The Manliest Game On Earth
November 22, 2009 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Calcio Fiorentino was an early form of football (YT) that originated in 16th century Italy (YT). The modern version (Foto Gallery) allows tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking, but forbids sucker-punching and kicks to the head.
posted by gman (23 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Allowing choking in a competitive sport is a good way to ensure that competitors wind up with brain damage.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:18 PM on November 22, 2009


True, but it's a festival, not a "competitive sport". Think Sanfermines / Pamplona without the animal cruelty rather than Super Bowl or NFL/AFL.
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:07 PM on November 22, 2009


People are animals.
posted by escabeche at 5:12 PM on November 22, 2009


Thank goodness there's something I can associate with the Renaissance besides a rebirth of classical learning and the development of linear perspective.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:16 PM on November 22, 2009


...and from such humble beginnings grew to become CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

what?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:17 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: The modern version allows tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking, but forbids sucker-punching and kicks to the head.

that is all.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:36 PM on November 22, 2009


You know, in Judo, an olympic sport, you can choke your opponent until s/he passes out, or get their arm in a lock and break it. All perfectly legal.

Wrist locks and leg bars, along with straight out punching is forbidden.
posted by Balisong at 5:39 PM on November 22, 2009


Well now we know why the Italian World Cup team is made up of such namby pamby, pussified divers and cry babies. All they real Italian men are out choking and head butting each other in Calcio matches. Only the limp-wristed dregs remain to pollute football with their maudlin whining and exaggerated grimacing.
posted by Telf at 6:40 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of the time back in the 90's that Dad and I discovered Hurling (wikipedia) on cable access late one night... with all the beating with sticks that game seemed to entail, at the time we couldn't for the life of us figure out what that one penalty we saw called was for...
posted by jrb223 at 6:49 PM on November 22, 2009


The modern version allows tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking, but forbids sucker-punching and kicks to the head.

No ponytail pulling?
posted by francesca too at 7:21 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


At least the noble Italians wouldn't handle the ball (twice!) before crossing it over to the other player (who had also been offside btw) to score.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 8:06 PM on November 22, 2009


What about, like, spitting into the other player's mouth?

Peeing on their shoes?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:49 PM on November 22, 2009


This is fucking awesome! Especially the pants!
posted by serazin at 9:34 PM on November 22, 2009


Fottiti, Telf. Or at the very least, try not to use derivatives of "pussy" when making the usual Wop footie slag off: mixing sexism with pat stereotypes is *so* passé.
posted by romakimmy at 1:32 AM on November 23, 2009


Or at the very least, try not to use derivatives of "pussy" when making the usual Wop footie slag off: mixing sexism with pat stereotypes is *so* passé.

It actually makes both better. Like chocolate and peanut butter.

Also, don't ignore my usage of "limp-wristed", which is an obvious homophobic statement. I was going for the trifecta of racist, sexist, and sexual orientationist.

I was remiss in my failure to use the word "Wop", but that's a world I usually employ when insinuating that Italians are greasy, not when I make fun of them for being effette.

On the other hand, this is an interesting game that I've never heard of. I don't think it's the type of sport that could support very long seasons, but I bet the players all go out for beer/wine afterwards. Most of the animosity is probably left on the field.

(Also, I had to look up fottiti. I'm going to have to admit that you know more about Italians than I do.)
posted by Telf at 5:32 AM on November 23, 2009


"People are animals."

Well, yes. We are. But perhaps not in the way you meant?

Simulated battle like this, especially as part of a regular festival, is just one of the many, many ways that human culture expresses itself and creates moments of liminality.

I find it interesting how the ritual and bombast of the various modern "sports" is not immediately understood as exactly the same thing. Because it certainly is. Many of the organized sport that we exported to colonies in recent history were seen as just that, and adopted in a manner to suit local tastes and world views. An example of a particularly violent version of cricket introduced by the British to Papua New Guinea (I think) was turned into an especially violent version at festival time, but, oddly enough, the home team always won and no one really got hurt that much. Then everyone had a big feast!

Actually, cricket is one of those sports that has morphed into a great many fascinating local variations in this manner.

Also of interest (perhaps only to me): violent simulated battle like this is naturally a dangerous activity, but when we gear up for battle with various protective armour (and symbolic swords like sticks) we don't really lessen that danger. We merely change the variety and (perhaps) extent of injuries.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:26 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


This sounds like an excellent sport. Any idea if it has spread to the United States?
posted by Loto at 6:30 AM on November 23, 2009


Interesting yet important footnote - the game was only revived in the 1930s (after an almost 200-year hiatus) by Mussolini as a means of reviving/stoking a national socialist political and cultural agenda.... Fascist Football, anyone?!
posted by piedrasyluz at 6:42 AM on November 23, 2009


Woah! I'd love to read more about that piedrasyluz, if you have a suggestion of where to look.
posted by serazin at 7:35 AM on November 23, 2009


I started with the Wikipedia page, but most of the info there comes from a Sports Illustrated article from 2008. There is also a 2004 book, Football and Fascism, The National Game Under Mussolini that goes into much more detail - essentially the Fascist authorities tried to "claim" soccer as an Italian thing, by linking it to Calcio storico, leading up to Italy hosting, and winning, the Soccer World Cup in 1934 (much like Hitler did with the Olympics in 1936, attempting to link the glory of ancient Greece to modern Germany).
posted by piedrasyluz at 7:52 AM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


What about, like, spitting into the other player's mouth? Peeing on their shoes?

Never been to a rugby party, I see.
posted by electroboy at 9:57 AM on November 23, 2009


So why aren't they doing things like punching the other guy in the throat? That would seem like a good way to whittle down their players.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2009


So why aren't they doing things like punching the other guy in the throat?
eponybountyhunteringmous
I remember watching a TV special on this game quite a few years back, and trust me they were. Most of the game was just players running around picking fights with eachother, oblivious to the actual game play. At least, that's what the tv show had me believe.
posted by nudar at 3:45 AM on November 24, 2009


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