Joyce Carol Oates in On Boxing: In a secular, yet pseudo-religious and sentimental nation like the United States, it is quite natural that sports stars emerge as “heroes” -- “legends” -- “icons.” Who else? George Santayana described religion as “another world to live in” and no world is so other, so set off from the disorganization and disenchantment of the quotidian than the world, or worlds, of sports.

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