Calcio storico is something else

Somebody could really get hurt out there.

This is without a doubt the most violent stadium sport in the

world. Maybe in some basement somewhere there really is a Fight

Club, but in terms of stuff you can see in a place that sells

nachos this has to be the world’s most physically combative


It’s an Italian sport called calcio storico or


fiorentino and it’s kind of like if you mixed rugby with a

street fight. To score, you get the ball into what Americans would

call the end zone.

It’s pretty wild, but you may not want to watch all 55 minutes

of that highlight. So here are the highlights, in order of their

appearance in the video:

8:45: Holy crap this bearded guy who looks like he probably

brews beer in his garage takes it to the house! A hirsute, portly

Tim Tebow on the misdirection! This is the offense Chip Kelly is

bringing to the NFL.

8:50: HPTT (Hirsute, Portly Tim Tebow) gets decked by his own

teammate. They even celebrate violently.

9:05: I’m sitting here thinking I’ve never seen anything like

this on an American playing surface, but I have. The Malice in the

Palace looked like this in the sense that numerous people were on

the playing surface punching each other. The difference, of course,

is that the Malice in the Palace was considered a catastrophic

breakdown and one of the low points in NBA history, but in calcio

storico, it’s just the way the game is played. Besides, it doesn’t

spill over into the crowd.

20:19: Oh, so I guess it is going to spill over into the crowd

after all.

26:25: Oh no. This sport has a fractional scoring system. This

is doomed in America. True story: I know a college graduate who

doesn’t understand how half of nine is 4.5. The Europeans are good

at taking almost prehistorically simple games and then needlessly

complicating the timing or scoring system in order to annoy


30:35: One of the linemen (?) receives a blow to the head so

severe they pour water on him.

37:20: I’m going to assume this is the highest level at which

this sport is played, which means calcio storico can be played

effectively well into middle age and by men of basically any size

and shape, so long as they can fight.

49:24: Fighting in the dust.

50:30: Fighting in the dust.

50:08: And suddenly it’s over. It just ended. These men stopped

fighting and started hugging. … wait … nope, still fighting

51:34: And now it’s over.

I don’t understand it, but I get it.

(Hat tip to The Big Lead for


us off to this gem.)