Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Rise of Intercollegiate Football and Its Portrayal in American Popu

The Rise of Intercollegiate Football and Its Portrayal in American Popular Literature With the success of the Merriwell literature, juvenile sport fiction became abundant. In all subsequent stories, the model for traditional juvenile sport fiction, even continuing today, is the illustrious Frank Merriwell (Oriard, 1982). As the Merriwell series dwindled to a halt in the 1910’s, books began to dominate the world of children’s sport fiction. Oriard (1982) suggested the popularity of these books rose because â€Å"the juvenile sports novel combined the action of the dime novels with the middle-class morality of the Alger (rags-to-riches) novel† (p. 47). In 1912, the year Gilbert Patten retired as the author of the Merriwell stories, Owen Johnson published his children’s novel, Stover at Yale. Dink Stover looms as the hero of Johnson’s novel, which follows young Dink from his freshman year to the beginning of his senior year at the illustrious Yale University. Johnson’s novel while similar to the Merriwell series, establishes a ne w era in juvenile sport literature that starts the maturation process of the collegiate athlete-hero. Many of Frank Merriwell’s challenges did occur on the playing field at Yale in a multitude of sports that included football, baseball, crew, and track. During most of these events, however, the precocious hero and his comrades usually solved a mystery or righted some wrong. In addition, Merriwell left college for a few years, and this respite from college life enabled the multifaceted young man to write a play, purchase a champion thoroughbred horse, and travel the world in his pursuit to stamp out all wrongdoing, all activities contrary to the ideals of amateurism. Stover receives the hero worship typical o... ...mith, R.A. (1988). Sports and Freedom: The Rise of Big-Time College Athletics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Smith, R.A. (1993). â€Å"History of Amateurism in Men’s Intercollegiate Athletics: The Continuance of a 19th-Century Anachronism in America.† QUEST. Vol. 45, pp. 430-447. Standish, B.L. (1900). â€Å"Frank Merriwell’s Policy; or, Playing Columbia for Practice.† TipTop Weekly. No. 238. Standish, B.L. (1901). â€Å"Dick Merriwell at Fardale; or, The Wonder of School.† Tip Top Weekly. No. 291. Thelin, J.R. (1994). Games Colleges Play: Scandal and Reform in Intercollegiate Athletics. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. Valenzi, K.D., Ed. (1990). Champion of Sport: The Life and Times of Walter Camp, 1859-1925. Charlottesville, VA: Howell Press, Inc. Watterson, J.S. (1988). â€Å"Inventing Modern Football.† American Heritage. Sept./Oct., pp. 102-113.

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