The following is a guest post from Oliver Lee Bateman, an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also the Reviews and Commentary editor of The Good Men Project.
“Can you do the intellectual history of sports?” This question was posed several years ago during a heated discussion in a University of Pittsburgh graduate seminar. The person asking the question was one of those brilliant but absent-minded Ph.D. candidates who talked big and did little, so at the time it went unanswered. However, as I spent the past week reading Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru’s book League of Denial, I began to formulate a tentative “yes we can” answer.