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Cass R. Sunstein

We Can't All Be Pro Squash Players

Following in the footsteps of George Plimpton -- not to the football field, but the professional squash court.
Racquet Man.
Racquet Man.

Remember George Plimpton's classic book, "Paper Lion"? In the 1960s, Plimpton decided to find out what would happen if an ordinary person tried to play professional football. Amazingly, the Detroit Lions agreed to give him a tryout, allowing him to come to training camp as a third-string quarterback.

The result? Disaster. As human beings go, Plimpton was a pretty good athlete. But as professional athletes go, he couldn't throw, he couldn't run, and he couldn't take a hit. Allowed to play quarterback in a scrimmage, he fumbled, he fell down, and he couldn't complete a pass. He couldn't even hand off the ball.