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Additional Information. Table of Contents. View Formatted Version. The Test of Time Jaime Schulz p. Nathan pp. Cricket and the Meaning of Life review Toby C. Rider pp. Hard Knocks — review Travis Vogan pp. By —, there were four Canadian and six U.
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The teams played a forty-four-game season and relied mostly on gate receipts for revenue, which mainly went to the home team. By the s, several cities sought NHL franchises to promote themselves. In , six new teams were added, and then six more U. WHA teams engaged in a bidding war for top talent. The costly rivalry led to a merger in with four of six WHA clubs.
Thereafter, the NHL began recruiting Europeans, including eastern Europeans in , who stressed skating, passing, and puck handling instead of the NHL-style of dump-and-chase that emphasized physicality and violence. In , Five of twenty-two current players with African ancestry are U. He tried to maintain a close, conciliatory relationship with the league, but the rank and file wanted a more aggressive leadership since their salaries, benefits, and dangerous working conditions lagged far behind other team sports.
When Eagleson retired in , he was replaced by Detroit lawyer and player agent Bob Goodenow, who pursued an aggressive agenda.
John Ziegler, the first NHL American president — , was fired by owners dissatisfied with his negotiations. He was replaced by NHL executive Gil Stein, who gave way in to an NBA vice president Gary Bettman, appointed commissioner to promote expansion and greater network television coverage, and fight the union.
The dispute ended with the owners introducing a salary cap and pulling back on rising wages. The league joined the Olympic Movement in , and four years later Canada won its first hockey gold medal since He also pushed through expansion, adding six teams between and , mainly in southern cities. Fiscal problems led to four relocations in the mids, and currently twenty-three of thirty franchises are in the United States. Basketball was invented in first game on December 21, by Dr. By the six-team National League of Professional Basketball was formed in metropolitan Philadelphia, and it lasted six years.
At least six other eastern pro leagues soon emerged. The early dominant pro team was the Buffalo Germans, winners of the championship at the St. Louis Olympics, who toured for twenty-two years.
The ABL was the first widely located professional basketball league, comprising independent eastern and Midwestern teams. The ABL was very unstable, with nineteen teams in five seasons, and broke up in A new, heavily Jewish and exclusively eastern ABL began in and lasted until — In the thirteen-team National Basketball League NBL was established, like the early NFL, by small businessmen, local boosters, and industrial firms in small and midsized Midwestern cities who played in high school and other small arenas.
Players were mostly college graduates who worked for corporate sponsors. Independent and league teams participated in the World Professional Tournament — sponsored by the Chicago Herald-American.
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In , the New York Rens defeated the Oshkosh All Stars to win the first championship, followed one year later by the Harlem Globetrotters, another black team. The pro game took a big step forward in , when promoters who controlled the largest privately owned eastern and Midwestern sports arenas organized the eleven-team Basketball Association of America to fill open dates. The BAA dropped down to eight teams in —, cut back its schedule, and created a unique territorial draft that gave franchises first shot at local graduating collegians.
The league was very unstable, and six teams, mainly from smaller cities, dropped out. Gate receipts went exclusively to home teams, which was good for big cities, not good for small towns. By Syracuse was the only small city in the NBA. The Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia in , replacing the Warriors, who had moved to San Francisco one year earlier, joining the Lakers in California, who had moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in The NBA had become truly national.
The early NBA game did not draw as well as top college games and often relied on doubleheaders that featured the Harlem Globetrotters to attract fans. The NCAA betting scandals severely wounded the college game, and fans began giving more attention to the pros. However, many fans were turned off by the slow pace of games because teams frequently used slow-down tactics against stronger foes. The league also began to get more publicity through national television coverage on the Dumont network, and later on NBC. Major rule changes in tried to make the game more fan friendly by increasing scoring.
