Sport is a way of life in many cultures across the globe. Stores close, family plans are cancelled, and extreme measures are taken to attend the big game. Games break up automation among the citizens of a given culture. This almost zombie way of living must be broken up for the benefit of culture as a whole. By participating in game/sport, tensions are lifted from weekly work stress, life struggles, and other stressors that occur in culture. For this time when the game is taking place all of these stressors are combated, avoiding the automation that can occur over time with repeated stress. Sport has become a way for an individual to create an extension of oneself to combat these stressors. By participating in these events the individual breaks away from the tyranny of the social machine. The importance of spectators is essential to the sport. If there was nobody watching and participating in the event it would simply be a practice of sport. Sport thrives off of the participation of the spectator. Different cultures participate in a wide variety of sports across the globe. Two very unique groups of people can be looked at while keeping this extension in mind. The Florentine Nuts and British Bolts.
People from all over the world gather to witness this unique sport in Florentine culture that has gone back to the 15th century. Just like we gather at our stadiums for American Football to “tailgate”, the Calcio Fiorentino brings thousands of spectators to participate in this annual event. During the Month of June, 4 teams compete in a playoff to determine who will play in the final game. This championship match is played on June 24th on patron Saint John the Baptist’s feast day. On this day, the four boroughs of Florence come together for parade and feast. Similar to American football’s tailgate, the Florentine’s enjoy different food and music to celebrate the Saint’s feast day and prepare for the big game. This event is a celebration for not only St. John the Baptist, but for Florentine culture as a whole. The four boroughs which have differences in culture come together on this day to celebrate life and sport. After the parade and feast is finished, the spectators flood the Piazza, which is equivalent to a town square in traditional colonial cities in America.
The game is played with 27 total players, the game is a mix of soccer, rugby, and wrestling. Odd combination! There are four teams that represent the 4 quadrants in the city of Florence. The point of the game is to get the b
all into the goal, pretty simple right? The goals can be either scored by a throw to a designated area, or can be ran in for a score. The problem here is that opponents can do anything to stop the scoring. The Calcio Fiorentino has been labeled as one of the world’s most brutal/dangerous sport. During play teams engage in fights and big hits on the ball carrier make for a dangerous display of sport. The game is played for 50 minutes and the winner takes the Chianina Calf!
The sport of soccer or futbal is one of the globe’s most popular sports. In Europe this sport is rules the extension of people within the culture. Noted as some of the most loyal fans to their sport, these people are in complete extension while at the match. There is a group of fans that are labeled as hooligans. These fans are so extended that nothing matters except for the team and their success. Many times these extremist fans are caught on camera getting into brawls before, after, and even during the game. These hooligans come from all walks of class, upper, middle, lower class come together in extension.
Overall the purpose of this blog was to discuss how sport is a tool that is used to combat the common stressors that life brings. The culture creates an extension of themselves to counter balance these irritants and to avoid automation within the culture. These two groups in culture show the dedication that they have for their sport and the different ways they extend. Very similar to the sport here in the United States, sport is a big part on how our culture operates. It is interesting to look at different cultures across the pond. I urge all of you to check out the Calcio Fiorentino and soccer matches in England. You will see some extreme competition and some crazy fans. Warning though…….the Calcio Fiorentino is very violent and could be unpleasant to some viewers. Search and leave your comments, I look forward to hearing about your reaction to these unique extensions of man (and women!)