Browsing All Posts filed under »gamesmanship«

What we cannot reliably learn from former NFL players about the “bounty” system (or anything else)

March 7, 2012

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It goes without saying that most of the chatter on the sports networks comes from the mouths of former players and coaches. There may typically be one journalist or “broadcaster” moderating a discussion, and occasionally there are non-player “experts” about particular subjects internal or external to the sport in question (from folks who analyze the […]

Bounty Ethics in the NFL

March 6, 2012

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It’s now day 5 of “bountygate” and there’s surely very little left to be said. For those not entranced by the blue glow of 24/7 sports gossip on ESPN and the NFL Network (where gaggles of pundits on retainer need something to gab about between the early-Februrary Super Bowl and the late-April draft), or for […]

Sport and religion: Does Jesus want you to pray for His help?

January 21, 2011

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Did Jesus make me (able to) do it? He certainly gets a lot of credit. Not as many shout-outs as He gets at the Grammies. But he still seems to get credit for His fair share of home runs, touchdown catches, and buzzer-beaters. During my unintended blogging hiatus in the autumn I failed to pass […]

Gamesmanship, showmanship, and sportsmanship, in Jets-v-Patriots

January 19, 2011

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I have a keen fascination with the territory between sportsmanship and gamesmanship in sports and other adversarial institutions. That is, between “the high road” of following both the letter and the spirit of the rules, on the one hand, and the “low road” of cheating within the rules, or of cheating when you think you […]

Great athletes are not born, they’re made… then sold to the highest bidder

September 23, 2010

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It has been a big week for philosophizing about sports at Duke University, where I teach. Perhaps this helps us take our minds off a crushing loss to Alabama, the NCAA football national champions, who played here last weekend. First it was Justice Samuel A. Alito reflecting on how cheering for the Phillies made him, […]

World Cup Memories

August 19, 2010

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A month after the end of the World Cup, I think it is about time I close a few tabs on my browser that have been holding particularly memorable reflections on that delirious month in the early summer. Here are a few quotes. I like this from the English novelist Tim Parks, in the New […]

It’s a Funny Old Game. Of course: games are weird by definition

August 1, 2010

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Legendary English striker Jimmy Greaves found opportunities every week to shake his head, smile, and note what a “funny old game” football (soccer) was. We might call that a catchphrase now. But, at least in his early years as a television pundit in the 1980s, it always seemed to come out as his most genuine, […]