Links roundup for 27 January 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories on sports fandom that might be of interest to fans:

  • Jane Dough cited a study on football viewership that revealed “Women, actually, love watching football. More than they like Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and American Idol. So pipe down, imaginary husbands and whiny beer commercials. Sunday Night Football is the third most popular primetime show among adult women.” These current numbers demonstrate a continuity from the fandom’s early days discussed in Football Girl. “Similar to the matinee girl, the football girl was a common subject of male journalistic curiosity. That someone of the “fairer sex” (gender stereotypes of women as emotional, overly-sensitive, and nurturing were alive and well in the 1900s) would be interested in watching a competitive match involving “brute” physical force was both titillating and confounding for many male writers.”
  • Sadly not much has changed in sports media depictions. Baseball Nation took the show MLB Fan Cave to task on its treatment of women. “In the last few years, many media outlets have reported that women now comprise 45-47 percent of all baseball fans, making it the most gender-balanced of the four main professional sports.” Yet the women who do appear on the show are there primarily for gratuitous appeal to male viewers. “The 2011 version of the Fan Cave offered nothing for the score-keeping, numbers-crunching, roster-watching woman fan. Well, if you don’t count insults to her baseball intelligence.”
  • The Baltimore Sports Report wrote about the personal connections in sports merchandise. “This holiday season, I am sure anyone reading this will probably wind up getting a sports-related gift of some kind, but I encourage you to consider it more than an overpriced logo or even a way to show off your team. It is a reflection of where you are in life, what you care about, and what you value. I was a UVa fan because of what I thought they represented (way in the past now, mind you), and my Dad went nuts for that jersey not just because he loved the Ravens but because he felt a meaningful and permanent connection with the city of Baltimore.”
  • Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reported on baseball fan get-togethers which included everything from conversation and trivia games to guest lecturers. “He and his fellow conversationalists are looking forward to the next “Talkin’ Baseball” on Jan. 14, when Maryland author Bob Luke is scheduled to discuss his latest book, “The Most Famous Woman in Baseball: Effa Manley and the Negro Leagues.”” Manley is “the first (and still only) woman admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. Her story is one of a million threads in the fabric of baseball, which people such as Paulson see as a game but always, in addition, something bigger. “You never run out of things to talk about,” he says.”

If you take part in a sports fandom, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Links Roundup for 16 November 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories on the performative aspects of fandom that might be of interest to fans:

  • Several researchers at Lousiana State University have been studying sports fans. “Osborne’s research on “Performative Sport Fandom” looks at how fandom is socially constructed. Her major area of interest is how the performances of fandom, particularly for hyper-masculine sports like football, work in conjunction with other performances such as gender. Put simply, how is performing as a fan different for women than it is for men?” Another professor studying sports fans’ use of social media found “that the more active you are in the these social areas, the more passion you have for the sport and the team. People that were high users had a lot of frustration and anger – they are more aggressive.”
  • One look at a very clear performative aspect of sports fandom is on ESPN’s College GameDay, which relies heavily on fans to provide both audience and backdrop for the broadcast. “At the heart of the show are the students. When I asked coordinating producer Fitting what was the best part about doing GameDay he replied that it was going to a campus for the first time. “To see the excitement and the thrill these kids have to see the guys and be a part of the show, it’s awesome.”
  • Another clear aspect of fans’ “performance” is a non-traditional sport taking place on college campuses. A University of Kansas article mentioned the International Quidditch Association’s documentary about last year’s World Cup titled “Brooms Up” on YouTube and also the activities of the local team. “The Kansas quidditch team members …travelled to Overland Park on Saturday afternoon to teach local kids how to play quidditch or, as they call it, “kidditch.””

If you’re part of a sports fandom or on a quidditch team, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Links Roundup for 7 November 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories on copyright matters that might be of interest to fans:

  • Two media outlets presented a very different picture of the new “anti-piracy” venture, Creative America. A feature in the Hollywood Reporter stuck to the basics, suggesting international theft threatens American jobs: “Creative America is meant to provide a place where members of the industry and creative community can learn more about the impact of the theft of intellectual property on their jobs and industry. It is also designed to help rally support for passage of legislation now before Congress to fight content theft, especially the Protect IP Act, which combats foreign trafficking in stolen movies TV shows and other forms of intellectual property.” A post at TechDirt questions an industry org being termed “a grassroots effort” and notes it requires members to contact representatives in Congress only on the org’s terms. “”Creative America” apparently does not trust its own members to be creative. The letter is 100% locked down. You can only send their text. Honestly, if a group supposedly representing creators won’t even let its own members express themselves freely, you know that it’s not actually about protecting “creative” America. ”
  • Of course, copyright ownership is often an unclear picture. A study conducted in the UK paints a troubling picture of copyright clarity when it comes to written works published in the last 140 years. Using titles published between 1870 and 2010, researchers discovered that only 29% were out of copyright and 43% of the works were “orphans”, having no clear copyright owner. The 1980s produced the highest percentage of orphans, 50% of the total. This suggests that a great many relatively recent works will exist in an unclear state of ownership, particularly if the treatment of orphan works differs internationally.
  • What falls under copyright continues to be a contested issue as well. A post on Freakonomics asked if you can copyright a football play. The conclusion focused on a motivation rarely seen in copyright discussions which center on money: professional pride. “In the NFL, innovations can pay even if they provide an advantage over only a few games (although for reasons we’ve explained, copying a football coach’s innovation effectively is often more difficult than it may at first appear)…That gleaming, buffed Lombardi trophy prize drives innovation in football more surely than any rule of intellectual property.”

If you’re interested in copyright issues or have something to say about legal analysis or file sharing, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.