The Origin of Sports
Some philosophers have claimed that our playfulness is the most noble part of our basic nature. In their generous conceptions, play harmlessly and experimentally permits us to put our creative forces, fantasy, and imagination into action. Play is release from the tedious battles against scarcity and decline which are the incessant, and inevitable, tragedies of life. This is a grand conception that excites and provokes. The holders of this view claim that the origins of our highest accomplishments ---- liturgy, literature, and law ---- can be traced to a play impulse which, paradoxically, we see most purely enjoyed by young beasts and children. Our sports, in this rather happy, nonfatalistic view of human nature, are more splendid creations of the nondatable, transspecies play impulse.