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AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

AMS 300 Section 002:


ST: Football in American Culture
AMS 300-002
3 credit hours
Fall 2015
T, R 12:30-1:45 pm
Ten Hoor 252
Aug. 19-Dec. 4

Michael T. Wood
Office Hours: T, R 2-3:00 pm
or by appt.
Location: Ten Hoor 106D
Email:
michael.t.wood@ua.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course will present the development of American football and its impact on
American culture and society. We will trace the history of the sport from its origin as a
modified version of English rugby to its present form at the intercollegiate and
professional levels. In the tradition of cultural studies, we will take a multidisciplinary
approach to the topic, utilizing methodologies associated with the study of anthropology,
economics, ethnography, economics, history, and sociology. While the course will
present events chronologically, special attention will be place on important topics such
as: the shift from an upper-class sport to one that was more accessible to a larger section
of society; gender roles and masculinity; identity, race and ethnicity; the impact of mass
media; and the growth of American football as a for-profit enterprise.
The course will be organized into two sections. The first section will cover the invention
of American football, its adoption as an intercollegiate sport, its development as a
popular spectacle, and its evolution to a culturally and economically significant college
institution. The second section will focus on professional football, the creation of the
National Football League (NFL), its emergence as the most prominent professional
football league in the United States, and footballs rise to be the most popular spectator
sport in the United States. At the end of each section, we will also address contemporary
issues in college and professional football.
COURSE GOALS
In addition to increasing the students general knowledge of football in America, this
course will introduce the close link between sports and culture. By studying the role of
football in American society over time, students will gain a deeper understanding and
greater appreciation of the multitude of factors that contributed to the development of
modern America.
This course will also encourage the development of positive skills and habits that can be
transferred to other courses. These include attendance, punctuality, work ethic,
communication, and critical thinking.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

REQUIRED BOOKS
Brian M. Ingrassia, The Rise of Gridiron University: Higher Educations Uneasy
Alliance with Big-Time Football (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2012).
Lane Demas, Integrating the Gridiron: Black Civil Rights and American College
Football, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011).
Robert S. Lyons, On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell (Philadelphia: Temple
University Press, 2010).
Michael Oriard, Brand NFL: Making and Selling Americas Favorite Sport (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 2007).
NOTE: The required books can be purchased at the Supe Store or through various retail
websites. Copies of each book are also available through course reserves at the McLure
Library. Students can checkout each book for two hours at a time but the book must
remain in the library.
SUPPLEMENTAL READINGS
Twenty-six folders containing supplemental readings are posted on Blackboard. Each
folder corresponds with a day of class. These readings provide examples of primary
sources and additional information that expands upon and reinforces the topic discussed
in lecture.
COURSE ASSESSMENTS
4 Exams
Four exams will be given during the semester. Each of the exams will cover roughly a
quarter (1/4) of the course material. Study guides will be provided in advance of each
exam. Students will be required to answer 5 identification terms, a book essay, and one
essay question. The identification terms will test the students ability to retain
information covered in the course. The book essay and essay question will challenge
students to take the material covered in the assigned books, lectures, and supplemental
readings, and exercise analytical skills and critical-thinking. They will count for 20%
each for a total of 80% of the final grade.
NOTE: Students will be responsible for providing their own exam books [at least four
exam books]. Exams books are available for purchase at the Supe Store or for free
through the Office of the Dean of Students at the Ferguson Center.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

5 Reading Responses
Students will complete five reading responses over the course of the semester. Of the 26
supplemental readings folders on Blackboard, 24 are open for reading responses. To
complete a response, students will be expected to read 5 of the selections and write a
short response to them [a paragraph that includes a brief summary of the reading(s) and a
response to the question(s)]. Responses will be time-sensitive. All 24 eligible readings
will be available at the beginning of the course, but each reading has a due date.
Responses must be submitted online by the specified due dates. No credit will be given
for late responses. Some of the files are larger than others. Be patient while they are
loading. Reading responses will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Their purpose is to
increase the students knowledge of the subject and to reinforce subjects covered in class.
Reading responses also serve as opportunities for students to practice critical-thinking,
formal written communication, following directions, and meeting deadlines. They will
count for 2% each for a total of 10% of the final grade.
NOTE: The reading responses involve using Blackboard. If students have trouble or
need help, they can send me an email at michael.t.wood@ua.edu or contact UA IT
support at http://www.ua.edu/technology.html. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Give
yourselves plenty of time to deal with technical issues.
10 In-class Activities
Over the course of the semester, students will be required to participate in approximately
12 to 15 in-class activities (roughly once a week). Examples of these activities include:
brief written responses, group activities, class discussions, quizzes, etc. In-class activities
will be graded on a pass/fail basis. These activities reinforce the retention of lecture
material, provide more student engagement in the classroom, allow for student feedback,
and encourage attendance and punctuality. Students will be expected to successfully
complete 10 of these activities. They will count for 1% each for a total of 10% of the
final grade.
Extra Credit
Students may submit up to five additional reading responses for extra credit. To complete
an extra credit response, students will be expected to read the selections from the
supplemental readings and write a short response to them [a paragraph that includes a
brief summary of the reading(s) and a response to the question(s)]. Like the reading
responses, they will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Each successful submission will be
worth one bonus point to the students final average. All extra credit responses must the
submitted together on one Word document attached to an email to
michael.t.wood@ua.edu. Deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm on December 4.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

