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Scholars Day: April 9, 2014

145 Days: Patriotism, 9/11 & Superbowl XXXVI

Dating back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Green Light Letter” to Major League Baseball in 1942, American national sporting events adopted the platform of “playing ball” in the face of tragedy. Whether it was the onset of subsequent wars or even the assassination of John F. Kennedy, American sporting prevailed as the MLB and NFL maintained normalcy by upholding schedules. Yet as September 11th, 2001 dawned, Major League Baseball alongside the National Football league postponed games, let the nation morn and returned with an entirely new view on how sports should deal with tragedy. Escapism gave way to unseen levels of nationalism as stadiums throughout the U.S. partook in extravagant remembrance ceremonies: culminating 145 days later at Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans. While the game may have meant the triumphant birth of Tom Brady in the sports section, what is foregone is the games immense political subtext as a rebuttal to the 9/11 attacks. Demonstration through unforeseen levels of security, nationalistic rhetoric and vast broadcasting rights transformed America’s biggest game into a hegemonic display proclaiming America is here, live and strong. This is where the true story lies.


Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Matthew Rockefeller (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 9:15 am Session I