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What we’re talking about when we talk about sport

The friendships that thrive on football banter

By Benjamin Markovits   October 2018

Sportsmen talking about sport, in this case Brazilian footballers at the 1958 World Cup. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 

Last month, I heard two guys talking on their way into the men’s pond on Hampstead Heath. On the diving platform, the subject was West Ham’s leaky defence. Twenty minutes later, climbing out of the water, they were discussing Chelsea—only Ruben Loftus-Cheek had come up through the academy, and who knows if he’s even going to get a game.

In Barry Levinson’s Diner, released in 1982 but set in Baltimore in…

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