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Rarer sports and games in the movies


Richard Kimble
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Not baseball, football, or basketball, but sports that aren't seen very often.

 

This thread was inspired by Ten Gentlemen From West Point (1942), set around 1812, which features a game of "Indian Lacrosse" between West Point cadets and "Bombardiers" (the fort's regular soldiers).

 

In Avanti! (1972) Jack Lemmon watches a bowling game that may or may not be bocce.

 

I recenty watched a Gunsmoke episode which dealt with a dealer cheating at Faro. Faro was the most popular game in the old West, but it's almost never seen in movies or TV shows.

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Although I've only been to VEGAS a couple of times, I still don't recall seeing a FARO table in any of the casinos.

 

And I've never seen a movie in which the top guy on the team is being forced by the "mob" to blow the big JAI-ALAI game.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Although I've only been to VEGAS a couple of times, I still don't recall seeing a FARO table in any of the casinos.

 

Wiki:

 

Although the game became scarce after World War II, it continued to be played at a few Las Vegas and Reno casinos through 1985.

 

B9AflYd.jpg

 

 

The faro game was also called "bucking the tiger" or "twisting the tiger's tail", a reference to early card backs that featured a drawing of a Bengal tiger. By the mid 19th century, the tiger was so commonly associated with the game that gambling districts where faro was popular became known as "tiger town", or in the case of smaller venues, "tiger alley". Some gambling houses would simply hang a picture of a tiger in their windows to advertise that a game could be played there.

 

 

I believe this sign or a variant was actually seen in the Gunsmoke episode.

 

x7DvvrE.jpg

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Speaking of popular card games from a bygone era...

 

Although you never actually see him play a game of it in the film as I recall, David Niven's Phileas Fogg mentions a couple of times in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS that he's an avid Whist player.

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The black guys in the Cadillac plant I worked used to play a LOT of Whist.  I'd sit and watch.  But, I never COULD figure that game out!

 

Sepiatone

 

I used to play a lot of both Euchre and Cribbage myself, Sepia. The former I understood to be quite popular around your neck of the woods there in the Midwest. It being sort of a simplified version of Bridge.

 

(...and the latter I used to play a lot of in the airline break room between working flights back when I was a rampie at LAX)

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I used to play a lot of both Euchre and Cribbage myself, Sepia. The former I understood to be quite popular around your neck of the woods there in the Midwest. It being sort of a simplified version of Bridge.

 

(...and the latter I used to play a lot of in the airline break room between working flights back when I was a rampie at LAX)

I know about groupies and roadies but I'm not familiar with rampies.

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I know about groupies and roadies but I'm not familiar with rampies.

 

"Rampie", noun...a self-ascribed term airline baggage handlers have and due to their primary work function taking place upon the "ramp" area of an airport, and as this gentleman here is shown...

 

n-AIRPORT-BAGGAGE-HANDLER-628x314.jpg

 

...OR as some people who've experienced a less-than-satisfactory post-flight encounter think of them in the following old American Tourister television commercial...

 

 

(...get the idea now?!)

 

;)

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Along those lines there's Rollerball.   That movie was on target, every pun intended.

 

rollerball3.gif.jpeg

 

Yep, MCOH. Now THERE'S a sport that for some reason never quite seemed to catch the imagination of the sporting public, alright!

 

(...although that whole having international corporations run everything thing sure seemed to, huh!)

 

;)

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The black guys in the Cadillac plant I worked used to play a LOT of Whist.  I'd sit and watch.  But, I never COULD figure that game out!

 

 

It took me a casino computer game to even TRY and figure out Baccarat like James Bond, and I'm still not sure--

 

(I'm more like Wilfred Brambell in A Hard Day's Night:  "Souffle'!  Bingo!")

 

For the MST3K fan, the header was sure to bring up The Sidehackers, a motorcycle B-movie about an obscure niche of sidecar racing:

 

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I used to play a lot of both Euchre and Cribbage myself, Sepia. The former I understood to be quite popular around your neck of the woods there in the Midwest. It being sort of a simplified version of Bridge.

 

(...and the latter I used to play a lot of in the airline break room between working flights back when I was a rampie at LAX)

 

Yeah, had two brothers in law from both marriages who had a "dope-like" addiction to Euchre.   One of them was a bit miffed when an engineer from the UK, outsourced to the plant for some structural project, told him in HIS area of Britan, people usually referred to euchre as "Idiot bridge" due to it sort of being a VERY oversimplified variation of bridge.  When he told me that, I couldn't help but kid him....

 

"Well, Marv, no WONDER you're so GOOD at it!"  :D

 

 

Sepiatone

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Yeah, had two brothers in law from both marriages who had a "dope-like" addiction to Euchre.   One of them was a bit miffed when an engineer from the UK, outsourced to the plant for some structural project, told him in HIS area of Britan, people usually referred to euchre as "Idiot bridge" due to it sort of being a VERY oversimplified variation of bridge.  When he told me that, I couldn't help but kid him....

