Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Viking Tower

          Nick, Bryan, and myself had the fortunate foresight to go on a wild adventure today. While the first part involved crawling through a tunnel beneath the earth, the second part has pertinence here. The Norumbega Tower was built around 1987, on the supposed site of Norumbega, also known as Vinland, a supposed Viking (Norse) settlement in New England. This is the settlement supposedly started when the Norse sailed up the Charles and settled. Eben Horsford claimed he found the only site that this settlement could have existed in, and therefore that he had found the settlement of what was once supposedly 10,000 Norsemen. He of course, made this claim based on a few scattered rocks he discovered, and not the tons of rock structures that most likely would've been left behind. Given his fervor for the quest to locate the settlement, once "discovered" he built a tower on the location as a monument to the Vikings who sailed there in 1000 A.D. Despite this whole "discovery" being a big sham, the tower is still pretty neat, and the surrounding grounds look nice and flat from a top-of-the-tower vantage point.

          A large flat expanse? Next to a tower erected in honor of the hard-sailing Norse who crossed a vast sea to make settlements in a new land? The prospect is grand, the idea of playing knattleikr on this ground seems good and right. A proposition for the future: knattleikr at the base of the tower erected in the name of those Norse who touched this land before their culture manifested itself in the since-founded american imagination.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm so very for this blog that I think I'm out pacing it. So before this turns into something as inward and absorbed as me taking a picture of myself taking a picture let's get to a point: Knattleikr in Winter...probably a thought that should be number one on our agenda. Playing in the snow and ice should be damn accurate and as fun as whupping on each other in the bitter cold can be. We'll just have to drink lots of handy stimulant to keep warm is all, plus that way when our thinned blood is let out on the snow it'll look fucking marvelous. Also, what about playing on a frozen lake, as might have also been done in the past? I'm for it, but my reckless and hearty stupidity isn't everyones. On the other hand, we're all dumb enough to be playing Knattleikr, especially while horrendously out of shape, so why the fuck not add another hazard to all of this? Just think of our game on the tidal bar as a prelude. We've played in the water--on sand--and now we can play on frozen water. Maybe we can even scrounge up some hoary kelp to have Matt brutally and joyfully whip Urso with. You know, make us all feel nostalgic. Imagine this two ways:

1) Snow will help pad falls, create more chaos, and spurn on your activity so you stay warm.


Remember, you have to die in combat to get to the halls of Valhalla. And getting there with all your pals at once will give you a feeling of solidarity.

Possible Future Expansions

           Hey all. Unfortunately this Winter we will be losing Pat and Becky to Portland, Oregon. In addition Randy and Paul have made plans (as dubiously solid as plans that Randy is involved in ever are) to move there in the Spring. Given this efflux of almost half of the regular contenders, East Coast Knattleikr needs some new recruits. Yes, as they start forming a West Coast contingent, we'll be hard pressed to keep the numbers up.

          That being said, there is good news from the North. Jason Doo, our most recent new player suggests that he may try and get some Culinary School people involved in our great sport. Assuming this happens, not only will we get a boost in the upcoming months, but we may, before half our players leave, get to have a competitive Central MA/Clark vs. Culinary School game. Let's hope Odin helps us out with seeing this one through. Will post again soon with details of the next game, which may be a Sunday to accommodate Justin's working schedule (assuming it works for everyone else).

Remember, before a giant, it was all fire and ice.

From The Pain:
This is copyrighted and belongs to Tim Kreider. And his work is good, so go enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Bravo, Colpitts. Now let's keep the momentum going on this blog folks. We've certainly been meeting and playing more than I ever foresaw, so let's keep carrying the ball forwards. Bully for us. Often bad for us.

I would like to take a moment to really encourage anyone who stumbles across this or hunts it out to say hello and get involved. Even if you don't want to play then at the least please come hang out during a match sometime. Ease into it if you have to. At the least, have some claim to even the tiniest amount of participation. Plus, if you have any interest--the most remote even--and haven't been involved before then know this: shit talking ten year olds in New Haven have gotten more involved through happenstance. And fuck, what if the world at large has it all wrong and so written in the Eddas was the way it was meant to be? Wouldn't you want to be ready to proudly step from Midgard into Asgard with the good favor of some of the Æsir? Forget the second coming and look instead to Ragnarök.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

First Posting...


This is the first post on our Knattleikr blog. Since Knattleikr is not widely known, allow me to provide a quick primer - which will be filled out as we go along.

From the Facebook group description:

"Knattleikr is a Viking sport that was recreated from old Viking sagas. Each player has a stick, and can essentially do whatever they wish to an opponent. Each stick must be able to be broken and then fixed on the spot. Points are scored by carrying a ball across the other team's "goal line." Score isn't too important to us now, nor was it to the vikings of old. The game is played, sometimes for days, until the last man standing or until the ale is gone. Each round is started by one team throwing the ball in the air, which the other team has to hit with one of their sticks. If the ball is not struck down, the the other team has to throw it. The team throwing switches every round."

Although, the above indicates that it is played for very long periods of time, we often play for an afternoon. We start around 12pm(ish) and play until 4pm(ish). It all really depends on the group and the day. One important thing to note is that every player is responsible for his or her own safety and is allowed to leave and enter the game at any point with out getting flak from the other players. Simply put, if it is to much for a person, they can stop.

The Knattleikr of the Vikings is hard to reproduce with any guaranteed accuracy due to the fact that the old sagas are unclear and have different information depending on the translations but, we feel that we have a hold on some of the essentials and adapt the game a little every time we play. If you are interested in more information, there is a decent Wikipedia entry and there are a number of websites available via a Google search. Also, one website that I would recommend (one because it is good, and two because there are some photos and video of some of us playing) is Hurstiwic: Knattleikr.

Please come by this blog when you get a chance. We will be posting information about our Knattleikr experiences: text, photos, upcoming matches, etc. We are based mostly in New England but still welcome readers and comments from all over.