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Under the very powerful spell of Andre Agassi's autobiography, which I've just finished reading (indeed, I found your site because of your discussion of the book a few years ago), I sense a possible argument in support of James' contention, namely that sports embody -- maybe enact, as well -- a story/myth that's central to Christianity and, apparently, central to the lives of lots of us who maybe have never been Christians (Andre's father from Iran, perhaps; I'm just guessing) or, in any case, who don't think of themselves as Christians in their daily lives, the story/myth, that is, of a single individual's strenuous struggle (in front of the altar of alliteration, to be sure) being somehow essential to the welfare of the whole group. I can't offhand think of any other of the arts that provide this -- what are we going to call it? --- embodiment, enactment, reprise? as vividly or immediately.
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Jan 14, 2012