Football is “the most important of the least important things”: The Illusion of Sport and COVID-19

BLACK, Jack (2020). Football is “the most important of the least important things”: The Illusion of Sport and COVID-19. Leisure Sciences, 1-7.

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    In his book, On the Pleasure Principle in Culture (2014), Robert Pfaller argued that our relationship to sport is one grounded in “illusion”. Simply put, our interest in and enjoyment of sport occurs through a process of “knowing better”. Here, one’s knowledge of the unimportance of sport is achieved by associating the illusion of sport with a naïve observer – i.e. someone who does believe in sport’s importance. In the wake of the global pandemic, COVID-19, it would seem that Pfaller’s remarks have taken on an added significance. With major sporting events and domestic competitions being indefinitely postponed or canceled, Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, commented that football was “the most important of the least important things”. In light of these remarks, this paper will critically locate sport’s sudden unimportance in relation to Pfaller’s contention that sport reflects an “illusion without owner”.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Sport Industry Research Centre; Sport, Leisure & Tourism; 1504 Commercial Services; 1506 Tourism
    Identification Number:
    Page Range: 1-7
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2020 10:53
    Last Modified: 24 Dec 2021 01:18

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