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me: ballgame

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  • Alec Christensen
    Much, if not all, of the recently discussed material has been covered in Scarborough and Wilcox s edited volume on the ball game, which a couple of people have
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 4, 1996
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      Much, if not all, of the recently discussed material has been covered in
      Scarborough and Wilcox's edited volume on the ball game, which a couple
      of people have cited. It is clear that there were many related versions
      of the game played over an area that stretched from Honduras up to the
      American Southwest, and possibly out to the Greater Antilles. The
      emphasis here is on "many related versions". The difference in court
      sizes, types of walls and end zones, and even locations of courts in and
      around sites indicate that to speak of one "ball game" is ludicrous. A
      good analogy might be the family of related racquet sports, from tennis
      (singles and doubles) to racquetball, squash, and even handball. An even
      better one would be football, which evolved from an English folksport,
      with (I presume) a great variation in number of players and size of
      field, just as there is today in casual pick-up games ("that car's the
      goal line"). With the development of organized sports at boarding
      schools, different versions, some quite arcane became established at
      different schools. Rugby, for one, then was adopted on a broader scale,
      while other versions (such as Winchester College football, whose players
      don't even seem to know the rules) never left their home campuses.
      Meanwhile soccer, or just plain "football", also became standardized
      (although I'm not quite sure where and when-- this is all by the seat of
      my pants, mind you). At the same time, various British migrant
      populations developed their own versions of the game: thus American,
      Canadian, and Australian football, each with a slightly different set of
      rules. That adds up to at least six versions of the game with codified
      rules, each of which has, at some time and by some people, been called
      football. Yet a spectator can be forgiven for not seeing a resemblance
      between the styles of play of the New York Giants and Manchester United.
      Each game serves a different population, often for different purposes--
      although inter-group rivalry, whether between Eton and Harrow, England
      and Argentina, or anybody and Buffalo, is the dominant theme. Wonder of
      wonders that so many Mesoamerican ball courts seem to be located on
      inter-polity boundaries.
      It's obvious that one could take this analogy way too far if one really
      wanted to (and I may myself be verging on that), but I hope it indicates
      how silly it is to talk of a monolithic "ballgame".

      Alec Christensen
      Vanderbilt University

      PS As for San Luis Potosi, it could well be a ball court on that aerial
      photo, but there are also U-shaped architectural complexes up there that
      might be mistaken for a ballcourt in a photo (proportions would be a bit
      wider, probably).
    • Samuel Edgerton Jr
      Alec has just brought up soccer as one of the many variant forms of football being played the world over today. The origin of that sport may even be relevant
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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        Alec has just brought up soccer as one of the many variant forms of
        football being played the world over today. The origin of that sport may
        even be relevant to the current discussion of the Mesoamerican ball game.
        Seems that soccer was first played in medieval Italy, in Florence where
        the game can be traced the Piazza Santa Croce; you can still see the
        original goal markers on the abutting buildings. The Italians call the
        game "calcio" and, before rubber came to the old world, used a leather
        "ball" stuffed with horesehair. After the Pazzi revolt against the Medici
        in 1478, the story goes that Medici-supporting youths disinterred the
        corpses of Pazzi-family members from their church tombs, and used the
        skulls for calcio balls. Every year, Florentines still reenact the
        first calcio ballgame in a wild mellee in one of the city's open squares.
        Everybody gets drunk and the affair usually ends in a huge fist-fight.
        Thus, I propose a theory: since Columbus was himself a lusty Italian,
        maybe he brought the game to the Americas instead of the other
        way around! Maybe the association of balls to human heads was a European
        idea first, before the innocent Mesoamericans were taught that grisly
        sacrifice association by those wily Florentines! So, if Mexico ever wins
        the World Cup in soccer, won't that be the ultimate Montezuma's revenge?
        Think about it!
        Sam
      • Edward B. Hanna
        In a message dated 12/5/96 8:19:26 AM, Samuel.Y.Edgerton@WILLIAMS.EDU (Samuel ... I think you re onto something, Sam. That explains the origin of the term
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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          In a message dated 12/5/96 8:19:26 AM, Samuel.Y.Edgerton@... (Samuel
          Edgerton Jr) wrote:

          > So, if Mexico ever wins
          >the World Cup in soccer, won't that be the ultimate Montezuma's revenge?
          >Think about it!

          I think you're onto something, Sam. That explains the origin of the term
          "Aztec two-step!"

          Ed Hanna
        • Jorge Carlos Perez de Lara Elias
          ... Sam, I am so glad you brought this up. Now I do not feel ashamed to speak about my own little theory: that one of Thor Heyerdahl s great-great-great
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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            On 5/12/96, Sam Edgerton wrote:

            >Thus, I propose a theory: since Columbus was himself a lusty Italian,
            >maybe he brought the game to the Americas instead of the other
            >way around! Maybe the association of balls to human heads was a European
            >idea first, before the innocent Mesoamericans were taught that grisly
            >sacrifice association by those wily Florentines! So, if Mexico ever wins
            >the World Cup in soccer, won't that be the ultimate Montezuma's revenge?
            >Think about it!

            Sam, I am so glad you brought this up. Now I do not feel ashamed to speak
            about my own little theory: that one of Thor Heyerdahl's great-great-great
            grandfathers discovered cacao around 100 B.C. in the Tabasco swamplands,
            smuggled it to Europe in the 'Kon Tiki' and secretly sold it to an obscure
            dairy farmer called Nestleum, in Helvetia. When the stabilizing influence
            of the Roman Empire dissolved, the substance misteriously vanished from the
            vaults of an incipient Swiss bank. A couple of centuries later, the Vikings
            got hold of it, eventually introducing it to Nova-Scotia, whence it found
            its way down to the Mississippi Delta. From there, it was transported by
            Putun merchants to the Maya Lowlands,in time for the ceremonies celebrating
            the launching of the Late Classic period.In connection with these events,
            it may well be that a little-understood text referring to cacao that was
            recently unearthed in the vicinity of Pomona, Tabasco is the first record
            of an "anti-dumping" lawsuit ever to have been found in the New World.


