inside the man

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Baseball and ritual violence in American culture

This is a fascinating look at the meeting of violence, ritual, and New England Puritanism in the Red Sox by Grinnell College professor Darryl Caterine published in the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture.

Boston Red Sox fans once attributed their team's failure to win a World Series to its sale in 1918 of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. In the 2004 playoffs and World Series, the Red Sox exorcised the "Curse of the Bambino" by emerging victorious over their rivals. The Curse and its catharsis–which mirror Puritan jeremiads and execution ceremonies, respectively–reveal baseball as a rite of "sacred violence" maintaining social order by regulating aggression. Accentuated rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees demythologized the pastoral idealizations of baseball that have figured prominently in its history since the Civil War, finally rendering it a spectacle of ordinary violence for New England fans.

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Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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