Comiskey Park in Chicago is being renamed U.S. Cellular Field. Announcement of this change vied for newspaper space with news of the Shuttle Challenger disaster. In other words, it was treated as an event of cosmic importance. A few days later the city’s sports and gossip columnists reported that the citizenry had treated this renaming as no big deal.
In his book Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games, A. Bartlett Giamatti, who was president of Yale University and commissioner of Major League Baseball before his death in 1989, argues that we can learn far more about a society by studying how it plays than by examining how it goes about its work.