The Gridiron and the Gray Flannel Suit

NFL Football and the Modern U.S. Workplace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Examining three critical periods of transformation in the history of professional football in the United States, this article demonstrates the centrality of the workplace to the development of the National Football League (NFL). The article argues that the NFL originated in the welfare capitalism of the early 1920s; that mass-mediated narratives about corporate management drove pro football’s coming-of-age in the 1950s and 1960s; and that fantasy football—the NFL’s most distinctive new form of spectatorship in the age of digital capitalism—positioned fans as imaginary managers of human capital. Taken together, these three pivotal moments demonstrate the inextricable links between changes in professional sports and transformations in the organization of work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-148
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

Fingerprint

workplace
professional sports
fan
human capital
capitalist society
welfare
manager
narrative
organization
history
management

Keywords

  • corporate culture
  • fantasy sports
  • football
  • labor
  • welfare capitalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

The Gridiron and the Gray Flannel Suit : NFL Football and the Modern U.S. Workplace. / Gilbert, Daniel.

In: Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol. 42, No. 2, 01.04.2018, p. 132-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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