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The politics of American sport

What the conservatism of American football and the liberalism of basketball says about America

In one of CS Forester’s Hornblower novels, I can’t remember which (maybe a Prospect reader can help me), he talks about the scorn that soldiers and sailors felt for each other in England during the French Revolution. From a soldier’s point of view, seamen are sloppy individualists, who do their work in a ragged, undisciplined way. Soldiers, meanwhile, seem stiff and regimented to a sailor. They’re neat freaks who can’t act for themselves.

I was thinking of this distinction because of…

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