Castel Rigone, Weeks 19-20: Bumps

Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 23 Jan. 2014. This is the 13th in a series of posts on the ethics of competition, focusing on Castel Rigone Calcio, and part of the ‘Ethics of Combat‘ category on quemdixerechaos. This blog series completes a DePauw University Faculty Fellowship that examines how and why rules and customs develop for, and in, combat and competition.

Shades of Umbria

Since Shakespeare‘s day, ‘bump‘ has meant a protuberance, something raised above the normal level. In a road, a bump forces one to slow down. During an election, a bump is more like a bounce. In the late 20th century, as data visualization became more common, words were commandeered to describe meaningful patterns or events. For instance, a significant change in a graphic trend-line (since at least 1980) became a ‘bump’ in the polls. Soccer has good and bad bumps too.

Received wisdom says that when a team fires its manager, almost always because of poor results, the team revives, plays better, and often wins its next game, or several games. In other words, the team will enjoy a positive ‘bump’. The general reasoning is that players, wishing to impress the new manager, will try harder to keep their place on the squad, or earn the favor of…

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