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Sculpture Analysis: Sportsmanship, Essay Example

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Essay

“Sportsmanship” by Edward Jonas is a fifteen-foot bronze sculpture of a football player extending a hand to a fallen opponent. Located in Strum Plaza at the Doak Campbell Stadium, the sculpture effectively conveys the message of fair play in sports that is the underlying principle of both FSU’s football team and academic philosophy. Jonas’ sculpture greets players, fans, and students alike as they approach the stadium, serving as a reminder of the important values of equity, tolerance, and justice.

The sculpture’s design tells a defined story:  a downed football player frozen in the act of getting to his feet, displaying resilience; a member of the opposing team holding out his hand to aid his fellow player in an act of kindness and true sportsmanship.  In his other hand this player holds his opponent’s helmet, further demonstrating qualities of respect, understanding, and a cooperative desire in the interest of fair play.  The sculpture’s placement in Strum Plaza sends a strong message to all who pass by–whether on their way to classes or to attend a Seminole’s game–that FSU is a school whose motto of ‘strength, skill, and character’ is put into practice in everyday life.

The competitive nature of sports can often create an environment in which winning is desired, regardless of the emotional or physical toil it may place upon both players and spectators. However, Jonas’ sculpture illustrates that football stands for so much more; namely, a sense of sportsmanship that extends beyond individual players and teams to extend the hand of friendship to one’s opponents. Given its large size, durable construction, and prominent display, “Sportsmanship” will stand as a testament to the athleticism of the Seminoles and the importance that FSU places on fair play and integrity for many years to come.

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