivating Distinction Through Hockey as Commodity 254
14 Hockey Art as Visual Communication: Insights from Oral Culture 274
PART IV: Drugs, Violence, and Death 290
15 The Kayfabe Era: Early Professional Wrestling in Canada 292
16 “The UFC Is Selling Wolf Tickets”: Sport and Fiction in the Ultimate Fighting Championship 310
17 On the Temptations of Doping: Moral Relativism and the Tour de France 326
18 An Insider’s Look at the Vancouver 2010 Luge Tragedy 348
19 Communicating Tragedy: The Death of Nodar Kumaritashvili at the Vancouver Olympics 356
20 The Half a Mile of Heaven’s Gate 368
List of Contributors 384
Index 388
A 388
B 388
C 388
F 390
G 390
H 390
E 390
D 390
I 391
J 391
K 391
L 391
M 392
N 393
O 393
P 393
S 394
L 394
R 394
Q 394
T 395
U 395
V 395
W 395
Y 396
Z 396