Foosball, because the idea of ​​a summer without playing with it scares us so much


Shore, shot, goal. “Stu-tump”. The foosball table. The thud of the ball hitting the metal part of the goal. Monetina, new dull noise. Then the hail of balls that come down for yet another game. Unmistakable sounds that were the real summer hit of many of our holidays. For a few hours, however, it seemed that the music was destined to change forever: the owners of many bathing facilities they thought of removing from the shores i biliardini after the news spread according to which the Customs Agency would have taxed the owners of table football, as happens for those who have slot machines and video poker in their business. In reality, things are slightly different: it is true that there is a need for a “Clearance for commissioning” table football and ping pong tables and it is true that you risk penalties up to 4 thousand euros but the Customs Agency has made it known that to comply with the legislation it is sufficient to produce a self-certification.

A family around a foosball table in 1958

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Meanwhile everything happened. Protests from the owners of the establishments and also from future bathers. In fact, can you think about a summer without table football? Many, probably, would continue to quietly enjoy their holiday on the beach, sure, but if the latest analog fun he resisted to the digital tsunami, perhaps, it is because each of us has linked a memory, a friendship, an encounter or, why not, even a love to this fascinating object. Summer or not, it doesn’t matter. Because the emotion of one “roll” it is something very romantic that takes us back to when we were children and, standing on a chair, we tried to turn the knobs as if they were the blades of a blender. The same goes for the “Stu-tump” that we heard, a little older, when we conceded a goal: that annoying sound was a thud in the heart. sleeves and put the ball back in the center to try again, in an attempt to transform that same sound into the most beautiful melody in the world which, only for those few moments, gave the sensation of having made it. And again: how many fights for the “Queen ball”accompanied by the battle cry “Whoever does this, wins”. Discussions that lasted until the next game, or until the mound of flickering coins over one of the two doors was crumbled.

Table football, a social game

Lucio Dalla and Gianni Morandi play table football in Morandi’s house in 1969.

Umberto Cicconi / Getty Images

What could be similar between foosball and slot machines? Probably nothingdespite the pennies. The assumptions are completely different. At table football, in fact, you need at least two players to play, even if the maximum is obviously four. Not to mention the group that is created around, between “fans”, “experts” or simply “curious”. Here, this is the difference: in foosball, you play together, even if you are opponents. There is no bank: the pathological mechanism can hardly be triggered and, probably, this also depends on the place where table football is positioned: among the people, in front of the sea. Like the pedal boat and the slide for children. Because everyone, absolutely everyone, has played the most successful game from the post-war period to today: from Gianni Morandi and Lucio Dalla (as in the photo on the side), to Pope Francis. The foosball table favors relationships and not hinders, as happens when you are alone, in front of a monitor, in the back of a bar waiting to see three identical figures. An example? In 2016 the youtuber Canesecco, he thought of placing a table football next to some bus stops in Rome, to deceive the long waits of the passengers of the capital. The result was a hilarious video: many people, thanks to the foosball table and the company of other travelers, did not even notice the biblical delays of the buses or, at least, faced them with a completely different spirit.

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The places of foosball

I places, we said, they are important. The beauty of a game at sunset, with the sun setting into the sea, is unparalleled and the same is true if you play in front of a bar in a square in a village around Italy during a warm summer evening. However, very often, the reverse mechanism happens, in which it is right the foosball table to transform the frame: browsing through the possible photos to be included in this article, for example, images of table football came out that returned to dar a faint light of hope in places that had seen little hope, as in the contexts of war and poverty. In the first shot, the children of Bissau, the capital of Guinea, spend their day with an old table football, while in the second, an American army soldier in Mosul, Iraq, plays together with children in the street.


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