Sports Sunday comes on Thursday this week! Here's a video of a run-of-the-mill NBA buzzer-beater last night. What's interesting here is not so much the skill, which is routine even for NBA journeymen, but the joy of the celebration, especially the group jump-for-joy from 28 to 37 secs on the video.
Here are a few loose associations shaken free by the video.
1. We see spontaneous corporeal entrainment, the group-jumping-for-joy (I'm using the hyphens to nod to the Deleuzoguattarian notion of haecceity / assemblage, aka, temporary emergent groups). I'm fascinated by the human capacity for such entrainment, which can only be explained, I think, on a "re-naturalizing" basis as Sharp uses the term, entrainment being a wide-spread natural phenomenon. (Here's a paper of mine exploring entrainment in war dances, and a blog post on it in OWS.)
2. There's all sorts of neuroscience we could explore here in the co-ordination of the jumping; J Scott Kelso would be someone to consult. For socio-historical perspectives on spontaneous jumping-for-joy, as it relates to practices designed to tap into the group-bonding capacities of corporeal entrainment, we could turn to William McNeill and to Barbara Ehrenreich.
3. Here's a video of perhaps the most famous of all such group-bonding practices in sports, the haka performed by the New Zealand rugby team, the All-Blacks, before their matches. Here's one of the New Orleans Saints pre-game chant; it would be fun to compare these practices in more detail. I can't do that here, but we'd want to look at the lines of the All-Blacks against the huddle of the Saints; the way the haka faces the opponent and the huddle turns inward; and the ritualized antiquity of the haka versus the idiosyncratic novelty of the huddle.