March is a crazy month for the sport of college basketball. Every conference has their conference championship tournament to decide who will be going to the NCAA tournament to compete for a national championship. The Big East conference is one of the most historic conferences in all of college basketball and has their tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City every year. In March, me and the rest of the Richmond basketball team competed in the A-10 conference tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. After our first game I was able to take the subway with my mom over to MSG to see my brother and the University of Butler play in their first game against Providence. Providence ending up winning the game pretty handily.
This game had so many moving parts that all related to MCI. One of the keywords that I think is obvious for any kind of sporting event of this magnitude is media. There is so much media in all different forms and a lot of them were visible. The game was being broadcasted on national television and many local channels around the country. There was also a plethora of ways that you could stream it on the internet. Like many other sporting events, it could be watched from anywhere in the world. There was also many different news channels, broadcasters, bloggers, and journalists covering the game. At every game in these tournaments, there is a section is the bleachers specifically roped off for “Media”. At this specific game, the size of that section was really interesting to see. It was one of the bigger ones that I have seen in my time around basketball. This section consists of all these different people covering the game and keeping people all around the world updated. In class we talked about how media is mass communication. This was put on display at the game. I could just look around and see all the different media outlets broadcasting, tweeting, blogging, or doing whatever it may be to broadcast this game to a much larger audience than the one in the arena.
The next keyword that I saw was most prevalent while attending this game was culture. In our reading about culture from Keywords for American Cultural Studiesa definition is used that states, “the way of life of a people, group, or humanity in general”. (Burgett &Hendler, 2014) To an outsider who doesn’t play the sport of basketball or is not involved in it, this statement may seem extreme. But, in my 15 years of playing this game it is truly mind-boggling to realize how small this basketball world is. I was at a game for my brother in New York City and knew so many different people. I knew some of the media people, I ran into multiple people from my area or people that I played against in high school, and I even had three different people come up and talk to me because they recognized me. When I was waiting to see my brother after the game one man came up to me and said he knew who I was because his other son played for High Point University who we had played earlier that year. It is interesting to see how something like the sport of basketball has turned into its own culture. Like the definition says, basketball has been a way of life for a lot of people at the game and it has come to help form their identity. A lot of them are the same in the sense that they have dedicated their entire lives to in whether it is playing or just being involved with the sport. It baffles me at how the sport has created this own culture and how it feels like everyone knows everyone. Being in The Garden that night and having these different interactions highlighted this idea.
There are so many other keywords and concepts from MCI that could be applicable to this game that I attended. There is so much that goes into putting these games on and getting everything ready to go. I would say that sports in general have a very clear cut connection to MCI and this was definitely on display at this game.
Burgett, Bruce, and Glenn Hendler. Keywords for American Cultural Studies. New York University Press, 2014.