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Sports

  • By: Stephen Wagg
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Sport may be defined as physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. As a social activity, it is akin to drinking alcohol: It’s apt to reveal aspects of the personality of both participants and onlookers that would otherwise not be apparent. This is because sport necessarily entails stress and this, in turn, is because sport is inherently competitive. Without a winner and a loser, the French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen once wrote, no game could exist. Neither was it a dishonor to lose nor to desire ardently to win. The tension that derives from trying to win, or to avoid defeat, or to watch, empathetically, as others engage in this struggle, is often a source ...

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