 

"Well, Marv, no WONDER you're so GOOD at it!"  :D

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Yeah, I KNOW!

 

Doncha just love it when some Brit calls somethin' like that "Idiot Bridge", and yet the dude comes from country where they STILL can not for whatever reason understand how "simplifying" certain things ISN'T necessarily a case of "dumbing down" but instead a clear cut example of using rational logic and recognizing the phenomenion of needless complication?!!!

 

(...yep, you guessed it, ol' buddy...I was once again makin' fun of their continued use of that "superfluous-u" over there!)   ;)

 

LOL

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Yep, MCOH. Now THERE'S a sport that for some reason never quite seemed to catch the imagination of the sporting public, alright!

 

(...although that whole having international corporations run everything thing sure seemed to, huh!)

 

;)

 

But Energy's got that big championship with Tokyo coming up in 2018!

 

(Hous-TON! Hous-TON!)

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In Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, the Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr characters come across a goban and stones, but have no idea how to use them properly.

 

In Sleuth (1972) Olivier owns a Senet board. Senet is "an ancient Egyptian blocking game. I've been studying it for months and am still only a beginner".

 

Senet is much older than Go, almost 3,000 years older.

 

A Senet gameboard and game pieces from the tomb of Tutankhamun.

 

GEfN9y0.jpg

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I am awaiting the first depiction in a movie of a game of Calvinball. That is a movie I will watch no matter the genre!

 

LOL 

 

Yeah, me TOO, Sans!

 

And for those now unfamiliar with this "sport", it was created by cartoonist Bill Watterson and "played" by his wonderfully amusing comic strip characters Calvin and Hobbes.

 

(...the rules were pretty simple...anything goes and you can make up new rules as the game goes on)

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I think they should add a partridge in a pear tree to each team. This will sound nice at the end of the catalogue of players, just like Christmas songs. The partridge play can be a secret weapon, whereby it flies down the Flutney with the Pritz amouth and score, providing it can fly high enough to avoid the frantic swats with the opposing team's Frullips. In the event that Partridges can't fly, well they can fly so long as they play Squeamish. Since there are no extra Ogres and sudden death is the rule in case of a tie, the Partridges both could fly around and provide entertainment at the end of regulation by squawking foul and demanding a recount of the goals. The losing partridge gets skinned, roasted, and e'en by the opposing team while the winning partridge gets to laugh its asterisks off and forever gloat like someone who had just won an election.  Every game with a Partridge must be illustrated by Mad Magazine artists because they are so damn funny.

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Interesting topic!

Here in upstate NY, I grew up playing Euchre-and was surprised not to find anyone else who knew it when I lived in MA. Euchre was my introduction learning how to "count cards" which I'm now quite good at.

Bocce was ubiquitous in my hometown-we had Bocce courts in the grounds of our school! It was a great connection for the old Italian guys and us young kids.

Since I live in a Native American based community, LaCrosse is everywhere here. Fun to play, fun to watch. I'd guess hockey is second most popular.

 

How about the Canadian movie MEN WITH BROOMS 2002 about curling?

 

Since I am a horse person, I always want to see "horse sports" in movies. Racing is a bore as is show jumping; the only televised portion of Olympic Equestrian sports. Although, I do enjoy the rag tag horse race in Ireland in THE QUIET MAN.

 

Dressage is the highest horse sport, with it's roots in battle. 99% of people do not understand it, thinking the horse is doing all the work. In reality, it's the rider secretly cueing the horse to make exact moves, like trotting in place. (go forward, but don't go forward!)  At best, it looks like the horse is dancing and the human is just riding. It's a unique animal/human partnership.

 

The only movie that deals with haute ecole dressage is Disney's 1963 MIRACLE OF THE WHITE STALLIONS about the Lippizan horses.

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I'm wracking my brain trying to remember the movie in which one actor(FRED WARD I think)  plays a guy who's supposedly the American MINIATURE GOLF champion! 

 

After his ROCKY series, SYLVESTER STALLONE did a few movies in which he played a champion of other sports, one which pit him in trying to win the title in ARM WRESTLING.   Comedian Barry Sofel did a bit in a routine where he asks, "What's NEXT for Stallone?  A movie where he becomes the champion Miniture GOLFER?"  He then does a cute impression of Stallone, with crooked mouth and all, raising an imaginary putter yelling, "WIND-mill!  WIND-mill"  in his familiar "A-drian!" style.

 

 

Sepiatone

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And for those now unfamiliar with this "sport", it was created by cartoonist Bill Watterson and "played" by his wonderfully amusing comic strip characters Calvin and Hobbes.

 

 

Is it necessary now for some person to explain my American cultural references?

 

oCWBUef.jpg

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