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Spain vs U.S. Sports

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on 19 January 2014

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Transcript of Spain vs U.S. Sports

Sports in the USA and Spain
By Kameron Graham
1-18-14

The human desire for activity and the love of sports are universal. But the sports we play, and the way we play them are different from country to country around the world. I will discuss some similarities and differences between sports here at home in the United States of America and in the European country of Spain.
Sports In The USA
Discrimination In American Sports
The idea that the United States is a melting pot and land of freedom and opportunity has often been far from reality. Historically, from the colonial period to modern day, African Americans, women and minorities have been discriminated against in sporting arenas. Early on, sports were seen as something only the idle rich could participate in, as most other people had to work and earn a living. Women were kept out of sports, because the competitions were seen as unfeminine. Minorities were separated as simply inferior to whites. It was only with the courageous decisions to allow women to play baseball in the female leagues and to allow Jackie Robinson to play baseball in the white leagues in the 1940s, that social and sexual barriers to athletics began to fall.
Spanish Sports History
Due to the popularity of Football in Spain, other sports had a difficult time getting started and gaining popularity. The Sports Act of 1990 provided the Spanish government a leading role in the organization of base sports, and today a wide variety of sports are offered and followed in Spain, such as skiing, golf, tennis, gymnastics and basketball.
Sports In Spain
Spain has a long history of bullfighting, dating back to the 17th century, and the blood sport has become more of a cultural art form than sport. More modern competition-based sports gained relevance in Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries, after the first gyms were formed.
Collegiate Sports
The American tradition of collegiate sports is traced from the Native Americans, who played an early version of Lacrosse, to the early American immigrants who brought with them to America a variety of games and past-times. The earliest collegiate sports were usually played as class competitions, and were male-dominated as generally only males received higher educations. Intercollegiate sports for men began in 1852, with a rowing contest between Harvard and Yale.
Football Clubs
During the second half of the 19th Century the first football and cycling societies and competitions were founded in Spain. Football, a game introduced to Spain by Englishman working in the country, and by Spaniards returning from England, rapidly found popularity with the Spanish people. The first Spanish Football club was founded in 1889, and by the beginning of the 20th Century the first official sports competitions started. Today, Football is the most popular sport in Spain.
My Point Of View
After finishing this research and presentation, a couple of points struck me as interesting. First, I had assumed that sports popular in Spain had always been Spanish-based. I thought it was interesting to note that the USA and Spain both have a strong history of immigrant influence when it comes to sports. Second, I also thought it was interesting that sports have been largely something for the men in both countries. While we open our events to both sexes now, and the events are gaining in popularity. The same events in Spain, such as soccer and basketball, are still mainly a "man's world," though women can participate. Basically, sports are universal, the human race really likes pretty much the same things, as we pretty much play the same sports, country to country. But, each country makes a sport it's own by adding a personal touch that develops from a unique history and set of values.
Bibliography of Web Sites Information Was Taken From.
In Alphabetical Order
donquijote.org/culture/spain/sports/
Google Search
http://www.hhp.txstate.edu/hper/faculty/pankey/1310/ch17Bread.htm
marcaespana.es/en/educacion-cultura-sociadad/deportes/destacado/49/the-history-of-spanish-sport
and Wiki (unaltered)
http://ottaread.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/differences-between-usa-and-spain-in-sports/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle
Similarities between the USA and Spain
There are a variety of similarities between the USA and Spain regarding our sports history and the sports we enjoy today. First, immigrants played an important role in the development of our sports. English immigrants encouraged the development of rowing and boxing in the USA, and football in Spain.
Difference #2
College Athletics
Spain
U.S.
Sports are not hugely popular in Spanish
colleges. This is because indoctrination
about the national teams starts
at a young age, and colleges are viewed as places of
learning.
College athletics are greatly supported by colleges in the USA, and are very popular with citizens. Games are broadcast across the country. This popularity results from people attending college, and following the local teams.
Difference #3
Mass Media
Spain
U.S.
Spain has 4 daily papers dedicated to sports. Most news broadcasts and radio shows discuss soccer and fan opinion about soccer, but sometimes other sports are discussed too.
The USA does not have any newspapers dedicated solely to sports. There are a variety of tv broadcast networks, most note-ably ESPN that provide game broadcasts and play analysis. Additionally, some events, such as Title boxing competitions are offered pay-per-view, and there are satelite radio stations dedicated to sports games and commentary.
It is generally recognized that organized sports came into being in the United States of America with the creation of the New York Knickerbockers in the 1840s. This was the "first time in American history that grown men put on costumes and played a child's game."
Cycling Clubs
During the second half of the 19th Century, the first bicycles were invented in Germany, and bicycles rapidly gained world-wide popularity as a means of transportation, athleticism and sportsmanship. During the second half of the 19th century, the first cycling competitions and societies were founded in Spain.
Second, both Spain and the USA enjoy the same types of sports. Football is the most popular sport in Spain, and since the 1990s Soccer (the American term for Football) has been rapidly gaining popularity in the USA. Other sports that are popular in both countries are golf, tennis, skiing, and gymnastics.
Third, both the USA and Spain have a history of male-domination with sports. Recently the USA opened some professional sports, such as basketball and soccer, to both sexes. Spain currently considers female football, though allowed, to be an ametuer league sport.
Differences in Sports between the USA and Spain
There are many ways that the USA and Spain differ in terms of sports and how we value the teams and games. First: Violence. In the USA, it is rare to see violence related to sporting events. The interaction is left to the teams, the spectators just watch. In Spain, violence is almost encouraged. Fights and brawls between rival fans often break out and are seen as a way to express feelings and emotions related to the game.
#1 - Immigrants
Difference #1 - Violence
Similarity #2 - Sports
Similarity #3 - Male Domination
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