Skate Boarding Essay

In class, we have discussed the skateboarding as a sport and a lifestyle.
Dogtown and Z

boys
and
the articles, all attempt to examine, explain, and define the origins, influence, characteristics, and
values of skateboarding culture. Keep this in mind a
s you address the one of the three
following
questions:1.
Skateboarding is frequently defined
as
„alternative? lifestyle/c
ulture
, rather than a sport
.
Why is it characterized this way? What qualities define the alternative lifestyle? What
commonalities does skateboarding share with other so

called alternative cultures? Is this
definition accurate, why
or why not?
2.
Explore the idea of skateboarding as a form of guerilla art. How skateboarding an
art? What distinguishes it from other types of art? What commonalities does
skateboarding share with other so

called forms of guerilla art
?
3.
David Zirin states t
hat, “t
he very passion we invest in sports can transform it
from a kind of mindless escape into a site of resistance. It can become an arena
where the ideas of our society are not only presented but also challenged.
”
Explain how modern skateboarding has ev
olved from a mindless escape to a site
of resistance
.
(What are modern skateboarders resisting and why?)
Objectives:
?
To demonstrate a clear understanding of skateboarding culture, its roots and its
characteristics
?
To demonstrate that you have read and un
derstood the articles given in class
?
To research and evaluate credible sources
?
To write a clear and effective evaluative essay
i.
Strong clearly defined criteria for evaluating your subject
ii.
Including an effective thesis
iii.
Clearly organized supporting body para
graphs, with
1.
Credible, logical, thoughtful evidence to support your thesis
?
To effectively use MLA format and properly cite sources
?
To properly select and incorporate secondary sources
Requirements:
This assignment has a minimum five

page requirement and maximum of seven
pages. You are required to use, at least
five
different sources. This includes
one
of the
articles
from Week 01
. This means you research and find
four
additional sources on your own. Start now! You can find the materials here
united_1_reading.pdf

cited_page_requirement.pdf

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dogtown_and_z_boys.docx

promt.pdf

united_2_reading.pdf

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Please submit a draft of your works cited page, which includes
all the sources used in the essay:
•
•
•
•
•
One source from Unit 01 (supplemental readings)
One source from Unit 02 (supplemental readings)
One source from Unit 03 (supplemental readings)
Two scholarly sources
Film, Dogtown and Z-boys

English 1A – Sports Emphasis
Fall 2009
In class, we have discussed the skateboarding as a sport and a lifestyle. Dogtown and Z-boys and
the articles, all attempt to examine, explain, and define the origins, influence, characteristics, and
values of skateboarding culture. Keep this in mind as you address the one of the three following
questions:
1.
Skateboarding is frequently defined as „alternative? lifestyle/culture, rather than a sport.
Why is it characterized this way? What qualities define the alternative lifestyle? What
commonalities does skateboarding share with other so-called alternative cultures? Is this
definition accurate, why or why not?
2. Explore the idea of skateboarding as a form of guerilla art. How skateboarding an
art? What distinguishes it from other types of art? What commonalities does
skateboarding share with other so-called forms of guerilla art?
3. David Zirin states that, “the very passion we invest in sports can transform it
from a kind of mindless escape into a site of resistance. It can become an arena
where the ideas of our society are not only presented but also challenged.”
Explain how modern skateboarding has evolved from a mindless escape to a site
of resistance. (What are modern skateboarders resisting and why?)
Objectives:
? To demonstrate a clear understanding of skateboarding culture, its roots and its
characteristics
? To demonstrate that you have read and understood the articles given in class
? To research and evaluate credible sources
? To write a clear and effective evaluative essay
i. Strong clearly defined criteria for evaluating your subject
ii. Including an effective thesis
iii. Clearly organized supporting body paragraphs, with
1. Credible, logical, thoughtful evidence to support your thesis
? To effectively use MLA format and properly cite sources
? To properly select and incorporate secondary sources
Requirements: This assignment has a minimum five-page requirement and maximum of seven
pages. You are required to use, at least five different sources. This includes one of the articles
from Week 01. This means you research and find four additional sources on your own. Start now!
Important Dates:
Research/ Thesis due
Rough Draft
Peer Review
Final Draft
11/23
11/29
12/3
12/9
Papers that do not meet the minimum page requirement or the minimum citation requirement
will automatically drop one letter grade. Papers missing both requirements will receive a failing
grade. Any student whose paper has been plagiarized will receive a failing grade for the
assignment. If you do not attend peer review, you will not be allowed to rewrite your paper for
credit. No late papers will be accepted.
NOONO’
)I!lOA M3N
SS311d M3N 3Hl
531″15 0311Nn3H1NI
51HOd5:10AH0151H5,31d03d”
@ 2008 by Dave Zirin
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form,
without written permission from the publisher.
Requests
for permission
to reproduce
selections from this book
should be mailed to: Permissions Department, The New Press,
38 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013.
Published in the United States by The New Press, New York, 2008
Distributed by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION
DATA
Zirin, Dave.
A people’s history of sports in the United States: from bull-baiting to Barry Bonds250 years of politics, protest, people, and play / Dave Zirin.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-59558-100-6
(hc)
I. Sports-Political
aspects-United
States-History.
2. SportsSocial aspects-United
States-History.
I. Title.
GV706.35.z567
2008
306.4’830973-dc22
2008020420
The New Press was established in 1990 as a not-for-profit alternative to the large,
commercial publishing houses currently dominating the book publishing industry.
The New Press operates in the public interest rather than for private gain, and is
committed to publishing, in innovative ways, works of educational, cultural, and
community value that are often deemed insufficiently profitable.
www.thenewpress.com
Composition by dix!
Printed in the United States of America
2



