The Gospel of Hoops

Microkhan has the goods on Indiana’s obsession with hoops (he’s also got smoking ballerinas and cave bear crime covered, if you’re interested).Who knew we have a 19th-century Presbyterian minister to thank for Jimmy Chitwood:

The vector of “Hoosier Hysteria” has been identified as the Reverend Nicholas McKay, a Presbyterian minister born in England. In 1893 McKay was assigned to a YMCA in Crawfordsville, Indiana. En route, he visited Dr. James Naismith’s YMCA camp in Springfield, Massachusetts, where a new winter game called basketball had been invented two years before.

Reverend McKay knew he could do better. After he found space above a tavern in Crawfordsville for his YMCA, he hired a blacksmith to forge two metal hoops, sewed coffee sacks around them and nailed them to the walls.

This got Meanderings thinking: why have other particular regions become so fixated on certain sports? Why baseball in Boston? Why NASCAR in the Bible Belt? And really, Australia…cricket?

Meanderings will be investigating these mysteries in the coming days. Post the sports-geograpy mysteries you want solved, or your answers, in the comments.

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