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4.12.18 – SPOKES Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Paul Arnold

Incoming President Chelsea started the meeting with a moment of silence for long time Rotarian Larry Bratschi. James Eliassen announced two upcoming service projects.

Paul Farr introduced our speaker, Dr. Kevin Quinn, President of Aquinas College. Dr. Quinn has a background in math, physics, environmental studies and economics.

Dr. Quinn spoke on the economics of sports and the importance of it in our society.

He related how millions of fans were coming to ball parks and stadiums each year— and have been for well over 100 years. Being a sports fan to a particular team is almost as important to many people as their religion. Sports memorabilia is comparable to religious iconography. Being a Cubs or Red Sox fan is part of one’s identity. Superbowl Sunday, The World Cup and basketball’s Final Four weekend are seriously considered by many to be National Holidays. The advent of fantasy sports on the internet, according to Dr. Quinn is what is saving professional baseball. Football is still hugely popular but is being spoiled and diminished by all the commercials during the game.

Many social and political movements were influenced by sports and sports figures, e.g. Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson, Mohamed Ali, Black Power salute, Bruce Jenner, Munich tragedy.

Sports are as old as civilization with evidence in cave drawings. A sport is  defined as an unscripted, physical event where there is a clear winner.

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