There may well never be another summer of sport quite like 2012. Yet every summer there is the potential for sport to excite and infuriate in near equal measure. The Lions down under, the Ashes over here, Murray seeking to match his victory in New York with a home Grand Slam at Wimbledon. All this and more are socially constructed, read these books not to distract from their entertainment but to inform and enrich.
What might be the reasons for this spectacular failure? In their excellent book Why England Lose authors Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski offer a number of reasons, the principle one being that given the size of England's population and number of professional footballers being regular quarter-finalists but not much better is the kind of position we should expect in world football.
Christmas time, not much peace in large parts of the world, precious little goodwill for the 99% either. A time for turbo-driven commercialism to drive up retail's footfall. Bah Humbug? Or if you prefer just put the Historical Materialism for the season and embrace the Hopeful Materialism of looking forard to what might be wrapped up and waiting under the tree for 25 December.
A World record crowd for a Women's Football match. Three more Team GB Golds, all won by women athletes. The first ever Women's boxing Gold, again won by a Team GB athlete. That was just yesterday, Thursday, at London 2012. For Team GB these Games have perhaps represented the single biggest challenge to the traditional masculine hegemony that to date has gripped British sporting culture.
No expensive and hard-to-come-by ticket required. A front row seat guaranteed. Precious little commercialisation, bring your own barbecue. And a Gold Medal performance. Wednesday's Cycling Time Trial had all the components of the better Olympics I have made the case for in my book Why The Olympics Aren't Good For Us And How They Can Be.