Sport: EMPERORS AND CLOWNS

BYPLAY/ROGER KAHN

EMPERORS AND CLOWNS

Back in the days when children could spell neither conglomerate nor Nielsen, we thought of sport as courage, competition and manliness. (We couldn't spell macho then either.) Show business was Jack Benny bellowing "Rochester!" and Mickey Rooney groping toward Ann Rutherford, while Judge Hardy, secretly a dirty old man, fantasized from back of camera three.

Now comes Super Bowl XI, eleven in the Vulgate, and the distinctions between sports and show business approach invisibility. The networks underwrite both on the same artistic basis. How do they draw? What...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!