When I was at Temple University I taught a class called the Global History of Soccer. It was mostly a class on globalization, a world history class, that focused on how one can see history through soccer. Students liked the course and it was a great primer for the 2018 World Cup.

I still use soccer on occasion in the classroom and would love to teach a similar course about sports history in the future. Recently the Podcast, Outside Right, had a great interview on the Spanish Civil War. Another great resource is this extensive site on Football during World War I.

Students seem to connect well with sports in history because sports are an important part of their lives. As historians and teachers, sometimes we forget the importance of the fun things during difficult times. I remember being shocked flipping through World War II-era newspapers and seeing the College Football debates raging on right next to headlines of German invansions of Eastern Europe and Japanese expansions into Asia.

Have you considered sports during war? What other things may we be forgetting when we think about the past?

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