“GET OVER IT!”
Take two of these and call me in the morning.
—A doctor's prescription
As we enter a new millennium, many of our American institutions are being scrutinized to determine their societal relevance in the next century. From our schools to our welfare system, old ideas, institutions, and philosophies are being examined, revised, or discarded, replaced by new ones more acceptable to the age with the fundamental standard of evaluation being utility. Do these institutions continue to serve the public in relevant and timely ways?
Organized sport is an important American cultural institution. As such, we as individuals and, collectively, as a society, must critically assess its impact on our culture. If it is deemed to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on our society we should invest more heavily in sport. But if many of these supposed positive benefits are disproved, as individuals and as a society, we would be wellserved to reconsider that investment.
Again, I would like to be clear. I love sports. I love playing them. I love watching them. I believe they play an important role in our lives. I do not advocate the elimination of organized sport in America. This is neither wise nor realistic. It is, however, critical that we honestly