Attendance
Attendance will be taken every class. There will be no official penalty for unexcused
absences, but in-class activities count for up to 10% of the total grade, so attendance is
necessary to fulfill that requirement. Also, students with perfect attendance (no
unexcused absences) will earn a bonus 1/3 of a letter grade. For example: If the final
average is a B, with perfect attendance the student will earn a bump up to a B+.
NOTE: Excused absences include: an illness with a doctors excuse, a family emergency,
a professional/career development activity (such as an interview or a attending a
conference), etc.
Make-up Exam
If a student is unable to take an exam and has a legitimate excuse, such as an illness or
family emergency, he or she has the opportunity to take a make-up exam. Make-up
exams will be given on the departmental make-up exam date (TBD) or by appointment.
Usually the departmental make-up date falls on the week of the Thanksgiving holidays.
GRADE BREAKDOWN
Four Exams*
Reading Responses
In-class Activities

4 X 20%
5 X 2%
10 X 1%

80%
10%
10%
100%

*Exams
5 Identification
1 Book Essay
1 Essay Question

5 X 4pts
1 X 40pts
1 X 40pts

20pts
40pts
40pts
100pts

GRADING SCALE
A+
A
AB+
B
BC+

100 - 96.5
96.4 - 93.5
93.4 - 89.5
89.4 - 86.5
86.4 - 83.5
83.4 - 79.5
79.4 - 76.5

C
CD+
D
DF

76.4 - 73.5
73.4 - 69.5
69.4 - 66.5
66.4 - 63.5
63.4 - 59.5
59.4 - 0

STUDENT CONDUCT
Be on time. The attendance sheet will be passed around at the beginning of every class,
and some in-class activities may be given at the beginning of class.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

Stay the whole class time. Some in-class activities may be given at the end of class.
Participate. Ask questions. Contribute to discussions. Get the most out of the class.
Respect your classmates. Be courteous during discussions. Provide help when
appropriate.
Audio recording devices are allowed if you notify me first.
Turn-off cell phones or set them to silent. Phones ringing in class are disruptive to the
instructor and to other students.
No texting during class. Texting in class is disruptive to the instructor and to other
students. I want your full attention.
Laptops, notebooks, and tablets are allowed, but Facebook, Twitter, or any other social
networking or entertainment sites are NOT allowed. Web surfing or watching movies,
TV, etc. in class is distracting for the person doing it, but more importantly, it is
distracting for the students sitting around them. I reserve the right to discipline those
using cell-phones, smart-phones, laptops, notebooks, tablets, etc., for non-class related
purposes. This may take the form of generally mentioning to discontinue improper use,
specifically addressing the student to discontinue improper use, or asking the student to
leave the class. Again, I want your full attention.
ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and
to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University
expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to
avoid discipline. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any
academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or
conspiracy to help, another student.
The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic
misconduct. For more the full policy, see:
http://www.studenthandbook.ua.edu/conduct.html.
STATEMENT ON DISABILITIES
If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment
with me as soon a possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary.
If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please
call 348-4285 or visit Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. Students who
may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment
to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

Office of Disability Services, 133-B Martha Parham Hall East, before receiving academic
adjustments. For more information, see http://ods.ua.edu/.
STUDENT HEALTH AND WELL-BEING RESOURCES
The University of Alabama provides a range of resources to promote student physical and
mental health, and general well being. For more information, see:

http://www.ua.edu/wellbeing.html
http://urec.sa.ua.edu/
http://shc.ua.edu/health-promotion/mental-health/
STATEMENT ON REPORTING PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR
The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by
respect and civility. The UAct website (www.ua.edu/uact) provides a list of reporting
channels that can be used to report incidences of illegal discrimination, harassment,
sexual assault, sexual violence, retaliation, threat assessment or fraud.
STATEMENT ON EMERGENCIES
UA's primary communication tool for sending out information is through its web site
at www.ua.edu. In the event of an emergency, students should consult this site for further
directions.
SEVERE WEATHER PROTOCOL
In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar, sirens
activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and
laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and
toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or
corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session
when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has
expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30
minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period
remains.
UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. In general
classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings
for the city of Tuscaloosa. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent
counties. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in
Tuscaloosa. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that
area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National
Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the
path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life saving
actions.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture



