• Solomeo

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 29 Nov. 2013. This is the 9th 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

    About two weeks ago, we visited Solomeo, a small town west of Perugia with a population (last census, 2001) of 436. Buses come just a few times a day, mostly for ferrying kids back and forth from school. Automobile is the most practical form of access. We went because Solomeo is the location of Brunello Cucinelli‘s factory and outlet store (photos of the factory here, located in the castello). Cucinelli is also a founder, and the patron, of Castel Rigone Calcio, about which I am continuing to write, and he supports local historical and cultural initiatives, such as the € 1.1 million consolidation and conservation of the Arco Etrusco, the ancient northern gate to the city of Perugia, which has been under scaffolding since we arrived.

    At a time of serious ongoing economic constraints in Italy, Cucinelli’s success is a bright spot for Umbria…

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  • Castel Rigone, Weeks 13-14: Bad Spirits and Good Spirits

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 3 Dec. 2013. This is the 10th 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

    With three penalties missed in a row and three games in a row with a player dismissed for a red card, Castel Rigone was looking for their fortunes to change in week 14 vs. Aprilia.

    The previous week had brought on a strong performance away vs. ACD Foggia, but a missed penalty (this time by Di Paola, who had just substituted for Tranchitella) and a red card had squashed a comeback from 2-0 for the white-and-blues from Umbria (video highlights for both matches below).

    Much of the week’s papers concentrated on the maledizione, or “curse” that seemed to befall the club’s strikers from the penalty spot, a place where about 75% of penalties are normally successful (the figure drops to 69% under the pressure of an end-of-match penalty shootout and (eek) to 14% when a player has to score to keep a team alive in a shootout). Pressure matters…

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  • Castel Rigone, Weeks 15-16-17: Card Games

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 24 Dec. 2013. This is the 11th 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

    All last week, the Giornale dell’Umbria published stories on Castel Rigone going for a ‘poker’. A ‘poker’ in Italian means a hand with four aces. In sporting terms, this indicates either scoring four goals in a game, or a string of four successive wins. On Sunday, the team earned that club-record fourth win in a row. A 1-0 victory away at Sorrento Calcio, after defeating other strong opposition (first-place Teramo and seventh-place Vigor Lamezia), vaulted Castel Rigone into fifth place at the midway point of the season, firmly within the survival zone of the top eight teams. (In Italian soccer, tiebreakers for teams level on points are: first, head-to-head record; second, overall goal difference.)

    The victory at Sorrento was achieved without their top striker, Dario Tranchitella, who was on the bench with the flu. Two other first-team strikers (Di Paola and Cappai) have either been transferred or are about to…

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  • Castel Rigone, Week 18: True Grit

    Re-blogging from Shades of Umbria, 7 Jan. 2014. This is the 12th 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

    There’s a quality to players that coaches love to see here; they call it “grinta,” or “grit” — the will to focus one’s attention and energies towards a task despite all obstacles and conditions. Simon’s coach constantly talks to his team about playing with grinta. Castel Rigone showed it after the holiday break and earned three points in their fifth straight win, 1-0 over Chieti (who had beat them 3-1 in the very first game of the season back in August).

    I took Simon to see the match; it had poured that morning, and the pitch was full of water puddles; the grounds crew worked with squeegees and augers to try to drain the water and dry the mud. The all-white kit of the home side was brown almost immediately, however. In those first minutes, Chieti launched a direct assault, putting through-balls between defenders who were slow to…

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