Sports Lovers of America, I Introduce Calcio Fiorentino

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages, the Train Daddy proudly brings to you the knowledge of all things sports and, occasionally, some politically incorrect statements to get everyone fired up. Let’s roll out the station, my friends!

Last month we had a beautiful piece covering all things Tennessee Titans and the greatest Titans fan ever, the Me-Ma. What do I have for you this time around? Well, we have a crazy-ass Italian blood sport that has been going on since around the 15th century to talk about; the Titans’ new stadium is now Nissan Stadium; the speedy General Lee is under attack, and there’s also a transgender MMA fighter to discuss. Yippee ki-yay! So hold on to your butts, my friends, this article is spicy—it has blood, racism, politics and transgender karate all rolled into one.

calcio- storico (3)

So, what happens when you put 54 men on a field of sand, give them a ball and tell them there are practically no rules, just that whomever has the most points after 50 minutes wins a rare breed of cow? Blood, guts and glory, of course! Try to imagine rugby combined with bare-knuckle fighting, and you get what the Italians call Calcio Fiorentino, which originated in the 15th century in Florence, Italy. Originally, the game was reserved for rich aristocrats who played regularly. Even popes, such as Clement VIII, Urban VIII and Leo XI, were known to play the sport in the Vatican City. Murder, death and violence was a normal occurrence in that time of history, and it was a way for noblemen to legally beat the crap out of their rival nobleman while also controlling and entertaining the general population. The official rules of Calcio were published for the first time in 1580 by Giovanni de Bardi, a Florentine count. So, let’s talk rules and explain the game. Matches, played on a sand-covered field twice as long as is wide, last 50 minutes. There are 27 players on each side with no substitutions allowed. Teams are made up of four goalkeepers, three fullbacks, five halfbacks and 15 forwards. The purpose of the game is to throw the ball into the other team’s goal using hands or feet to advance the ball. Players are allowed to use any means necessary to advance or stop the ball, and the team with the most goals scored after 50 minutes wins the game.

Chianina cow, an Italian breed that is one of the largest and oldest breeds in the world.

Chianina cow, an Italian breed that is one of the largest and oldest breeds in the world.

Interest in the game diminished in the 17th century; however, in 1930 it was reorganized as a game in the kingdom of Italy. Let’s look at a few of the more infamous games played. In 1530, while the city was under siege—and in defiance of the imperial troops sent by Charles V—a game was played. In 1574, Henry III of France attended a game played in his honor during a visit. The King is recorded as saying, “Too small to be a war, and too cruel to be a game.” There is even said to have been a match played in 1491 on top of the frozen Arno River. There are many examples of violent sports in the history books: the Gladiators of Rome, for example. In Central America, there were games like Pelota, played between the Mayans and in which the captain of the losing team was often killed. Violence is bred into mankind. At least let’s make a game of it, so I say.

These days there are four Calcio Fiorentino teams, all of whom represent a different Quartiere of their city of Florence. The Crocs (Santa Croce) wear blue, the Marias (Santa Maria Novella) red, Santo Spirito white and San Giovanni sports the color green. After playing each other in two opening games, the two overall winners go into the final game, which occurs only once a year on June 24. This day is St. John’s Day, honoring the Patron Saint of Florence. Today’s modern version of Calcio allows tactics such as head butting, punching, elbows and choking. Although in my opinion very violent, it’s not brutal; well, maybe a little brutal. But there are rules that make this a fair fight for all who willingly enter the field. There is a head referee deemed master of the field, and six lineman who control the madness. No kicks to the head are allowed, and (my favorite rule) two fighters can’t advance on a single opponent. Eventually, enough people get knocked out and carted off of the field, giving the stronger team more opportunities to score. Watch the madness for yourself right now: find Calcio Storico (its original name) on YouTube and watch. The winning team wins the pride of their Quartiere of the City and, best of all, a Chianina cow, an Italian breed that is one of the largest and oldest breeds in the world, praised for its tender meat.

Fallon Fox

Fallon Fox

Let’s skip beating around the bush here and get talking about something crazy in my eyes. Don’t get upset, extreme feminist or LGBT community, as these next few sentences are backed up by science. Men and women are differently built. Being born a man means larger hands, shoulders, bones, and muscle mass. A man would have a distinct advantage in anything involving strength and power. Of course, women like Xena the warrior princess or Chyna the former professional wrestler and body builder could definitely hold their own against any foe. I am speaking in a general sense here of the average man compared to the average women. Do you believe a transgender, a human-born man who now identifies as a woman should be allowed to fight other women? Well, I say no, but some say yes. Transgender fighter Fallon Fox, born a man, fights women. In Fallon Fox’s most recent bout, the fighter defeated Tamikka Brents in just under two minutes of the first round. Brents suffered a damaged orbital bone, which required 7 staples, and a concussion. Brents summed it up after the defeat: “I’ve never felt so overpowered in my life. I have fought a lot of women and never have felt that amount of strength. I can’t answer whether it’s because he/she was born a man or not, I’m not a doctor.”

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan had some harsh words for Fox that I won’t repeat, but he practically summed up what is true but what some don’t want to hear. Ronda Rousey, the current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion also refuses to fight Fallon, stating the unfair advantage. And what happens? Plenty of media outlets label Ronda as a racist, a homophobe and a coward for not willing to fight Fallon Fox. Ronda stated she feels Fox needs to be fighting men, especially with the extreme damage Fox is inflicting on other women. In my opinion the laws of nature, science and common sense don’t apply to the left. They make their own and manipulate the existing to accommodate their lifestyles. Then they expect everything and everyone to conform, and those who don’t are said to be racist, haters and homophobes.

DHC-98-6AThat’s it for this topic. It’s only my opinion, and here in America we can have an opinion without fear of ISIS cutting out our tongues. God bless America!

The Tennessee Titans recently renamed their home field Nissan Stadium. Nissan is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest employers; the Smyrna plant has more than 8,400 employees, and the contract between Nissan and the stadium will last 20 years.

Let’s reminisce—I can remember having my little General Lee toy car as a child. I would make her flip, she would roll, she could fly, baby! Never as a child did I think my little orange car was a racist, but Obama and others now say she is. Production of the General Lee car has been halted.

Me, personally, I would never wear or fly a Confederate flag. To me, it’s better suited in a museum than on the grounds of a state capital. But people in general should have the right to do as they please in regard to whatever flag suits them. And neither the government nor the media should have the right to say what you should or should not fly. That’s it, my friends, the Train is slowing its roll. To my loyal readers: Thanks and keep on reading!


About the Author

The Z-Train is a Murfreesboro resident and enjoys all sports, but bleeds code blue for his beloved Titans, who will one sweet day bring home that beautiful Lombardi Trophy to Tennessee. Always remember the Train's big F's: Faith, Family, Friends, Food and FOOTBALL!

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