Castel Rigone: white dots on a mountain ridge across Lake Trasimeno

Last Saturday, Oct. 12th, Castel Rigone suffered another tough loss, away vs. Casertana. As one match report put it: “Casertana won 1-0 at the end [goal at 72′] of a knockout more than ever undeserved. One goal was disallowed for a highly dubious offside by Tranchitella [of Castel Rigone] in the second half, and another four other scoring chances were wasted by the Rigonians. The white-and-blues were punished for their only blunder.” (“La Casertana vince 1-0 al termine di un ko quanto mai immeritato. Un gol annulato per un fuorigioco molto dubbio a Tranchitella nella ripresa e altre quattro palle gol sprecate dai rigonesi. Biancoblù puniti nell’unico svarione.”)

Hoping to stave off late-game stumbles, the management began to shore up the team, acquiring 24-year-old defender Gianluigi Bianco from Avellino in Serie B (two levels up). Now second from bottom, they faced a long climb up the table, which they began this past weekend on Oct. 19 at home vs. Tuttocuoio (the name means “all leather”), a team from the town of San Miniato halfway between Florence and Pisa in Tuscany.

Any commentator who covers soccer eventually curses themselves to repeat this banality: “you have to score more goals than the opposition.” Sometimes this is even pitched as a ‘philosophy’ for a ‘simple game’, either in all desperate seriousness, or as a jaded joke about how hard that simple game actually is. Jean Paul Sartre said [I am still digging for the original source]: “Au football, tout est compliqué par la présence de l’équipe adverse.” “In football, everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.” The truth is, despite playing hard and well enough to earn results, Castel Rigone have had difficulty scoring goals. And fashioning a goal in soccer is the single most difficult “scoring act” in any sport. Here are recent average numbers of points scored in major team sports:

What are some philosophical and ethical implications of these data?

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