Yeah, sport is everywhere, but do you ever notice that it's always on its own? Music and film have been copulating for decades now, so too have food and art, politics and architecture, dance and theatre. Even mustard and beetroot have been discovered to have a deep, cosmological destiny to smother and bathe in one another's juices. Yet sport remains a phenomenon in almost complete isolation.
In the printed media, anything related to throwing or catching is exiled to its own 'supplementary' sheet stack, aka the "Sports" section.
Meanwhile, the rest of our collective cultural activities are left to mingle freely with one another in rich and diverse magazines, bearing smug names like The New Review,The Despondent Thespian,and Culture/Schmulture.
The oft owl-like faces of glum #Football managers look on from the front covers of lowly Sports sections, only to see their own weary eyes reflected harshly in the faces of these glossy magazines.
It's not only in the media that the rest of our cultural world refuses to engage with sport. Beyonce may have played at the Superbowl, but the vast majority of sporting events are mysteriously devoid of any artistic partnership.
The apparent isolation of sport by other culture raises a number of questions.
If sport is popular, ubiquitous and current, why has the non-sporting world cast it aside? Why isn't sport invited to the party? Why is Gordon Ramsay the only link between sport and culture? Will Gordon Ramsay be at the party?
One possible answer to that first and most pressing question is that the sport world is becoming increasingly commercial.
Not long ago, football's #Premier League became the Barclay's Premier League. The head honchos at the Championship are in bed with Murdoch's SkyBet. Before that, it was Coca Cola. This corporate sponsorship reached the peak of absurdity in 2012, when London's Olympic Games announced that one of its biggest sponsors was to be the American fast food giant, McDonald's.
This point-blank commercialism is largely absent from other forms of culture, and I think it scares them away from interacting with the world of sport. After all, corporate sponsorship politicises, which has a tendency to close creative doors. Culture is always political, but it should be so for its own sake, not because it's been bought out by a corporate interest.
It's not just capital which pulls at the fabric of the sporting world. There are plenty more abhorrent values that could be responsible for sport's sitting alone in the corner of the cafeteria every lunchtime.
At its worst, sport can be sexist, homophobic, racist. It's probably fair to say that sport is one of the last platforms on which we're seemingly happy to allow otherwise repugnant aspects of life to flourish: the macho male, the nationalist hooligan, violent clashes between fans of opposing teams (football, I'm looking at you).In order to overcome the problem, we need to recognise that sport is the victim. Sport isn't racist, and it doesn't like McFlurrys. Whether or not you agree that sport is an art form, there's no denying that it is a part of our culture and that it reflects the way we view the world. For this reason, it's high time we took it back under our wing and away from the preying eyes of corporate and xenophobic values.
I'm not proposing we begin writing operas about transfer deadline day (am I?), just that we consider whether we might get even more from sport if we recognise its potential to play a more symbiotic role in our society.
Instead of providing a stage for lad-culture and profiteering, couldn't sport become a utopia of inclusion and diversity? Instead of being the play-thing of Friedman's neo-liberalism, couldn't it become a model of fair competition, mutual aid, and voluntary co-operation?