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Fluidity and Funding

Watching cricket, it seemed to me that there is something about American sports that is in contradiction with American character.

American society is fluid. But its popular games are characterized by purely episodic bursts of action. Though classic cricket takes five times longer than baseball, it flows more continuously. And though rugby and soccer take much less timer than American football, they’re much more fluid too.

Someone pointed out to me that this may be exacerbated by the need to intersperse commercials. It’s interesting to think that what has determined the nature of the sport in the country is ultimately the source of funding of the networks, government-supported BBC vs the advertising-supported ABC, NBC and CBS. I suppose in retrospect it’s obvious — hence the rise of shorter and more intense variants of rugby and cricket. But they are even more fluid than the classic versions of the game, and much more fluid than American football.

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