Sunday, May 17, 2009
We know that sports, as well as art, music, language, tell us about a people and their culture. We seldom think of the statement made by the place where the sport is played.
In The Wall Street Journal’s (www.wsj.com) article "Taking a Stand in the Grandstands" online.wsj.com/article/SB124147578109184945.html Rod Sheard of sports architecture firm Populous says the design of American sports stadiums, where the audience sits rather than stands, makes a strong statement about American attitudes. He notes that the design concept goes back to the middle ages when the nobility sat during events and the commoners stood. He goes on to say “Everyone thinks they’re king in America” hence stadiums where they sit rather than stand.
While you may not agree that all Americans think they are royalty - his point does remind us that Americans' independent, individualistic attitude, where each person considers himself or herself unique and special, reveals itself in unexpected ways.