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Question: Given that this nation’s tremendous output of money and energy in support of sporting events is without rival in its unbridled splendor, could not this nationwide enthusiasm for sport be coopted, even as a kite “coopts” the wind, toward furthering those “social movements” that ostensibly work in the interest of the very poor teaming masses rooting at every home game? Is it not possible to somehow steer something of the powerful flows of capital, both social and otherwise, that we pour into the coffers of the sports entertainment complex toward ends which might produce a real return on investment, both social and otherwise, superior to a hot dog and an afternoon at the Big Leagues? The great success of professional team sports in this country stand as proof that humans can be rallied around a cause with great fervor and alarming regularity and dedicate themselves with gusto to activities some other humans might consider to be completely meaningless. Given the ostentatious displays of capital (social and otherwise) and substantial investments of time and energy associated with each ritual “Super Bowl,” the next question for the STSer/anthropologist-from-Mars then becomes: Why don’t nearly as many people stand up for causes that any and all would agree are deeply meaningful matters of life and death? To put it quite bluntly, why do people give a damn about games—the outcome of which will have little or no real consequences for their lives beyond providing an opportunity for small talk around the collective social oasis, be it water cooler or bar— while simultaneously ignoring issues of direct relevance to their daily lives?

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