Feature

Half Nelson

The myth is born.

By From the January-February 2014 issue

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On the Saturday following Nelson Mandela’s death, the crowds at several British soccer stadiums applauded in his memory for 60 seconds. The event was not spontaneous, but announced in advance by the sport’s governing bodies. It is strange and full of portents, and we should all pay attention to it. Professional soccer, a coarse, spiteful, and mildly violent sport, has become the United Kingdom’s real national religion, and its arenas, nowadays often grandiose, are our cathedrals.

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