Castel Rigone, Week 22: Royalty

Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 3 Feb. 2014. This is the 15th 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

The sun was shining in Perugia on Saturday afternoon, but above Lake Trasimeno clouds and mist prevailed. In a parallel struggle at the edge of the sod and mud, visiting tifosi tried to lift the atmosphere, spreading red-and-yellow banners (and one flag), and calling out their songs to the tunes of ‘Aida’, ‘The Entertainer’, and even ‘God Save The Queen’. Poggibonsi’s English aspirations even extended to one of the supporters’ groups, ‘Old Lion‘. Their team had not lost in six games.

The home side were not sporting color; with the stewards in their usual light-grey Cucinelli slacks and charcoal pea coats, and the fans in dark winter gear, the mood was tense and uncertain. Castel Rigone had lost its last three matches.

The pitch had been vacuumed of water, but more was to come — not long after the opening whistle, the skies opened up. The morass…

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