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The use of the word "genius" in a sporting context

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
The Ponting fielding video posted in another thread got me thinking.

Is it ever appropriate to refer to someone as a genius in reference to their sporting endeavours? To me sporting achievments boil down to high levels of skill and talent, but I do not think I could ever bring myself to bring myself to refer to any sporting moment as an act of genius.

I thought about posting this in the GSF, as it is a question that is not necessarily confined to cricket, but would likely get more responses and a greater variety of views in here.
 

Spark

Global Moderator
i always laugh when sledger tries to post seriously in cricket chat. the posting style just seems so convoluted compared to, well, sledger.

as for the actual topic: sure. most people think of "genius" in this context as something that [almost] no one else is capable of, and certainly there's some things sportsmen can do which qualify. though it does suggest it's the result of some kind of divine freak talent just naturally expressing itself, ignoring the colossal amount of work that goes into being capable of such things.
 

OverratedSanity

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i always laugh when sledger tries to post seriously in cricket chat. the posting style just seems so convoluted compared to, well, sledger.
Came here to post this.

Pretty surreal for me. The only non trolling sledger posts I've ever read are in the wrestling thread. And even there he trolls Jono about HHH.
 

zorax

likes this
as for the actual topic: sure. most people think of "genius" in this context as something that [almost] no one else is capable of, and certainly there's some things sportsmen can do which qualify. though it does suggest it's the result of some kind of divine freak talent just naturally expressing itself, ignoring the colossal amount of work that goes into being capable of such things.
Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.

Sports definitely has geniuses. Every aspect of life does.
 

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
So why isn't genius appropriate? Is it because it should purely refer to scientific or such achievements?

To my mind it's much more appropriate than metaphors of violent destruction for a victory...
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
So why isn't genius appropriate? Is it because it should purely refer to scientific or such achievements?

To my mind it's much more appropriate than metaphors of violent destruction for a victory...
I dunno really, just doesn't sit especially well with me. In my mind it's a word that is best reserved for people who make contributions to things that are more meaningful than playing in games I suppose.

Not a fan of the violent destruction metaphors either ftr.
 

Tom Halsey

International Coach
I've never much liked it because I tend to associate the word 'genius' with intellect; most, if perhaps not all, sporting brilliance isn't intellectual in nature. Not sure if my interpretation of the word is right or not really but it's how I've always understood the word.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
In a sporting context "genius" is just shorthand for "preternaturally gifted", to my way of thinking.

An exponent of his art and/or craft who can do things that make one's pulse quicken and become aware one's witnessing something out of the mere quotidian. ABdeV's recent effort did that. Anyone who's ever watched cricket instinctively knew they were witnessing something special that only the very few who're blessed with something extraordinary could've achieved.
 

Pothas

Hall of Fame Member
Yeah I know 'talent' is another word some are not keen on around here but I can't believe many have had more than him.
 

Teja.

Global Moderator
I had a massive headache when Atherton was explaining the difference between Murali and Warne and talking about how Warne was the more, intelligent thinking bowler who changed according to circumstances but Murali's huge spin had more 'genius'.

I have no problem when say, a brilliant conscious ploy by a bowler against a batsman or a captain is called genius but my biggest gripe with it is that it is incredibly misused.
 

harsh.ag

Hall of Fame Member
Get where sledger is coming from. A part of your brain sort of wants to reserve the word genius for people who perform acts which bring about incredible and hitherto unimaginable change in the world. Sporting geniuses, while bringing great joy to the world, even to the extent of becoming cultural and historical monuments, can somehow feel to be slightly lesser.

Federer though... :notworthy
 
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fredfertang

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Maradona the ultimate sporting evil genius - never have I found it so easy to detest a sporting icon, but **** me he could do things with a football no one else could
 

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