            Jorge Perez de Lara
            Mexico

            jorgepl@...
          • Richard Haly
            Sam & Ed et al.: Truth rarely comes so clearly these days. It also explains the Nahuatl word meaning to have diarrhea: a:pi:tza, which most scholars have
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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              Sam & Ed et al.:

              Truth rarely comes so clearly these days. It also explains the Nahuatl
              word meaning to have diarrhea: "a:pi:tza," which most scholars have
              glossed 'blowing water" but obviously means "a pizza."

              Hail the memory of Alfred Jarry (whom we used to page at the SF airport
              in the '60s).

              Rihard Haly
            • Albert L VanLanduyt
              The same soccer game was played by muslims during the Caliphate wars, before Columbus sailed on his voyage, using severed heads as balls. It s imaginable that
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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                The same soccer game was played by muslims during the Caliphate wars,
                before Columbus sailed on his voyage, using severed heads as balls. It's
                imaginable that any person who disrespects the deceased body of another
                tribe might come up with such a gruesome idea. I give credit to each
                group that engaged in the activity. Besides, it doesn't matter where the
                idea came from, the person or group to act out on such an idea must
                ultimately receive credit for their actions.

                Albert
                George Mason University
              • Christopher Kocher
                At the risk of offending list members with delicate stomachs, I should point out that playing soccer with human skulls is not something that was only done by
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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                  At the risk of offending list members with delicate stomachs,
                  I should point out that playing soccer with human skulls is
                  not something that was only done by "primitive heathens" in the
                  dim, distant, uncivilized past. A recent (that is, within the past
                  year) edition of the French picture magazine "Photo" contained a photo of a
                  group of young Brazilian boys gleefully playing soccer with the severed
                  head of an executed drug dealer.
                • Ernie Marc
                  Sam, Did Chris Ernie Marc e-marc@bcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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                    Sam,
                    Did Chris


                    Ernie Marc
                    e-marc@...


                    On Thu, 5 Dec 1996, Samuel Edgerton Jr wrote:

                    > Alec has just brought up soccer as one of the many variant forms of
                    > football being played the world over today. The origin of that sport may
                    > even be relevant to the current discussion of the Mesoamerican ball game.
                    > Seems that soccer was first played in medieval Italy, in Florence where
                    > the game can be traced the Piazza Santa Croce; you can still see the
                    > original goal markers on the abutting buildings. The Italians call the
                    > game "calcio" and, before rubber came to the old world, used a leather
                    > "ball" stuffed with horesehair. After the Pazzi revolt against the Medici
                    > in 1478, the story goes that Medici-supporting youths disinterred the
                    > corpses of Pazzi-family members from their church tombs, and used the
                    > skulls for calcio balls. Every year, Florentines still reenact the
                    > first calcio ballgame in a wild mellee in one of the city's open squares.
                    > Everybody gets drunk and the affair usually ends in a huge fist-fight.
                    > Thus, I propose a theory: since Columbus was himself a lusty Italian,
                    > maybe he brought the game to the Americas instead of the other
                    > way around! Maybe the association of balls to human heads was a European
                    > idea first, before the innocent Mesoamericans were taught that grisly
                    > sacrifice association by those wily Florentines! So, if Mexico ever wins
                    > the World Cup in soccer, won't that be the ultimate Montezuma's revenge?
                    > Think about it!
                    > Sam
                    >
                  • Ernie Marc
                    Sorry about the look of this message but the freenet i m sending from doesn t seem to accept some capital letters tonight. Sam, Are you suggesting that chris
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 5, 1996
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                      Sorry about the look of this message but the freenet i'm sending from
                      doesn't seem to accept some capital letters tonight.

                      Sam,
                      Are you suggesting that chris columbus' ancestor sent the
                      ballgame iconography and hieroglyphic references of the ballgame to the
                      maya during classic times to prepare the maya for chris introducing the ball
                      game? If so this may be the first superbowl commercial in history!
                      cheers,


                      Ernie Marc
                      e-marc@...


                      On Thu, 5 Dec 1996, Samuel Edgerton Jr wrote:

                      > Alec has just brought up soccer as one of the many variant forms of
                      > football being played the world over today. The origin of that sport may
                      > even be relevant to the current discussion of the Mesoamerican ball game.
                      > Seems that soccer was first played in medieval Italy, in Florence where
                      > the game can be traced the Piazza Santa Croce; you can still see the
                      > original goal markers on the abutting buildings. The Italians call the
                      > game "calcio" and, before rubber came to the old world, used a leather
                      > "ball" stuffed with horesehair. After the Pazzi revolt against the Medici
                      > in 1478, the story goes that Medici-supporting youths disinterred the
                      > corpses of Pazzi-family members from their church tombs, and used the
                      > skulls for calcio balls. Every year, Florentines still reenact the
                      > first calcio ballgame in a wild mellee in one of the city's open squares.
                      > Everybody gets drunk and the affair usually ends in a huge fist-fight.
                      > Thus, I propose a theory: since Columbus was himself a lusty Italian,
                      > maybe he brought the game to the Americas instead of the other
                      > way around! Maybe the association of balls to human heads was a European
                      > idea first, before the innocent Mesoamericans were taught that grisly
                      > sacrifice association by those wily Florentines! So, if Mexico ever wins
                      > the World Cup in soccer, won't that be the ultimate Montezuma's revenge?
                      > Think about it!
                      > Sam
                      >
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