Free Thinking: Sport vs the Arts
OK, so there was Nessun Dorma at the World Cup in 1990. French existentialist author Albert Camus was a noted goalkeeper. Visit the British Museum and you'll realise that the sculptors of Ancient Greece quite liked a ripped torso.
But while some footballers allegedly boast a cultured left foot, there aren't many places where you see the artistic and the sporting life of the nation come together.
So what's better - sport or the arts?
It's a question we'll be asking this Saturday night in the first ever simultaneous broadcast between Radio 5 live and Radio 3. A panel of sports pundits and arts lovers will go toe-to-toe in front of a live audience at the Sage in Gateshead.
With a British Wimbledon winner or a repeat of England's World Cup victory in 1966 seemingly a distant dream, should we just admit that what we really do best in this country is staging plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company, or exhibitions at the Tate?
Joining me in sport's corner will be two men whose sporting talents are matched by their brain capacity. Matthew Syed was three-times Commonwealth table tennis champion, but he also took a First from Oxford University. Pat Nevin is as passionate about music and literature as he is about the Scotland football team, for whom he won 28 caps.
That an England victory over Australia in a Test match at Lord's is as emotionally satisfying as Puccini's Madam Butterfly at La Scala in Milan.
But maybe the killer argument belongs to Albert Camus. When asked which he preferred, football or the theatre, what was his response?
"Football, without hesitation."
'So do you agree with Albert or are the arts superior to sport?'
Drawing the battle lines at Free Thinking - Rana Mitter puts forward Radio 3's case
What Does Britain Do Best: Sport or the Arts? - full details of the programme