Tag Archives | Sports

Calcio Storico: The Most Dangerous Game

There’s a sudden rush of interest in a game that’s been played for centuries in Florence, Italy: calcio storico. Sam Borden makes it a photo-filled splash story for the New York Times:

FLORENCE, Italy — Last Tuesday, about 24 hours before he jammed his fingers into another man’s nose, dropped his elbow across another man’s neck and put another man’s feet where one’s ears are supposed to be, Rodrigue Nana considered, just for a moment, the basic notion of fear.

Calcio Storico. Photo: Lorenzo Noccioli (CC)

Calcio Storico. Photo: Lorenzo Noccioli (CC)

“Do you want to know what I am afraid of?” he said, his fingers tracing the meaty scar above his left eyebrow. Nana, a Cameroon-born transplant to Italy, leaned forward, as if to share a secret. “I am afraid of showering.”

He did not laugh. Neither did any of his teammates sitting nearby. This was not a time for joking; Nana and the rest of his team were about to begin their last training session before last Wednesday’s final match of calcio storico, a centuries-old competition that features very few rules and the sort of human wreckage generally associated with the days of the gladiators.

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Jimmy Dore on How the Media is Screwing You, The Young Turks, and more!

Jimmy Dore is a comedian, show-host and best-selling author. In this interview Ron Placone and Jimmy go full-throttle on the corporate media, misinformation, creationism vs. science, Brian Williams, War, Sports, the Keystone XL Pipeline, Climate Change, Net Neutrality, the Young Turks and independent media, and how we cope with it all. Rapid fire discussion here!

This aired on the Indie Bohemians Morning Show. A morning show, for people who hate morning shows.

If the above player doesn’t work, please go here.

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The Gods are Dicks (or maybe not), Or: What the Super Bowl Can Teach Us About the Joys of Pessimism

Well, that’s it. It’s all over now. The end of another American football season. Can’t say it was consequential in any meaningful way, but amongst serious thinkers, such diversions are often times woefully underappreciated (while being simultaneously overappreciated by the masses). Oh, sure, they’re ok with “art”–usually of the boring, pretentious, sterile, ultimately of the unchallenged and unchallenging caliber–but serious thinkers are almost invariably dismissive of art in motion. Living Art. Nee: athletic achievement. Athletes, at their best, are spontaneously acting out, on impromptu stages, many of the myths, legends, heroic and tragic archetypes that most artists only think they’re channelling. “Poetry in motion” may be a cliche, but it is so for a good reason. Athletic achievement at its best is very Zen. It’s like a good haiku, or a koan. Fifteen hundred years ago, when a monk asked Zhao Zhou if a dog had Buddha nature, Zhao Zhou replied–legendarily–with “Mu.” (Literally “no,” or “without,” but meaning so much more in the context in which the question was asked.… Read the rest

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Super Bowl XLIX: Greenest Circus in History?

Parker Anderson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Parker Anderson (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Silvio Marcacci via CleanTechnica:

Media days, star-studded halftime shows, and million-dollar television ads traditionally dominate the news leading up to every Super Bowl, but it’s probably time to add a new tradition to the list: Annual “Greenest Super Bowl Ever” claims.

This trend has picked as Americans become more involved with environmental and climate issues, and this year Super Bowl XLIX is primed to score as perhaps the greenest sporting event yet.

From solar and wind energy, to LED lights, landfill diversion, and even both teams playing in the actual game, the 2015 Super Bowl is set to score big for sports sustainability.

A 100% Wind Powered Super Bowl

As with most CleanTechnica post, this one starts with renewable energy. While Arizona’s University of Phoenix Stadium doesn’t have any on-site solar or wind power resources, local utility Salt River Project (SRP) has agreed to provide all of the big game’s electricity needs with 100% wind power.

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Imagining an America Without Sports

Sam Riches writes at The Pacific Standard:

What if we eliminated the institution of sport—from the high school level to the pros? Ten academics from around the country weigh in.

The National Football League, despite a reported dip in fan support this year, remains the most popular and profitable sports league in America. Though it generates in the range of $10 billion annually, it’s heavily subsidized by its fans, American taxpayers, who provide 70 percent of the capital costs in stadium construction. NFL headquarters, meanwhile, enjoys tax-free status as a non-profit organization and the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, earned more than $40 million last year.

The athletes that make the league a viable business—the majority of them having worked their way up to the professional level after years of labor exploitation in the NCAA—have an average career length of just over three years, according to the NFL Players Association.

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10 of The Most Costly Sports Riots in History

vancouver

Via The Richest:

Former Liverpool FC manager Bill Shankly once famously said that football is more important than life or death. This sentiment, despite its extreme nature, is not an entirely alien concept to officials, fans and players of practically the entire range of competitive sports across the world.

Sports, in all its various forms and flavours, tap into our ancient tribal instincts, and provide an outlet for our deep seated primal urges. It comes as no surprise then, when these urges manifest themselves during emotionally charged moments in the sporting arena, from cries of rapture to screams of anger. However, some of these urges occasionally appear in much darker tones, often leading to physical altercations.

Evidence of this can be seen from as far back as 2,700 years ago (753 BC) in the chariot races of the Roman Empire. Riders, crews and horses were all fair game for the armed participants and spiked chariot wheels.

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Anti-“Redskins” PSA to Air

No word yet on whether the NFL will consider airing the “Proud to Be” spot, (which had been produced and put online in time for Super Bowl XLVIII), but it will play during the NBA finals, as it was deemed a “significant investment” by sponsors from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. The group would not reveal how much it spent for the coveted advertising slot, only that it was necessary to further an important discussion of racism.

via AlterNet:

During this weekend’s highly anticipated NBA final, an ad that the NFL does not want to air will hit the airwaves. It is a powerful and moving plea to change the offensive Washington Redskins name and mascot produced by a group called the National Congress of American Indians.

The ad runs through a list of words that Native Americans actually call themselves: proud, forgotten, Navajo, mother, survivor, Inuit, patriot, underserved .

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Nearly 1,000 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar’s World Cup Infastructure

qatarOur global sporting championship has a higher blood toll than the Hunger Games. Via the Smithsonian:

In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. Since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup.

A report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says that if conditions don’t get any better, by the time the World Cup kicks off, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died on the job. For comparison, only six workers have died during construction for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that starts this summer.

Workers described forced labour in 50C (122F) heat, employers who retain salaries for several months and passports making it impossible for them to leave and being denied free drinking water. The investigation found sickness is endemic among workers living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions and hunger has been reported.

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Corporate Sponsorship Turns Olympics Into ‘Hunger Games’ Scenario

1924WOlympicPosterIn The Nation, 2006 Winter Games luge competitor Samantha Retrosi compares the Olympics to “The Hunger Games” while discussing her own experience of being made into a voicebox for Vorizon. According to Retrosi, when corporate sponsorship falls through, many U.S. Olympic athletes are left with one back-up plan: join the Army:

The socialization of my allegiance to Verizon began the moment I was selected—as an 11-year-old—for the US development team. The culture within the US Luge Association viewed brand loyalty as integral to the survival of the organization. All of my clothing was plastered with the Verizon logo. I was not allowed near any camera without giving a visual and verbal statement of thanks to Verizon for making all of my dreams come true. I went through intensive media training each year to reinforce this allegiance—to learn how to be a better spokesperson for Verizon. During my Olympic year, I signed away my rights to use media time for just about anything other than gratitude to sponsors.

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