• Sports

    Obscure Sporting: Florentine Football

    At the visceral sound of a small cannon, the sound ricocheting off of Florenceā€™s ancient structures, 27 players rush forward into the lurid brawl which is the sport of Florentine Football. Imagine a strange combination of handball, rugby, and hand-to-hand combat, in a sandy gladiator cage 80x40m, surrounded by jeering fans. This is the revived version of the 16th century Italian sport, calcio, which itself may be a revival of the antique Roman sport of harpastum.   In the Renaissance era, the brutal sport was limited to the most elite. Rich aristocrats played before Lent, and even Popes (Leo XI, Urban VIII) entered the game in the Vatican. The game…

  • Sports

    World Cup Qualification Finalized

    With their monumental 2-0 home win on November 15 over New Zealand, Peru clinched the final spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The now-finalized 32 team selection includes a number of surprises, including Italy, Chile, the Netherlands, and the US all failing to qualify. Many fans were particularly shocked that Italy, who have won the World Cup four times and qualified for every tournament since 1958, were unable to qualify. The Italians made it to the playoff round after finishing second in their qualifying group behind Spain, and were matched up with Sweden. The Italians were favorites heading into the playoff, but failed to score in either of…