July 13, 2002

"America is to sports what Australia is to animals: : we have all the weird stuff, and we think it's normal," writes Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker. "First, it is not merely that our games are better spectacles; it is that they are only, or primarily, spectacles. Few Americans who watch these games play them. We play specially designed, domesticated versions—softball, touch football. Baseball—real hardball—is rarely played by people past the age of twelve; tackle football is the memory of a hobbled minority; and ice hockey remains, at best, the pastime of a frostbitten few."

posted by mert to general at 05:37 PM - 1 comment

The Japanese, the Cubans, even the Canadians, for goodness' sake. And the Dominicans! Imagine a team with A. Rod, Sosa, Pedro Martínez, and Vladimir Guerrero, and Felipe Alou to manage—it would be the Brazil of baseball. Excellent post, mert. That article is really worth reading twice, at least. The text above really caught my imagination. I like the idea of giving "true meaning to the World Series," as he says, by inviting Suzuki, Sosa, and all foreign players to "step outside" maybe once every four years, so we can invite them back to play against us. I recognize that this is not the writer's main point, but only an example of how cool it might be if we Americans were not so insular about the sports we love. It may be that we will have to wait for Bud and the greedy players to kill off the Major Leagues before such an internationalization of the sport could be developed.

posted by Bixby23 at 11:14 PM on July 14

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