The twenty-four-second shot clock was introduced to prevent teams from stalling, and new penalties were created to curtail excessive fouling by penalizing the fouling team after the seventh violation with a foul shot, plus a second if they made the first, or three chances to make two if fouled. In , African Americans composed 13 percent of NBA players, rising to 49 percent of team rosters in as well as two-thirds of starting players, and three-fourths of the All-Stars. The Celtics led by Russell and Coach Red Auerbach were the dominant team, with ten NBA titles, a record unmatched in professional team sports between and The quality of play and the athleticism of players increased during these years, relying on a large pool of outstanding former collegians.
There were so many talented players and so much fan interest that in Abe Saperstein, owner of the Globetrotters, set up a rival eight-team league, the American Basketball League ABL , with franchises as far west as Hawaii. It only lasted two years. Founded in , the NBPA had accomplished little, and its first successful action came in when players at the All-Star Game refused to participate unless the owners agreed to concrete concessions.
The outcome was a pension plan in Two years later, the union secured raises when it threatened to strike the playoffs. By they had won a minimum salary, medical insurance, severance pay, first-class air travel, and accommodations at five-star hotels.
The NBA and ABA agreed to merge in , an action the union fought, arguing that the consolidation would create a monopoly, and it secured a court injunction preventing the merger. The other teams were disbanded, and their players were divided up among the remaining twenty-two teams. By then the league then was more than 75 percent black, and some owners worried that their white fan base would be alienated by the black predominance. The era of prosperity can be attributed in large measure to Commissioner David Stern — who took over when seventeen of twenty-three teams were losing money.
He pushed for greater television coverage and convinced the Players Association to accept a salary cap and owners to accept a revenue-sharing system to maintain relative parity among teams. Stern instituted marketing campaigns that emphasized stars, particularly charismatic Michael Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles between and Stern signed television contracts with NBC in and ABC in , supported importing overseas stars, and led another era of expansion to thirty teams.
NBA revenue rose percent during his tenure. There are currently twelve teams.
The games have been televised on ESPN since the league began. The success of the four major professional team sports, supported by enthusiastic fans, powerful economic interests, and extensive television coverage, has been difficult to replicate in soccer. Twenty years ago, Stephen Hardy urged historians to examine the special nature of the industry of sport and study the game form, the role of entrepreneurs in developing their product, and the types of organizations they created, namely teams that played in cartelized associations.
Andrew Ross all focus on the process of professionalization, the role of franchise owners, and explaining how leagues bureaucratized, created playing rules, and set up championship seasons. They are also concerned about recruitment of athletes and the development of quality teams, player—management relations, and the evolution of playing areas.
Finally, they are concerned with components of profitability, franchise relocations, league expansion, and local and federal government relations. They focused on the rise of the National League in , which tried to run baseball on a money-making basis by keeping salaries low through the reserve clause, operating at modest wooden ballparks, and relying heavily on gate admissions and concessions. Then in Baseball: The Golden Age , they examined the baseball boom of the 20th century, when it totally dominated the national sporting scene with the rise of the American League, the expansion of the minor leagues, and the construction of modern fire-resistant ballpark, which produced substantial profits.
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He especially stressed the connections between team sports and local politics. Historians argue that early unions failed because of the dominant power of management and the conservatism of professional athletes who did not have a strong sense of shared class consciousness with their peers. Much of the recent scholarship examines how player unions, beginning with the Major League Baseball Players Association MLBPA in the mids under Marvin Miller successfully challenged management, improved working conditions, gained pensions and arbitration, and ended of the reserve clause by the mids.
Oriard shows how the NFL Players Union used the court system, traditionally highly pro ownership, to level the playing field between management and labor. Oriard attributes the considerable success to the generally astute decisions and actions taken by a series of NFL commissioners and owners to protect and enhance their bottom line, especially through television. NFL television revenues are so huge today that box-office receipts are currently of secondary importance.
Scholars like Oriard, James R. Walker, and Robert V. Bellamy Jr. Historians are, like sports fans, intrigued by the process of creating great teams, which require recruitment of top athletes.
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