Maybe I Should Give You Some History

16 Dec

As a historian, I feel that I have neglected my calling by not writing about some interesting aspect of the past. I haven’t written about it for several reasons.

1. I like to think that I am a well-rounded person with many interests and many things to write about. I hope those who have stumbled across the blog find those things entertaining and insightful.

2. History is my job, and I need this blog to be an escape from my job and other aspects of my everyday life. It is hard to escape my job because a lot of people have an interest in some aspect of the past. Often, they will ask me questions about a person or an event that they have already established an opinion about. The Civil War is really bad in these parts. They are Civil War buffs and think that I should be as well. You can’t realize how many times someone has started a conversation by asking, “You are a history buff aren’t you?” Actually, I’m not. I am a professional historian.

3. A lot of people find history boring. These are the ones who were probably forced to memorize dates by some football coach/teacher in high school. I figured that if I was going to get a lot of hits, then I should not focus on historical subjects.

With those in mind, I feel the need to give a little history lesson. As I thought about what to write, I realized that I did not want to throw out a big lecture. Then, I remember that several years ago my university came up with an advertising idea. We would buy radio time and provide 30 seconds of historical tidbits. The history faculty came up with some short stories to be read in these spots. It took quite a bit of time, but the ads were never recorded. I am thinking that there is no reason to let them go to waste. So. periodically I will put one of them on the blog. Not surprisingly, each one has a connection to my home state. Here is the first one.

Did you know that one of America’s most highly regarded sports writers was from Tennessee? Born in Murfreesboro in 1890, Grantland Rice began his journalistic career at the Nashville News before finally becoming a writer for the New York Tribune. When his column became nationally syndicated, Rice’s writing style – a combination of sports news, gossip and commentary – lead to popularity throughout the United States. Through Rice’s vivid descriptions and artistic use of the English language, fans could visualize teams that they had never seen. Famous for naming the “Four Horsemen” of Notre Dame, perhaps Grantland Rice’s most¬†remembered line is derived from a poem. “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the game.”

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One Response to “Maybe I Should Give You Some History”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. History is Local – Tennessee Style | Surrounded By Imbeciles - April 30, 2014

    […] Grantland Rice, perhaps the greatest sportswriter to sit behind a typewriter, was from Murfreesboro. He wrote about the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame and a line that goes like this: […]

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