Falling For The Feint – An Existential Investigation Of A Creative Performance In High-Level Football

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (3):343 - 358 (2011)
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This paper begins with the decisive moment of the 2010 Champions League final, as Diego Milito dribbles past van Buyten to settle the score. By taking a closer look at this situation we witness a complex and ambiguous movement phenomenon that seems to transcend established phenomenological accounts of performance, as a creative performance such as this cannot be reduced to bodily self-awareness or absorbed skilful coping. Instead, the phenomenon of the feint points to a central question we need to ask when investigating performance in football: ?How can one intentionally transcend the expectations of others?? In order to clarify this, the paper will conduct a contextual analysis of a feint drawing on existential philosophy and phenomenology. The main argument is that the feint incarnates a fundamental and indispensable strategy in the game context of football and the analysis of it throws light on central existential phenomena involved in game creativity, with appearance, seduction, commitment and value being the focal ones. The analysis suggests a broader notion of expertise by pointing to the need of stressing the dynamic and social game context. What the feint explicates is that in football it is not enough to be aware of your own body or rely on your embodied habits. In order to cope in the game situation it is also necessary to be absorbed in the other and transcend his or her expectations



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