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
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