Bureaucracy In Modern Sports

1050 Words5 Pages
The sun illuminates countless all-American names, with the occasional Coke or Papa John’s sponsor signs. The play clock ticks down to zero, and the stadium is finally filled to maximum capacity. Kickoff commences, players scramble across the field, and suddenly the only problems in the world hinge on if the Nike plastered football is past the downs marker. There are the elite suites high above the stadium cloaked in shade, but the majority are cramped and blisteringly hot. We are all united as one, cheering our team to victory, and thriving on the culture that is modern day sports. Every aspect of game day, from the Nike apparel to the intricate regulatory facets within the game itself, developed from influences that existed in the era between…show more content…
Relating this concept to athletics seems a bit perplexing at first, since government and sports usually do not go hand in hand. But in order to display bureaucracy’s influential role in athletics, it is vital to understand where the connection even began. Following the Civil War, structural hierarchy and commanding order pierced through much of the nation, allowing for expansion, development, and efficiency. As this bureaucratic type culture continued to envelop much of America, the structure and development of sports followed shortly thereafter. In an article by Barrie Houlihan, he states the emergence of bureaucracy in sport has been the product of the same forces that promoted it in work and other areas of society, namely the growth in size of administrative units, the development of a money economy, the increase in occupational specialism, and the dominance of the profit principle. In essence, sports became developed and refined based on the fact society developed and refined itself in this era. In addition, it is important to acknowledge the significance of the stratified social classes at the time. Houlihan makes another point that the impetus for this process (between sports and bureaucracy) was within the ruling elite class and their desire to control and…show more content…
Additionally, modern major league baseball followed an extremely similar path of existence via capitalist team owners. Within the book Sports in American Life: A History, there are two important aspects pointed out about the development of these major league teams. The first being that most sports venues built within the major leagues were paid for by team ownership. The second being when the owners banded together to create a single national league, they were able to heavily control the salary of players without fear of competition from other leagues. What these pseudo robber barons accomplished went far beyond lining their pockets. Not only were they able to create a national league that would eventually go on to become the multibillion dollar enterprise that is the MLB, they were able to capitalize on the weakly regulated pay scale and reap the benefits of those looking to invest in the team by any means. This bureaucratic level of control and regulation within the league is why sponsors like Gatorade dominate the dugout and Rawling dominates the brand of baseball used. Yet the monopoly of the MLB is still adored across America, as fans of all walks of life continue to attend games and support the bureaucratic foundation it was built
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