The Atlantic: Why sports don’t matter
The Atlantic—in a “more cursory than comprehensive” essay on the issue, as noted by one commenter—explains why sports don’t matter:
That is not to say that looking at sports does not reveal truths about American society as it has grown and changed over time. However, they are truths that would be evident without looking for them on the playing field or in the bleachers. Yes, baseball’s expansion out of the northeast quadrant which housed all 16 of its teams (in only 10 cities) until 1952 evidences the rise of the Sunbelt and the decline of the industrial city, but that is hardly an obscure sociological discovery. A word play-prone writer might connect steroid use—those “weapons of mass distortion—and financial derivatives—banking’s “weapons of mass destruction—but would hardly be coming up with breaking news about the irrational exuberance that afflicted both spheres of action in recent years.