4
6
8
10 9
7
5
3



~
Preface
T
he great Howard Cosell in a scathing critique of the sports world
once said “rule number one of the jockocracy” was that sports and
politics could never mix. Sports had to be dumbed down and quarantined from that nasty netherworld where political ideas and social concerns threatened to ruin the party. Debate was to be confined to “less
filling”versus “tastes great.”
Todaymajor sports columnists rain down many a verbal blow anytime
an athlete takes a political stand. They can be worse when people outside the sports world try to say their piece-for example, when Jesse
Jackson criticized hiring practices in the athletic department at the Universityof Alabama. They argue that sports and politics don’t belong in
the same zip code, the same country, the same universe. It’s not just
sports columnists-it’s the conventional wisdom throughout your local
newspaper.Even E. J. Dionne, the house liberal of the Washington Post,
wrote in 2003, “Most of us who love sports want to forget about politics
when we watch games. Sports, like so many other voluntary activities,
creates connections across political lines. AllAmericans who are rooting
for the Red Sox in the playoffs are my friends this month, no matter
what their ideology.”

xii
PREFACE
Dionne’s starting point is that sports are apolitical, neutral space. The
problem with Dionne, the sports page, and everyone who tries to segregate these two worlds is that they are trafficking in myth. They want us
to believe that sports and politics together are as painful a mash-up as
Mitt Romney getting cornrows or Hillary Clinton cutting a salsa album.
It is certainly easy to understand why this is so readily accepted. Many
of us watch ESPN, to forget at all costs what they are doing on C-SPAN.
But in an era where the building of publicly funded stadiums has become a substitute for anything resembling an urban policy; in a time
when local governments build these monuments to corporate greed on
the taxpayers’ dime, siphoning off millions of dollars into commercial
enterprise while schools, hospitals, and bridges decay, one can hardly
say that sports exists in a world separate from politics. When th~ sports
page-with its lurid tales of steroids, Michael Vick, referee gambling,
and high-profile sexual harassment suits-no longer can be contained in
the sports page, then clearly we need some kind of framework to take on
and separate what we love and hate about sports so we can challenge it
to change.
But sports are more than just a sounding board for war, graft, and
mind-numbing moralism. It can also be a place of inspiration that
doesn’t transcend the political but becomes the political, a place where
we see our own dreams and aspirations played out in dynamic Technicolor. Politics are remote and alien to the vast majority of people. But the
playing field is where we can project our every thought, hope, and fear.
We want to believe fiercely that this is the one place where ability alone
determines how we are judged. If you can play, you will play, no matter
your color, class, or gender. This is why boxers such as Joe Louis and the
great Muhammad Ali, Olympic stars such as Wilma Rudolph and Jim
Thorpe, tennis players such as BillieJean King and the Williams sisters,
and even golf’s Tiger Woods (although he would never want the title) are
viewed, consciously or not, as political beings-carriers of the dream
that the playing field for all of us might be made a little more level.
This volume is an effort to resuscitate the political heart that beats in
the sports world-to have a history that critically examines the political
forces as well as the political power at work in the world of sports. It also

II:
I”
Ii!
.
— .. …
,

PREFACE
~
xiii
stands proudly with the tradition of progressive dissenters in sports, people who have attempted to use the world of sports as a platform to advance ideas of resistance. These are people who have not allowed the
politics of modem sport in the United States to be the province of those
who financially control it-and those in government who would so casually exploit the platform. This book is dedicated to all rebel athletes.
From five-footjockeys to seven-foot hoopsters, they are the giants upon
whose shoulders this hidden history rests.

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