When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory, conditions can change
rapidly. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from
the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided. Personal
safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take. The Office of
Public Relations will disseminate the latest information regarding conditions on
campus in the following ways:

Weather advisory posted on the UA homepage


Weather advisory sent out through Connect-ED--faculty, staff and students (sign
up at myBama)
Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA at 90.7 FM
Weather advisory broadcast over Alabama Public Radio (WUAL) at 91.5 FM
Weather advisories are broadcast via WUOA/WVUA-TV, which can be viewed
across Central Alabama. Also, visit wvuatv.com for up-to-the-minute weather
information. A mobile Web site is also available for your convenience.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

CLASS SCHEDULE*
Date

Topic

Book Assignments

Supplemental
Readings

Reading Responses

August 20

Introduction

Brian M. Ingrassia,
The Rise of Gridiron
University
Introduction

(1) Guy Lewis,


The Beginning of
Organized
Collegiate Sports
(1970)

Reading Response
1 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday, August
21.

American Sport Culture


in the mid-to-late 19th
century
Early High School and
College Sports

August 25

Muscular Christianity
and the Origin of
American Football

(2) Chapter 1:
Baseball and
Football Pioneer
High School
Sports of Robert
Pruters The Rise of
American High
School Sports and
the Search for
Control, 1880-1930
(2013)
Brian M. Ingrassia,
The Rise of Gridiron
University
Chapters 1-2

(1) Selection from


Thomas Wentworth
Higginsons Saints
and Their Bodies
(1858)

Reading Response
2 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
August 26.

(2) Woodrow
Wilson Supports
Football and Its
Promotion of
Manliness, 1894
August 27

Early Controversies, the


Crisis of 1905, and the
Modern Game

Ingrassia,
The Rise of Gridiron
University
Chapters 3-4

(1) John S.
Watterson, The
Gridiron Crisis of
1905: Was It Really
a Crisis? (2000)
(2) John S.
Watterson,
Political Football:
Theodore
Roosevelt,
Woodrow Wilson,

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

Reading Response
3 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday, August
28.

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

9
and the Gridiron
Reform
Movement (1995)

September 1

Case Study: University


of Chicago

Ingrassia,
The Rise of Gridiron
University
Chapters 5-6

Selections from
Robin D. Lesters
Staggs University
(1995)

Reading Response
4 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
September 2.

September 3

Race and Ethnicity:


African Americans,
Native Americans, and
European Immigrants

Ingrassia,
The Rise of Gridiron
University
Chapters 7 and
Epilogue

(1) David Wallace


Adams, More than
a Game (2001)

Reading Response
5 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
September 4.

September 8

World War I and the


Diffusion of College
Football

(2) Hildrus A.
Poindexter,
Football at
Lincoln University,
a Historically Black
College in the Early
1920s
(1) Rockne, From
Norway to Notre
Dame, Colliers
(Oct. 18, 1930)

Reading Response
6 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
September 9.

(2) Rockne,
Beginning at
End, Colliers
(October 25, 1930)
September
10

Exam 1

September
15

College Football in the


1920s and Sports
Journalism

Demas, Integrating the


Gridiron
Prologue and Chapter 1

(1) Grantland
Rices The Four
Horsemen (1924)

Reading Response
7 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
September 16.

(2) Photo: The


Four Horsemen
(1924)
September
17

College Football in the


1930s, 1940s, and 1950s

Demas, Integrating the


Gridiron
Chapter 2

Intersectional Games

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

Summary of the
Carnegie Report of
1929

Reading Response
8 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
September 18.

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

10

and Criticism of College


Football
September
22

Integration of College
Football

Demas, Integrating the


Gridiron
Chapter 3

Chapter 3:
Massive
Resistance and the
Fall of the Color
Line, 1945-65, of
Charles H. Martins
book Benching Jim
Crow (2010)

Reading Response
9 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
September 23.

September
24

College Football in the


1960s, 1970s, and 1980s

Demas, Integrating the


Gridiron
Chapter 4

Michael Oriard,
The NCAA Goes
Pro, from his book
Bowled Over
(2009)

Reading Response
10 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
September 25.

