The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/15/2012
  • Publisher: Harpercollins
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Rolling Heads and Pigskins takes us to the farthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancient past to answer a question asked by every child on Earth: "Why do we play ball?"Inspired by the curiosity of his sports-obsessed 8-year-old son, anthropologist John Fox sets off on a global adventure to explore the untold history of our favorite ball games, investigate their origins and evolutionary tracks, and discern how one of humanity's simplest inventions-the humble, ubiquitous ball-has staked an unrivaled claim on our history, our passions, our money, and our lives.From the jungles of Mexico to the farm country of Ohio, from the courts of the ancient Pharaohs to the virtual playing fields of Second Life, Rolling Heads and Pigskins puts us center court for the gritty, ritualistic, violent, bizarre, primal drama of ball games as we've played them across the centuries. Part history, part travelogue, and part sportscast, Rolling Heads and Pigskins spins tales of the ball itself as actor and instigator, a player who taps our human urge to hit, kick, throw, and tackle.In the end, Rolling Heads and Pigskins removes us from the scandals, corruption, and commercialism of today's sports to uncover the true reasons we play ball, helping us reclaim our fundamental human connection to the games we love.

Author Biography

John Fox has excavated ancient ball courts in Central America, traced Marco Polo's runic across China, and bicycled Africa's Rift Valley in search of human origins. He has contributed commentary to Vermont Public Radio as well as Smithsonian, Outside, and Salon, among oilier publications. He lives in Boston.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Warm-upp. 1
Play Ballp. 13
From Skirmish to Scrump. 48
Advantage, Kingp. 80
Sudden Death in the New Worldp. 112
The Creator's Gamep. 141
Home, with Joyp. 174
Played in Americap. 216
Nothing New Under the Sunp. 267
Epilogue: Back to Basicsp. 317
Acknowledgmentsp. 329
Notesp. 333
Selected Bibliographyp. 347
Illustration Creditsp. 355
Indexp. 359
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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