Sunday, April 10, 2011

The 1930s

I started writing about decades with my 1920s post, and I'm moving into the 1930s today. I am declaring that the Thirties were the best time in to be a sportswriter.

First, yes, I'm sure there were other things in the 1930s that were better known for than sports journalism. But because this is my blog, I'm going to naturally sway toward things I know best or am nostalgic for. That said, the 1930s were a kickin' time for sports journalism.

Baseball, which had exploded in popularity in the 1920s, continued to be America's pastime despite the Depression. I envy the beat writers for Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs and Giants during this time. But it wasn't just baseball: Other sports were coming into their own during this time, including college and pro football, horse racing and the Olympics. Boxing became even more popular thanks to the proliferation of radio. With that proliferation and with newspapers at their peak (they would start declining in numbers soon enough), sports were covered like they never were before.

Sports journalism continued to grow in the subsequent decades, with radio giving way to TV, and with more sports (e.g., basketball, golf, hockey) coming onto the national scene. But as it grew, it changed. Sports journalism was never as exciting, and perhaps never as important, as it was in the 1930s.

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