Table Topics questions are meant to stimulate family and classroom discussion.
Use the questions below after reading,"Good sports, great players"
- All of America, including Seattle, loved sports during the '20s. Baseball was king. But The Seattle
Times covered many professional and amateur sports, like polo, soccer, football, tennis, yachting,
prize-fighting -- and devoted an entire page each day to golf. How has sports coverage changed? What
formerly popular sports get little coverage today and what's new on the scene? The '20s were a golden
age of sports writing. Are there great sports writers today or do broadcasters get most of the attention?
- Baseball was segregated in the 1920s. The Times covered regional
Japanese-American and Filipino teams, but rarely ran photos, and only occasionally
reported on the professional teams of The Negro Leagues. Can you imagine what sports
would be like today without the talents of minority athletes? Are there sports where
certain races are under-represented? If so, why? Imagine the pressures on the great Jackie
Robinson, the first African-American to play in the majors. How has integration changed sports
and, how in turn, has it changed America?
- In the '20s, women's sports were restricted to "ladylike" games of
tennis and golf, although The Times encouraged young "tomboys" to play softball.
What mixed message does this send women about sports? Opportunities for girls
in athletics have multiplied in recent years. Do you follow the careers of any
female athletes? On rare occasions, boys and girls play on teams together.
Is it likely that women will ever play on mixed-gender teams at the high-school,
collegiate or professional level? Would this be good or bad for women's sports?
Do you think women will eventually play pro basketball, soccer or baseball (again)?
- Sports in the '20s was a community event. Folks either attended
the game or gathered with a crowd of thousands in Times Square outside The Seattle Times
building to watch a mechanical game board and listen to radio.
How has television viewing changed the sport spectator experience? Are there some sports
you prefer to see in person or on TV? What was the best game you ever saw and why?
Why do people want to come together en masse to celebrate great victories?
- In baseball's heyday, local stars were well known.
The town went nuts when local pitcher John Mijus played for Pittsburgh in the World Series,
and suffered when he lost the crucial game. Do we have local sports heroes today or
have they been replaced by sports "personalities"? Sports has always involved money and politics.
In 1926, owners of The Seattle Indians minor league club threatened to sell or move the team.
The Mariners and Seahawks have threatened or done the same. Is sports strictly a business or
does it have special responsibilities to the fans?
- Sports is a great drama of gain and loss, heroes and villains. Why do Americans love sports so much?
Why do we care about athletes and lionize their achievements? Has the growing relationship of advertising to
big-time sports affected athletes or athletic competition?
Copyright © 1996 The Seattle Times Company