chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction: Why sport and film?

Sport has developed over the twentieth century and into the twenty-first to become one of the most important and influential of contemporary cultural practices. While sport may appear to many as a trivial distraction, it has grown to have huge economic, cultural and on occasion political importance in people’s lives. Indeed, sport has evolved into a popular metaphor for life itself. There are few other cultural practices that have provided as many idioms now used widely in everyday life and outside the sporting contexts in which they first emerged, particularly in the English language. These idioms have come from a variety of sports including horse-racing (‘down to the wire’, ‘home stretch’), baseball, rugby, or American football (‘drop the ball’), cricket (‘hat-trick’), and association football (‘move the goalposts’). Many have emerged from boxing, including ‘come out fighting’, ‘down and out’, ‘out for the count’, ‘the gloves are off ’, ‘go the distance’, ‘have someone in your corner’, ‘heavy hitter’, ‘heavyweight’, ‘hit below the belt’, ‘infighting’, ‘K.O.’, ‘lightweight’, ‘on the ropes’ and ‘saved by the bell’.