4 – Limits

Here is my fourth of twelve lectures in Global Sports Cultures, which this time around I called “Limits.”

In it, I begin with Bernard Suits definition of games as “the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.” I think of this definition as capturing the way that limits in sports both define the possible and encourage the impossible. So I take students through the different forms those obstacles (or limits) can take in sport, the different factors involved in overcoming those limits, and then conclude with a close reading of Dr. J.’s famous scoop shot in the 1980 NBA finals: looking at the play itself, studying the descriptions of it by Magic Johnson, Dr. J., and art critic Dave Hickey and thinking about what it tells us about limits.