Fields of Fire: Sports in the '60s (1995)

Genres - History, Sports & Recreation  |   Sub-Genres - Politics & Government, Social History, Sports  |   Run Time - 59 min.  |  
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This award-winning video examines sports within the context of a period of great social and political upheaval. As its metaphorical title suggests, it focuses on pivotal events in the sports world that didn't always take place in the arena or on the playing field -- such as Muhammad Ali's refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, a stance that cost him his world heavyweight boxing title. Also recalled is Major League Baseball player Curt Flood's refusal to be traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood's struggle had far-reaching implications for the sport, paving the way for the era of free agency and million-dollar salaries. The video also examines the evolving nature of sports journalism and how it gave rise to the media-created "superstar," a designation personified by "Broadway" Joe Namath, the controversial quarterback who led the New York Jets to a stunning win over the highly favored Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl.

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athlete, baseball, boxing, controversial, heavyweight, sports, superstar