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- Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for "Culture of
English Speaking Countries Lessons" for Xiangtan Normal University...
WESTERN CULTURE AND SOCIETY: THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA (USA) -
Source of information:
SPORT IN AMERICA: Sport plays a big
part in American life. Although many people do not take part in sport, they
do watch sport either on television or at a sports stadium. College students
are normally required to take part in sports events as part of their
education. A report in 1996 showed that over 60% of American adults do no
regular sport, exercise or fitness.
first professional Baseball League began in 1871. By the beginning of the
20th century, most large cities in the eastern United States had a
professional baseball team. The teams were divided into two leagues, the
National and American, today the leagues are now subdivided. The American
and National leagues are now known as "Major League Baseball" and
at the end of the season the best 4 teams from each league go forward to the
"World Series". The World Series winners are known as the World
Baseball is played mainly by
men and has been an Olympic sport since 1992. Baseball became very popular
in the 1920s, when a famous player, "Babe Ruth" (1895-1948) led
the New York Yankees to several World Series titles and became a national
hero on the strength of his home runs (balls that cannot be played because
they have been hit out of the field).
the 1950s, baseball expanded its geographical range. Until the 1970s,
because of strict contracts, the owners of baseball teams also virtually
owned the players; since then, the rules have changed so that players are
free, within certain limits, to sell their services to any team. The results
have been bidding wars and stars who are paid millions of dollars a year.
Disputes between the players' union and the owners have at times halted
baseball for months at a time. If baseball is both a sport and a business,
late in the 20th century many disgruntled fans view the business side as the
Baseball became popular in
Japan after American soldiers introduced it during the occupation following
World War II. In the 1990s a Japanese player, Hideo Nomo, became a star
pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball is also widely played in Cuba
and other Caribbean nations.
Now played by more
than 250 million people worldwide in organized events, and now America's
most popular indoor sport, basketball originated in 1891 when a future
Presbyterian minister named James Naismith (1861-1939) was assigned to teach
a physical education class at a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
training school in Springfield, Massachusetts. The class had been noted for
being disorderly, and Naismith was told to invent a new game to keep the
young men occupied. Since it was winter and very cold outside, a game that
could be played indoors was desirable.
The first professional
basketball league was formed in 1898; players earned $2.50 for home games,
$1.25 for games on the road. Not quite 100 years later, Juwan Howard, a star
player for the Washington Bullets (now called the Washington Wizards), had
competing offers of more than $100 million over seven seasons from the
Bullets and the Miami Heat.
Football is a major sport in America, normally just called
"football" within America, but called "American
football" elsewhere. "The National Football League" (NFL) has
30 professional teams. The biggest event in American Football is the
There are many other popular sports in America, including Tennis, Swimming,
Athletics, Volleyball, Golf, Boxing etc. One sport which has become
increasingly popular is Ice Hockey.