September
29

College Football 1990s


and the BCS Era

Demas, Integrating the


Gridiron
Chapter 5 and Epilogue

Michael Oriard,
The NCAA
Monopoly,
selections from his
book Bowled Over
(2009)

Reading Response
11 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
September 30.

Current Issues in
College Football

Current Issues in
College Football
October 1

No Class

October 6

Exam 2

October 8

Early Professional
Football

Robert S. Lyons,
On Any Given Sunday
Prologue, Chapters 1-6

Five Hundred
Reasons

Reading Response
12 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
October 9.

October 13

The Ohio League

Lyons,
On Any Given Sunday
Chapters 7-14

Shelby Who?

Reading Response
13 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
October 14.

October 15

Birth of the NFL

Lyons,
On Any Given Sunday
Chapters 15-22

Chapter 1: The
First Pros of
Richard C.
Crepeaus NFL

Reading Response
14 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday, October
16.

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

11
Football (2014)

October 20

Red Grange and Pro


Football in the 1920s
and 1930s

Lyons,
On Any Given Sunday
Chapters 23-29

The Impact of Red


Grange on the
NFL

Reading Response
15 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
October 21.

October 22

Pro Football in the


1930s and 1940s

Lyons,
On Any Given Sunday
Chapters 30-36

Chapter 4:
Reintegration of
Charles K. Rosss
Outside the Lines
(1999)

Reading Response
16 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday, October
23.

October 27

Pro Football in the


1940s and 1950s

Lyons,
On Any Given Sunday
Chapters 37-40,
Epilogue

Chapter 3: The
NFL Comes of
Age of Richard C.
Crepeaus NFL
Football (2014)

Reading Response
17 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
October 28.

October 29

Fall Break

November 3

Pro Football in the


1960s

Chapter 9: The
New Frontier of
Michael
MacCambridges
American Game
(2004)

Reading Response
18 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
November 4.

November 5

Exam 3

November 10 NFL-AFL War in the


1960s

Michael Oriard, Brand


NFL
Introduction

Chapter 11: War


of Michael
MacCambridges
American Game
(2004)

Reading Response
19 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
November 11.

November 12 NFL-AFL Merger and


the Super Bowl

Oriard, Brand NFL


Chapters 1-2

Chapter 12: A
Separate Peace of
Michael
MacCambridges
American Game
(2004)

Reading Response
20 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
November 13.

November 17 Pro Football in the


1970s

Oriard, Brand NFL


Chapter 2-3

Joe Namath and


Super Bowl III

Reading Response
21 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture

12
November 18.

November 19 Pro Football in the


1980s

Oriard, Brand NFL


Chapter 3-4

(1) Mayor Lionel


J. Wilson Explains
Why Oakland
Needs the Raiders,
1984

Reading Response
22 due by 11:59 pm
on Friday,
November 20.

(2)Baltimore Sun
readers recall the
Colts move to
Indianapolis
November 24 NFL Free Agency

Oriard, Brand NFL


Chapter 4-5

Ed Garveys
Forward to The
Scope of the Labor
Exemption in
Professional
Sports (1989)

Reading Response
23 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
November 25.

Reading Response
24 due by 11:59 pm
on Wednesday,
December 2.

November 26 Thanksgiving Holiday


December 1

The Future of the NFL


and Pro Football

Oriard, Brand NFL


Chapter 5-6

Chapter 8:
Onyemalukwube
of Mark FainaruWada and Steve
Fainarus League of
Denial (2013)

December 3

Current Issues in Pro


Football

Oriard, Brand NFL


Conclusion and
Afterward

Current Issues in
Pro Football

December 8

Exam 4
11:30 am 2:00 pm
*Subject to change

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

AMS 300-002: ST: Football in American Culture


List of Important Dates:
Exams:
September 10
October 6
November 5
December 8

Exam 1
Exam 2
Exam 3
Exam 4

Reading Responses:
August 21
August 26
August 28
September 2
September 4
September 9
September 16
September 18
September 23
September 25
September 30
October 9
October 14
October 16
October 21
October 23
October 28
November 4
November 11
November 13
November 18
November 20
November 25
December 2

Reading Response 1 due by 11:59 pm


Reading Response 2 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 3 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 4 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 5 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 6 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 7 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 8 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 9 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 10 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 11 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 12 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 13 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 14 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 15 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 16 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 17 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 18 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 19 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 20 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 21 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 22 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 23 due by 11:59 pm
Reading Response 24 due by 11:59 pm

Extra Credit:
December 4

Extra Credit Responses due by 11:59 pm

Contact: michael.t.wood@ua.edu

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