Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Football, Fame, and Fortune

This paper was just published in the online journal, The Other Journal, and is available here:

Here's a short excerpt:

The external goods that are available through participating in football (and many other practices) include fame, fortune, status, social influence, and power. Football players at the professional level often acquire a fortune and some achieve a significant amount of fame. These goods are external to football because one could play football and even achieve excellence in the sport without receiving any of these goods. In fact, in the past this was true of many of the great players who excelled prior to the escalation of salaries and media coverage of the sport. They experienced football’s internal goods but not the external ones. This shows that the external goods are not essential to football.

What is the significance of the difference between the internal and external goods when considering the relationship between football and celebrity? As I will demonstrate, in football (as well as many other sports), the pursuit of the external goods by individual players can undermine the pursuit of the internal goods of the sport, some of which are grounded in a Christian understanding of the nature of God.

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