Friday, October 2, 2009

On Politics and Sportswriting

One month ago, a dude named Jay Nordlinger wrote this odd little screed on the website of the National Review, declaring that sportswriting was, in fact, far too political, and that these two elements of American existence should never co-mingle. "Politics-in-sportswriting is a pet peeve of mine," Nordlinger wrote.

Today, the National Review has spent most of the afternoon politicizing the failure of a major American city to secure what is, at heart, supposed to be the largest sporting event in the world.

Of course, I realize that the Olympics have always been subsumed by far too many political forces*--and I realize that President Obama injected himself into this debate by attempting to make a pitch for his hometown--and in general, I concur: I don't think sports ever exists in a vacuum. Sports, as with everything else, is a reflection of the culture, and as reflexively childish as it may be for the National Review to ostensibly "cheer against America" after chastising large swaths of the country for eight years of "cheering against America," this is their thing. This is what they do, and if anything, it is proof that sports and politics are often inextricable.*

I expect Mr. Nordlinger's apology is forthcoming.

See: Bias, Leonard.

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