As NBA players complain about their accommodations and meals as they try to sneak their sidepieces into the DisneyWorld “bubble”, there’s a sport in Italy that could give a rat’s ass about COVID-19, PPE masks, helmets, seed spitting or social distancing. It’s called Calcio Storico and it makes rugby look like a game of touch football at the Kennedy compound and MMA like a tickle fight.
Originating in the 16th century, Calcio Storico is played in Florence on a sand field 109 x 55 yards long. There are only 4 teams in existence. Each consisting of 27 players dressed like the Vatican Guard at a Glamour Shots. All 27 players are on the field at the same time with the objective being to get the ball into the opponents' goal by any means necessary. The operative phrase being “by any means necessary.” Tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking are not only allowed, but are a strategic part of the game. In fact, during early decades in order to encourage wagering, bulls would be released into the ring to add confusion. Effing BULLS for god’s sake. However, due to a rash of FATALITIES, sucker punches and kicks to the head have been banned. So at least it's not completely barbaric.
So to all the bubble-loving front office executives, player reps and athletes worried about jersey swaps and lineup cards, stop your whining right now. Compared to Calcio Storico, you look like a bunch of first graders crying because a 3rd grader stole the cookie from your lunchable.