Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seattle Seahawks 2011 NFL Draft Board Version 1.0

My initial Seahawks draft board. Currently a list 76 prospects, and growing, that fit for the organization. The board includes an analysis of 'Hawks team needs and a group of top prospects not on the draft board. The board will be updated every 10 days or so until the draft. Check out version 1.0!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Seahawks and Michel Foucault

Foucault was a prestigious French theorist who studied social institutions, influential until his death in 1984. He published Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison in 1975, a work that largely focuses on the birth of the prison system and the modern application of power and punishment in society.

He brings a stark contrast to Weber, interested in shaping and manipulating individuals rather than letting them work with their own free "calling." Obviously this work was meant to investigate the reigning in of the individual, not free will, and provides insight as to how the Seahawks formula can be sharpened.

1. A major Achilles heal for the team, notably the defense, in 2010 was staying inside the scheme. During the lockout, where there is no communication to players, how can the organization indirectly impose it's will upon signed players, un-signed free agents and possible new players? Foucault's Panopticism provides insight as to how the watchful eye of authority is designed to have strong psychological effects on subjects within a given system; how the tentacles of authority can permeate into and subconsciously drive the every day life of a given subject. The key is, the more unnoticed the watchful eye, the greater its power.

2. Foucault studies in depth the efficient mechanisms and methods used when asserting the authority of the watchful eye upon these subjects, "docile bodies" within the prison system. The appeal of the docile body is that the individual is effectively treated as a blank slate, a willing and able individual looking to adhere to the principles of the given system. Are any of these methods applicable in preparing 2011 draftees and perspective free agents, especially given the time crunch created by a lack of CBA?

Again, comments and questions are welcome. A couple Bleacher Report articles to come this week, while Frantz Fanon and Alexis De Tocqueville will be introduced over the weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Seahawks and Max Weber

German Sociologist Max Weber was one of largest late 1800's- early 1900's influences on social theory. His writings cover the majority of social topics during his time. I am currently applying some of his ideas to the Seahawks in my research, and wanted to share a few questions I am facing.

1. Weber extensively analyzes the Protestant idea of Calvin's "calling;" how the daily pursuit of eternal salvation effects the lives of individuals in society. Weber goes into great detail about the practice of this idea, and the effect it has on society as a whole. Are practices of his ideas reflected in the Seahawks 2010 season?

2. How much validity is there to the idea that Pete Carroll "willed" the Seahawks at points during the season? Weber talks extensively about the power of the "Orator," the leader of a given group, and how the Orator's energy can effect the outcome of their collective goal.

Any thoughts? I will continue to post questions every few days to give an idea of where my research is going. Thanks for keeping up during the off-season.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Seahawks and Sociology in the 2011 Offseason

Hey readers. Just wanted to inform you over the next 4-6 weeks I will be circling back to analyzing the Seahawks from a Sociological perspective. I am going to draw upon the theories of numerous Sociologists and apply those ideas to the Seahawks.

Throughout the season I introduced the concepts of Karl Mannheim's Utopia and Emile Durkheim's Totem rather thoroughly; I will be expanding upon those concepts and introducing further ideas. Frantz Fanon, Michael Foucault, Alexis De Tocqueville, Max Weber, Mary Douglas (sporadically referenced throughout the 2010 season) will all be part of my analysis, and possibly more.

Where to begin? Below I have listed eight, 2010 season articles that incorporate Sociology; some articles feature a couple sentences, others a couple paragraphs on the subject. These should introduce, refresh or deepen your understanding of the concepts introduced during the season--Just going back and looking at these ideas broadened my scope going forward.

I'm excited for this project, as the research is for my first major Sociology essay independent from my studies at Berkeley. Please, keep following and any/all feedback is welcome.

Hopefully these ideas will bring better clarity as to how I see the 'Hawks and Sociology in the same realm, but also broaden your own interest in following sports, and the 'Hawks, beyond a purely physical level.

The introduction of the Totem

A brief reference to Douglas

The introduction of Utopia
A an example of Utopia
An example of the Totem
Useful for a glimpse of new theorists to be explored, though none are referenced. 
More on the Totem .

An introduction to continuity and transition, Douglas.  

Douglas on transition and continuity

Finally, I have certainly not forgotten about part 3 of my offseason series. My articles on The Bleacher Report and in-season analysis give a solid indicator as to how I feel about most of the 2010 roster. Part 3 will be posted after my Seahawks Big Board on B/R.