Is your name John and are you looking for something to do on Friday 24 June 2022, known throughout the Christian World as Saint John's Day?
Well, luckily, we have the Calcio Storico Fiorentino Final between the Santa Maria Novella Rossi (New Saint Mary Reds) and the Santa Croce Azzurri (Holy Cross Blues)!
You may be thinking why I just broke out into Italian, but if you are interested to learn more, check this link from a previous article I wrote earlier this month for the Semi-finals.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino is of course Historic Florence Football and assuming you do not want to read the other link or already have, the rules basically allow you to do anything to your opponent one on one, except sucker punch or kick the head, kill, and explicitly states two cannot fight one person at once.
A good video for a simplified explainer on the rules is found here.
There is tackling, passing with both the hands and feet, as well as goals and goalies, but also fullbacks, halfbacks, and forwards.
The forwards are the ones who fight and go for the ball at first in a tip off like beginning.
The backs try to score.
The bottom of the goal is elevated off the ground, and there is a top of the goal as well. To score, you must get the ball into the goal for 1 point. If you shoot/throw for goal and the ball goes over the goal, then the other team gets a 1/2 point. If the ball goes under the goal, no points are awarded.
Play restarts in the center after each point and to start the match. The match lasts 50 minutes, but there is a lengthy traditional pre-game whereby Florence and the Piazza Santa Croce will appear like it is in the Renaissance times.
The players wear Renaissance inspired uniforms. And there is a marching band, and other traditional elements to the match.
The teams represent one of each of the 4 historic quarters of the city.
Florence's patron saint is Saint John, hence why this Medieval Football Final is played on his day.
Santa Croce Azzurri enter the 2022 Final as the defending Champions from the 2021 version that was reduced to just 2 teams, while Santa Maria Novella Rossi enter as the 2019 Champions, the last version where a full Calcio Storico Fiorentino event happened.
Santa Croce Azzurri have the most Championships, much more than Santa Maria Novella Rossi, but it should be a good match.
Santa Croce Azzurri defeated the second most successful quarter, Santo Spirito Bianchi (Holy Spirit Whites) in the Semi-finals, 2-1. You can rewatch this match for free here.
Meanwhile, Santa Maria Novella Rossi defeated the least successful quarter, San Giovanni Verdi (Saint John Greens) 5-1. You can rewatch the match for free here.
When is the Final Exactly?
The Final will begin with a procession that will be very traditional in Renaissance dress with a band and other things that resemble a festival from the Medieval ages, and this procession will begin at 4 pm Florentine time. The match itself is not expected to start until 6 pm, or 12 pm Eastern Time (New York City).
Where can you watch?
This year, the usual free place to watch the match broadcast livestreamed throughout the world is not livestreaming it this year. Rather, you will have to watch it on DAZN or Toscana TV online by paying to watch the Final, unless you are in Florence.
What is the prize on the line?
Winning for your historic quarter and receiving a Chianina calf.
PS: If you feel morally superior to watch this sport, you should not. Popes competed in this sport. Think of it as masculine Christianity rather than violence with some football.