Publication details [#3299]

Carmeli, Yoram S. 2001. Metaphorics and nationalistic sparks: The language of Israeli soccer journalism. Semiótica 135 (1-4) : 61–75. 15 pp.


The semiotic function of sports journalism as a vehicle of meanings is examined in an analysis of Israeli newspaper accounts of soccer matches held during the 1996-1997 season between the Beitar Jerusalem team and an upstart team from the Israeli Arab town of Taibe. Disdainful attitudes towards Taibe are contrasted with right-wing Jewish adherence to Beitar and a proliferation of incendiary rhetoric that enlists references to religion and war in support of the Jerusalem team. Excerpts from sports texts evidence the construction and dissemination of a polarized view of reality in which the game mirrors the Arab-Israeli conflict and the application of a "rhetoric of objectivity and objectification" to validate this view. Formal features of balanced reporting, eyewitness accounts, and nonjudgmental language conspire to create a metaphor of life, particularly of real conflict, as a soccer game. (J. Hitchcock in LLBA 2002, vol. 36, n. 3)