Out of Bounds.
Judging solely by media coverage, most of what was newsworthy in sports during the 1990s had little to do with the field of play. Athletics—professional, amateur, and casual—had become big business and news often occurred off the court. While ordinary men and women struggled to stay in shape at local fitness centers, sports entrepreneurs, media moguls, and lawyers came to represent the complex reality of modern sports more often than professional or college athletes. The annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which had nothing to do with athletics, was regularly the best-selling issue of the year.
The business of athletics kept getting bigger, until the cliché "It's only a game" became meaningless. Big cities paid for huge stadiums to lure league franchises, hoping the economic benefits might somehow exceed the costs to taxpayers. Even smaller cities built new minor-league ballparks to promote the economic boom associated with sports. The collegiate bastion of amateurism, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), charged the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) television network more than $6 billion for the rights to broad-cast "March Madness," the annual men's college basketball championship tournament. Although the NCAA and participating colleges made money, and successful coaches...
(The entire section is 1913 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of 1990's Sports Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!