Beer, Babes, and Balls

Masculinity and Sports Talk Radio

By David Nylund
Foreword by Eric Anderson

Subjects: Sports And Society, Sociology, Popular Culture, Men's Studies
Series: SUNY series on Sport, Culture, and Social Relations
Paperback : 9780791472385, 206 pages, October 2007
Hardcover : 9780791472378, 206 pages, October 2007

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Table of contents

Foreword by Eric Anderson
1. Opening Pitch: Thinking about Sports Talk Radio
Sports Talk Radio
Theorizing Masculinities
Development of Manhood in Twentieth-Century United States
Masculinity and the Sports Media
Media and Cultural Studies
Critical Radio Studies
Outline of the Book
2. The Sports Talk Radio Industry: From Rush to Rome
Radio Deregulation and Talk Radio
Sports Talk Radio: An Extension of Political Talk Radio?
3. Inside the Sports Radio Industry: Ads and Lads
Influence of Advertising, Ratings, and Corporate Radio
Sports Radio and Public Discourse
Romantic Belief in Sports
Hanging Out at the Station
4. The Jim Rome Show: “Myspace. Com” For Men
Jim Rome: Hip Sports Talk Radio Host
Speech Codes and Themes: Learning How to Survive in the Jungle
The “Jungle”: A Site for the Performance of Masculinity
Male Rite of Passage on The Jim Rome Show
In-Group Humor on The Jim Rome Show
The Contradictions of Masculinity
5. Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Jungle
Gender: Competing Masculinities
Gender: Women in the Jungle
Queer Eye for the Sports Guy
The Race Card
Rome Has No Class
Jungle Nationalism
Hegemony or Hope? Sports Talk Radio’s Potential
6. In the Jungle with the “Clones”
Interviewing the “Clones”
The Entertainment Value
The Audience Does Social Issues
7. Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Cheers to Monday Night Football
Lou From Lodi
A Community of Callers
Among the Clones Hooligans
8. A Sports Radio Intruder
My Take on the Audience of Sports Talk Radio
9. My Final Take
Sports Talk and Civic Discourse
Sports and Sexuality
Masculinity and Sports

Looks at contemporary sports talk radio and its relations to both traditional and newer forms of masculinity.


Beer, Babes, and Balls explores the increasingly popular genre of sports talk radio and how it relates to contemporary ideas of masculinity. Popular culture plays a significant role in fashioning identities, and sports talk radio both reflects and inspires cultural shifts in masculinity. Through analysis of the content of sports talk radio as well as interviews with radio production staff and audience members, scholar and avid sports talk radio listener David Nylund sheds light on certain aspects of contemporary masculinity and recent shifts in gender and sexual politics. He finds that although sports talk radio reproduces many aspects of traditional masculinity, sexism, racism, and heterosexism, there are exceptions in these discourses. For instance, the most popular national host, Jim Rome, is against homophobia and racism in sport, which indicates that the medium may be a place for male sports fans to discuss gender, race, and sexuality in consequential ways. Nylund concludes that sports talk radio creates a male bonding community that has genuine moments of intimacy and connection, signifying the potential for new forms of masculinity to emerge, while simultaneously reproducing traditional forms of masculinity.

David Nylund is Assistant Professor of Social Work at California State University at Sacramento. He is the author of Treating Huckleberry Finn: A New Narrative Approach to Working with Kids Diagnosed ADD/ADHD and the coeditor (with Craig Smith) of Narrative Therapies with Children and Adolescents.


"This rather brief yet ambitious book … is … readily accessible to a more general audience, and is a welcome addition to the growing literature on masculinity and the masculine identity creation process. " — CHOICE

"Nylund's self-reflexivity (largely because he is trained as a psychotherapist) of both loving sport and sports talk radio, but standing firmly for his pro-gay, pro-women, and pro-racial equality beliefs, might position Nylund as the perfect spokesperson for opening up the airwaves, the third space, for the inclusion of those previously marginalized by sport. " — from the Foreword by Eric Anderson

"Nylund examines the inner workings of the creation of Jim Rome's virtual radio culture in compelling and thought-provoking ways. " — Andrew C. Billings, Clemson University