I never thought I would ever say this, but I am starting to hate football. It has long been the sport I, as many other have enjoyed for years. No matter what event is going on Sunday, people will skip it to watch football. Maybe that is why just about every wedding occurs on Saturday and not Sunday, to make sure men don’t miss their own wedding. But, after taking this class I find myself disliking the sport more because of the role it play in development of masculinity to young boys. I used to think of sports as just a way to enjoy ones self and nothing more. But, this class has taught me how sports share a relation in society with the subject of race, gender, and class. And in doing so I have seen just how negative a part football does play in society. But it is not just the actually sport, but movies about certain sports in general. I used to think sports movies were used to display the American dream and coming out on top, but they also display the social processes of race, class and gender.
Varsity Blues is not just about sports, but is also considered a coming of age movie. What I see now is how the movie show the negative side of sports in how the ideas of race and gender are seen. The film takes place in West Canann Texas, where as any place in the state football is seen as a religion and way of life. Jonathan Moxon is the backup quarterback who is not just a good athlete, but intelligent as well. He will be attending Brown University after his senior season. But when the starting quarterback goes down, Moxon must take over the job and lead the team to glory. But, if he doesn’t he will have to faith the wrath of the head coach, and be seen as a failure in the eyes of not just his father, but the whole town as well. Although the film deals with how the players deal with pressure of a town’s expectation, it also show how both gender, race and coaches are treated in the world of sports. It also shows how football is used as a tool in the development of masculinity for young boys.
Coach Bud Kilmer is seen as a legend around the town. He has been coaching the high school football team for generations, and has brought home 22 titles. He is the kind of coach who will win at any costs, and it shows as he makes his star player play hurt, which result at one point in the star quarterback getting even more injured. It’s abuse of adolescents that should not be allowed, but instead of stopping the tactics, parent more so embrace it. The parents trust that Kilmer is coaching the right way because it is a way that parents can affirm their authority over their children.1 At home, Moxon does not listen much to his parent, especially his dad who want him to concentrate less on getting into college, and more on the weekend’s football game. But at practice when Moxon tries to have some fun the coach yells at him and a more serious tone is taken in the practice. The players do not talk back as they might outside of practice. Another reason the parents allow for the coach to do whatever he want to the players is because it has been proven that he is a winner. Kilmer has won 22 regional championships, and with titles comes rewards. Because the kids are winning the parents are seen as good parent. There is no position in sports that is valued more than the Quarterback. So, when Moxon win, “the parents are viewed as good parents if their children are successful at sports”.2 The parents are not supporting the players, and “instead of setting examples for their children, they live through them, pathetically feed off them.”3 Moxon father is viewed as a joke while his son is first sitting on the bench, but when he become the star and is leading them to victory, the dad is gaining all sorts of rewards and is praised all the adults. When the first quarterback goes down and is in the hospital, all his dad can think of is the scholarship to Florida State, not if his son will ever walk again. What Varsity Blues shows about sports is that...
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