Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since the rise of sports ministry organizations in the 1950s and 1960s, Christian sports stars have become adept at using news coverage to promote an evangelical agenda. Celebrity evangelism of this sort is a prominent strategy within the Christian athletic community. While the relationship between media, sport, and Christianity has a long history, the 1950s are particularly important for understanding this relationship in contemporary sports culture. The now-cliché postgame thanks to God by football players and coaches brings up an important question: how did Christian witnessing become a part of the American media landscape? And how is football in particular part of this story? This article shows that stories of evangelical coaches and athletes fit easily into media narratives of football that have been circulating since the sport was first covered in the popular press in the late nineteenth century. It discusses the role of masculinity and morality in the evangelical project of athletic witnessing, the growth of sport spectatorship through television and the advertising strategy of celebrity endorsements, and Frank Deford's critique of what he called “Sportianity.”

Keywords: football, Christianity, news coverage, evangelism, Christian witnessing, masculinity, television, advertising, Frank Deford, Sportianity

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.