'Passion Plays' with Randall Balmer on Monday's Access Utah
Randall Balmer is a historian and a commentator on religion. He’ll join us on Monday’s Access Utah to discuss his new book Passion Plays: How Religion Shaped Sports in North America. Balmer says he was a late convert to sports talk radio, but he quickly became addicted, just like millions of other devoted American sports fans. As a historian of religion, the more he listened, Balmer couldn't help but wonder how the fervor he heard related to religious practice. Houses of worship once railed against Sabbath-busting sports events, but today most willingly accommodate Super Bowl Sunday. On the other hand, basketball's inventor, James Naismith, was an ardent follower of Muscular Christianity and believed the game would help develop religious character. But today those religious roots are largely forgotten.