sports chatter

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A term coined by Italian academic Umberto Eco in a magazine/newspaper essay written in 1969. Eco sees sports activity as a form of ‘waste’, labels ‘the athlete as monster’ when forms of ‘play’ become ‘spectacle for others’, and claims that the boundaries between doing sport and merely talking about it have become blurred: ‘since chatter about sport gives the illusion of interest in sport, the notion of practicing sport becomes confused with that of talking sport; the chatterer thinks himself an athlete and is no longer aware that he doesn't engage in sport’. Eco is no fan of sport, and calls his essays in this genre his ‘invectives against sport’. And if sport equals ‘Waste’, for Eco, ‘sports chatter is the glorification of Waste, and therefore the maximum point of Consumption’ (‘Sports Chatter’, in Travels in Hyper Reality: Essays, 1986).

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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