Aesthetics of Sport
Nowadays, aesthetics is an essential part of any show – people need it in everything: celebrations, TV shows, and sport. Furthermore, the audience needs moral satisfaction, which brings positive emotions after amusing oneself with those entertainments. In this regard, sport is different: too much is put at stake when it involves sport, and no one would praise the defeated. However, if athletes put enormous efforts into winning the game, spectators appreciate it in some cases even more than victory. There is no importance in what an audience want when athletes have the aim – desire to win is what makes every game beautiful and special. Thus, the result may differ from what is expected, but the audience will be pleased. Comparing the feelings caused by the sense of technical victory and those aroused from an elaborate and exciting show, it becomes evident that aesthetics is essential in sport, and, moreover, it is never irrelevant.
Competition is in our blood; throughout the history of mankind, there has been an infinite number of confrontations such as wars, though it may be something more common, for instance, the desire to succeed better than others in a career. Consequently sport is a perfect way to meet the needs of a competitive society. It is an essential part of modern life.
Many philosophers do researches to develop a clearer understanding about aesthetics, especially in sport. As evidence, famous philosopher E. F. Kaelin wrote in his essay “Thus, although the winning or losing of the game is aesthetically irrelevant, the desire to win is never aesthetically irrelevant” (Kaelin, 1968, p.23). It illustrates a real situation in the environment of sports events. Football is a good example, it is noticeable that, in general, the aesthetics comprises of how the goals were scored and what personal actions were taken in order to win, but the more it appears, the more it becomes debatable. This sport is very spectacular in terms of friendly matches when the result makes no pressure on the players, and somewhere on the subconscious level, they understand that their major aim is to show skills and arrange the show for spectators. That is when a common game becomes a masterpiece, and desire to win is relevant to the aesthetic component of it.
Nevertheless, players should do their best to do everything to get more chances to reach the needed victory. They confidently and diligently fulfill the coaching setup for a game. If it becomes a real show, it will impress every spectator. Unfortunately, in this situation usually works the second mentioned case – confident victory without any aesthetics – and it explains why the desire to win is never aesthetically irrelevant because quality and beauty disappear, but result is what really matters. Players want to leave their trace in history and try to do their job properly. As Kaelin said, thoughts of possible loss affect their mind and force the performers to score higher results affecting the aesthetics of the game.
To summarize, the philosopher's view was influenced by his long-term researches which proved that people should not judge anyone for an unspectacular game, but instead they should appreciate the efforts of the athletes because, as it is mentioned above, the desire to win is never aesthetically irrelevant. Winning can be either beautiful and not, fast-flowing or long-lasting, but there is no beauty in a technical victory. At the subconscious level, both athletes and their audience are sensible of the fact that winning is not only scoring high: it is the efforts put into the game, and this is what really makes a game spectacular and astonishing.
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