This October, like so many American fall seasons before, our two national pastimes once again will converge, as we welcome presidential politics and the World Series into our living rooms.
It seems almost intentional that the end of the presidential election season runs parallel with the end of the Major League Baseball season. Or is it just the happy, coincidental convergence of two of our most identifiable pieces of American life?
Both seasons began in February with hopefuls vying for position, and then toddled through March with a collection of favorites and underdogs. Through the spring and summer, an adoring public welcomed new stars and praised veteran favorites. As Labor Day turned to Columbus Day, both seasons' mega-superstars came to the forefront. And now, after a 162-game Major League Baseball campaign and a ten-month presidential campaign, both seasons have reached their exciting conclusions.
Here at Lynn University, we are getting a front-row seat to both.
On October 22, Lynn University proudly will host the third, and final, U.S. Presidential Debate. The eyes of the world will be on the stage at our spectacular Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center. During this rookie season for the brand-new Wold Center, democracy has been in action: The performing arts center has hosted a mid-term election debate for an open U.S. House of Representatives seat, as well as presentations by presidential biographer David McCullough and longtime debate moderator Jim Lehrer. And now, the most important political debate in the world comes to our doorstep.
Just hours after the end of this historic day on our campus, we will immerse ourselves in that second slice of American culture: the World Series. We will be taking ten of our sports management students on the road to both host cities of the 2012 World Series as part of "The Great Baseball Debate," an incredible course which harnesses the excitement and energy of both the Major League Baseball World Series and the Presidential Debates. This latest addition to our acclaimed Sports Experience Series of classes delivers an ethical exploration of morality in professional, collegiate and amateur baseball, all while teaching students debating skills. Everything will be promoted and published on multiple social media platforms.
And so we begin our quest to identify the most-important ethical issues in the sport of baseball and, simultaneously, to attempt to take the pulse of our nation.
Lets start with this: What ethical issues in baseball are important to you? Is it something in Major League Baseball? Something in college ball? Maybe an issue in high school or youth baseball?
Let us know: Comment on this site, tweet us, or post your comments on our Facebook page. We will publish your ideas and get the discussion going.
It's October in America. Let the debates begin.
Prof. Ted Curtis and Dr. Chad Barr may be reached on Twitter at @LynnUSportsMgmt or on Facebook by liking facebook.com/LynnSportsManagement.