Monday, 27 February 2023
Sunday, 26 February 2023
Friday, 24 February 2023
“Rugby football” or “union football” split with “association football” (the one where you actually use your feet) in 1823 because of something William Webb Ellis did during a school match at Rugby. Both have, by comparison to the U.S. derivative, fairly easy rules to learn. And both are themselves descendants of an older form of the game, so-called “real football,” or “medieval football,” which is still played in a few places.
I bring all this up because probably the marquee match of the year is held, by tradition, on Shrove Tuesday in the English town of Atherstone — and this year’s game drew a crowd of thousands.
I say it drew a crowd of thousands, I should point out that there is no clear line between player and spectator and the gameplay is fairly simple: a largish ball is released into the crowd at 3 p.m., and whoever has possession of it when the game ends at 5 p.m. wins.
In real football, the other rules number exactly two:
1. The game must be played only along the town’s main drag, Long Street, along which all the shopfronts and other buildings are boarded up for the day.
2. You may not kill another player.
Those are all the rules.
As you might imagine, things get a little rowdy.
This year’s winners were a three-man team of local lads, Kieran Marshall, Lewis Cooper, and Scott Wright. Lewis had majority possession of the ball when time was called but shared the victory with his “punchers,” as he called them. All three are looking forward to defending their title next year.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the game triggers a wave of hyperventilating news stories about “brutal violence” and “carnage” each year. But it might surprise you to learn that everyone has a great time and hardly anyone gets injured, beyond bruises and a bloody nose.
So far as I can tell, the last person to suffer a serious injury was a match steward in 2020, who had a heart attack even though he wasn’t playing — and he kicked the game off this year.
The whole thing seems so much more healthy, and cheerful, than the weird sublimated violence of American football. I think we should just import it. It might even be a game the city of Philadelphia could actually win.
Thursday, 23 February 2023
Wednesday, 22 February 2023
The Latin Mass Society and the FIUV would like to express its dismay that authority over a matter of such pastoral sensitivity has been centralised in this way.
Serious pastoral harm will follow if permiss ion is not granted where alternative places of worship are not readily available for the use of communities attached to the older form of the Mass.
Instead of integrating them into parish life, the restriction on the use of parish churches will marginalise and push to the peripheries faithful Catholics who wish only to worship, in communion with their bishops, with a form of the liturgy permitted by the Church. This desire was described as a ‘rightful aspiration’ by Pope John Paul II, and this liturgy was described as representing ‘riches’ by Pope Benedict XVI.
We call upon all Catholics of good will to offer prayer and penances this Lent for the resolution of this issue and the liberty of the ancient Latin Mass.
Tuesday, 21 February 2023
Long may it flourish.
Sunday, 19 February 2023
Saturday, 18 February 2023
Wednesday, 15 February 2023
Tuesday, 14 February 2023
Monday, 13 February 2023
Sunday, 12 February 2023
Friday, 10 February 2023
Thursday, 9 February 2023
- Alexander the Great, scientist?
- This includes the letters which were purported to be those written by Aristotle to Alexander which, transmitted by Arab writers, later became part of the tradition of princely education and formation in later medieval Europe.
- And did those feet: did Alexander the Great visit Britain?
- This is a wonderful example of a medieval fantasy history, linking into the legend of Brutus and apparently written to commemorate the marriage of King Edward III to Philippa of Hainault in 1328.
- Alexander the Great versus the elephants