Browsing All Posts filed under »aesthetics«

When is a Sport not a Sport?

July 28, 2010

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Do we need to answer the question “What is a sport?” in order to address questions about which sports are better than others, or how to improve any given sport or spectator’s experience? I suspect not. But reflecting for a moment on the different fundamental features of various sports does help us to explain why […]

Root, root, root for…the underdog

May 16, 2010

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In the previous post I began with the intention of quickly introducing a link my colleague David Wong sent me to a fun article in Slate called “The Underdog Effect: why do we love a loser?” But before I could think about why some of us cheer for underdogs, I couldn’t help pausing to worry […]

Root, root, root for…some team or other

May 15, 2010

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An uncharitable, but not wholly inaccurate, line on This Sporting Life is that it’s all about how to be a sports snob while still being a genuine sports fan. Of course, nobody wants to admit they’re a snob. (“Connoisseur” is so much more urbane.) If you’re into the themes of this blog, you really like […]

Ernie Harwell, legendary baseball broadcaster dead at 92

May 4, 2010

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One of the last of the legendary (and I think that word is appropriate here) baseball broadcasters dies last night after a year-long bout with cancer. He is most famous for covering Tigers’ games, from the late 1950s until 2002; but he already had a decade of big-league broadcasting under his belt before he arrived […]

Why the NCAA basketball Tournament is the “American Idol” of sports

April 25, 2010

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[Warning: What follows is an overly long post, even by the standards of this rambling blog. It is summarized over the last 3 paragraphs or so.] At some point during the month-long March Madness gabfest on sports talk-radio Mike Greenberg (on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”) was railing against proposals to expand the tournament […]

More on what makes golf great. And not so great.

April 11, 2010

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In the last post I sketched out some of the reasons why Tiger fans (and some Tiger haters) like golf. And by “like” in sports I don’t mean merely “enjoy” it or have a “revealed preference” for it. A true sports aficionado likes sports in the way an art-lover or wine-lover likes their thing. As […]

What can we learn from Tiger?

April 11, 2010

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Tiger Woods could be the poster child for This Sporting Life. When I began this blog I identified four broad areas of interest for me at intersection of sports-philosophy-sociology. Thinking about sports can tell us a lot about punditry, institutional design and ethics (or sportsmanship), cultural identities, and what it is that we find beautiful […]