In his book The Meaning of Sports, sociologist Michael Mandelbaum argues that the distinctive features of American team sports are their emphasis on competition and winning.
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In his article “What Makes an American Team,” Dr. Michael Mandelbaum lists several factors which, in his estimation, contribute to the success of American teams. Among these are “a deep pool of talent to draw on,” “greater financial resources,” and “a history and culture that emphasize teamwork.”
Mandelbaum’s thesis is that American teams have an advantage over their counterparts from other countries because they are able to capitalize on these factors. He cites the example of baseball’s New York Yankees, who he says are able to spend more money on player salaries than any other team in the world. As a result, the Yankees are able to field a team of All-Star caliber players, which in turn gives them a better chance of winning championships.
While Mandelbaum acknowledges that there are some negative aspects to the American team model (such as the fact that players are often traded away or released if they do not perform up to expectations), he ultimately believes that the positives outweigh the negatives.
What are the distinctive features of American team sports?
Mandelbaum(3) argues that there are three distinctive features of American team sports: they are played outdoors, they involve physical contact, and they are organized around the ideal of fair play.
First, American team sports are played outdoors. This is in contrast to many other countries, where team sports are played indoors. For example, soccer is typically played on grass in the United States, but it is often played on artificial turf in Europe.
Second, American team sports involve physical contact. This is again in contrast to many other countries, where team sports do not typically involve physical contact. For example, basketball involves players trying to physically stop each other from scoring, while soccer does not.
Finally, American team sports are organized around the ideal of fair play. This means that there is an emphasis on following the rules and playing fair. For example, in basketball, players are not allowed to physically hurt each other intentionally.
All of these features combine to make American team sports unique.
How do these features affect the way teams play?
Mandelbaum argues that American teams have certain distinctive features that set them apart from teams in other countries. These features include a greater emphasis on athleticism, individualism, and physicality. Additionally, American teams tend to place a higher value on winning than on sportsmanship.
These features can affect the way teams play in several ways. For example, the emphasis on athleticism may lead to more aggressive play, as players attempt to gain an advantage over their opponents through physicality. The individualism may also result in more selfish play, as players prioritize their own success over the success of the team. Finally, the focus on winning may cause American teams to be more competitive and less likely to show mercy towards their opponents.
How do they affect the way fans experience the games?
Mandelbaum argues that the three most distinctive features of American team sports are (1) the length of the playing season, which is much longer in the U.S. than in other countries; (2) the playoff system, which pits the best teams against each other in a single-elimination tournament at the end of the season; and (3) the emphasis on statistical comparisons between players and teams, which Mandelbaum believes is unique to American sports.
These features have a number of effects on the way fans experience American team sports. First, the long playing season means that there is always a game to watch or attend, which can add to fans’ sense of loyalty to their team. Second, the playoff system creates a sense of suspense and excitement at the end of the season, as fans wonder whether their team will make it to the playoffs and have a chance to win the championship. Finally, the emphasis on statistics means that fans can compare their favorite players and teams in a variety of ways, which can add to their enjoyment of watching games.
What are the implications of these features for the future of American team sports?
Mandelbaum’s book provides an interesting perspective on the development of American team sports. He argues that the distinctive features of American team sports are size, speed, violence, and specialization. These features have led to the success of American teams in international competition, but they also have implications for the future of American team sports.
Mandelbaum argues that the size of American athletes is a major advantage in team sports. He notes that American football players are larger than their counterparts in other countries, and that this size advantage has led to American dominance in the sport. However, he also argues that this size advantage is not likely to last indefinitely. As other countries catch up to America in terms of athletic development, the size advantage will disappear.
Another distinctive feature of American team sports is speed. Mandelbaum argues that American athletes are faster than their counterparts in other countries. This speed advantage has led to American dominance in many sports, including basketball and hockey. However, like the size advantage, this speed advantage is not likely to last indefinitely. As other countries catch up to America in terms of athletic development, the speed advantage will disappear.
A third distinctive feature of American team sports is violence. Mandelbaum argues that violence is a major factor in American football and hockey. He notes that violent play is often encouraged by coaches and fans in these sports. This violence has led to serious injuries for some players, but it has also been a major factor in the success of American teams in international competition. However,Mandlebaum argues that the violence may also be a major factor in the decline of interest in these sports among young people.
A fourth distinctive feature of American team sports is specialization. Mandelbaum argues that American athletes often specialize in one sport at an early age. This specialization allows them to develop innovative techniques and strategies that give them an advantage over their counterparts in other countries who often play multiple sports. However, this specialization also has disadvantages. It can lead to burnout and it can limit an athlete’s opportunities to participate in other activities outside of their sport.
In conclusion, American team sports are mostly organized around the principle of “fair play.” This means that there is an emphasis placed on the rules of the game being followed by all participants. There is also an emphasis on having a level playing field, where all players have an equal opportunity to compete. Finally, American team sports tend to emphasize individual achievement within the context of the team.