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Platonism and Sport, or The Impossible Pursuit of Perfection – Episode 43

In this episode Dara presents his thesis that all sports fans are embroiled in a philosophical engagement with the team or sportsperson that they love. Namely, the relationship of our desire and emotional investment to a higher aspiration – the symbiotic realisation of sporting perfection. Dara argues that this desire is in essence a Platonic impulse to contemplate not only the ideal sporting moment, the physical and psychological expression of something exquisite that elevates fan and player alike, but also to be part of the collective good character of a club. When realised, therein lies the possibility of a moral edification.

As his case studies for the best and worst of this, Dara discusses Marcelo Bielsa, the recently sacked Leeds Utd manager, as well as three other English Premier League Teams – his own team, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea and Newcastle Utd. To round out the analysis of sporting magic, he looks at the late Shane Warne, the mesmerising Australian cricketer who passed away last week at the age of 52.

There is also time to bid farewell to the actor William Hurt and to look at some provocative comments made by Jane Campion, the director of the Oscar-tipped The Power of the Dog.

Original Guardian article on Shane Warne’s ‘Ball of the Century’ – https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/mar/04/from-the-archive-the-guardians-report-on-shane-warnes-ball-of-the-century

Article on Marcelo Bielsa’s integrity – https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jan/17/marceo-bielsa-spygate-powerpoint-leeds-united

Article on football’s double standards – https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/mar/11/shouldnt-someone-in-football-also-care-about-the-war-in-yemen-just-a-little

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