Prof. Carol Marion
Not All Rhombi are Squares: The Nature of Sport
I am not a student of mathematics, but there is a maxim that has always intrigued me for some reason. The rhombus is a parallelogram, the perfect image of a kite. Its defining characteristics - four-sided figure with parallel and equal sides - are those which we immediately associate with the square. The square, however, is special. While it is indeed a rhombus, it has a certain distinction: the corners are all composed of right angles. Therefore, every square is a rhombus, but not all rhombi are squares.
When I was a kid, my sister and I would always argue. One of ...view middle of the document...
Still, the vague nature of the Merriam-Webster interpretation includes many activities which many people think are not sport. Since it remains aforementioned, I shall apply this thinking to ballet. Ballet would, to the certain rage of my sister, be considered a sport by Merriam-Webster. Not to say that they aren’t partly right. The art of ballet is most definitely physical. The poise and balance required by dancers is the result of phenomenal, physical training. My sister’s feet would blister and bleed and her makeup would wind up mostly on her leotard after a night of performing. Still, she was passionate about ballet, and found it fun. It was her creative outlet for most of her childhood and adolescence. However, ballet isn’t a sport. It is an art. There is no competition in The Nutcracker; no strategic thinking over how the Nutcracker Prince can more efficiently duel the Mouse King. It is purely performance.
A sport is completely different. While there is certainly art in sport, such as a football thrown in a perfect spiral or Ben Hogan swinging a golf club, it isn’t judged by beauty; it’s judged by who defeats their opponent on the field, through both skill and technique. The quarterback must decide whether he should throw or hand off to another back. The shooting guard must decide whether to pull up for the jumper or drive into the lane. The batter must decide whether to go for the line drive or bunt to sacrifice himself for the betterment of his team. They are all decisions made under pressure, improvisation perfected by the experience of years of both physical...