2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

C. Richard King

Columbia College Chicago
Intercepting the Game: Representing the NFL in Austria

As football travels, its changes. While the rules and play of the game remain largely same, it takes on new meanings, often expressed in imaginative and unexpected ways. This is very much the case in Austria, where American football allows for rewriting of the local and the global. Indeed, as this presentation explores, the cultural play around the physical play has much to tell us not only about how Austrians regard the sport and its homeland, but how they view themselves and their place in the world as well. American football in Austria today, then, is best seen as less an alien imposition or imperial effect and more an ongoing engagement with cultural codes, national narratives, and transnational texts. Analysis centers on Puls4 and its treatment of the NFL Playoffs in recent years. Specifically, it considers promotional spots that appropriate and repurpose Hollywood blockbusters and its media day presence, which this year featured Austrian icons Sissi and Franz interviewing coaches, players, and other notables. Concluding remarks reflect on the broader implications of the findings.