On Being a Fan

Last spring a sociology professor at the University of Washington invited me to his campus to answer questions from students about my book, Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education (Henry Holt, 2000), which he had assigned. One of the first questions that a student asked was: "Are you a fan of intercollegiate athletics and, if so, considering your book, are you not engaging in doublethink?" He was referring to my discussion in Beer and Circus about how