Sports History is American History


Here’s a high-interest, “no tech” freebie.

One of the ways in which history teachers can emphasize the relevance of popular culture in the study of history is to drum up a discussion about how localities represent themselves through mottoes, symbols, and especially..mascots!

We are all aware of some of the conflicts over the past decade or so over professional, collegiate, and even school district mascots..the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves “tomahawk chop” (stolen from Florida State?), the Fighting Irish, etc.

How are some mascot choices a result of a community’s view of their own history? When Baltimore (relatively near me) was naming their football team (long after the loss of the Colts) their choices included.. the Ravens (the winner, of course), from Edgar Allen Poe, buried in Baltimore, and the Bombers, based on the bomber aircraft factories in the Baltimore area during World War II. In each case, a sense of history was part of the discussion.

To further the discussion, and enlighten students on the source of many mascot names, I created this simple worksheet. I offer it for your use, change it any way you like. In fact, I’m not a dedicated sports fan, and I realize that a few teams mentioned in the worksheet are now defunct/renamed/in new cities.


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Mar 12th by admin

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