30 October 2008

The Game They Play In Heaven

Well, it's finally started. Over two hours tonight of non-stop match play, drills, and training exercises. I can't believe how much I love this game or how little attention it gets from the rest of the country who think there is no life outside the NFL or NBA. Poor, unenlightened souls.

"These rugby players with their muddied, cracked bodies, are struggling to hold onto a sense of humanity that we in America have lost and are unlikely to regain. The game may only be to move a ball forward on a dirt field, but the task can be accomplished with an unshackled joy and its memories will be a permanent delight. The men who play on that rugby field are more alive than too many of us will ever be. The foolish emptiness we think we perceive in their existence is only our own." - Victor Cahn

He sure got that right.


Beck said...

I remember being at a BYU football game trying to explain American football to my Italian-friend who couldn't get past the fact that the whistle was blown all the time to stop play, and thought the only real "football" was what we call soccer. Explaining all the rules got too cumbersome to him and he lost interest very quickly.

In return, rugby seems like semi-organized chaos to me. Maybe I need someone to sit down and explain it to me.

So why do you think it hasn't caught on as much in America? Are we too whimpy?

Alan said...

Beck, think of it as a combination of American football and soccer. It seems chaotic because you just don't know the rules (they're called "laws" in rugby). Trust me, there is method to the madness.

As to why it hasn't made it big in The Colonies, I blame three things: (1) it started in England in the mid-19th century by which time America was distracted by baseball; (2) the emergence of American football, and (3) the growth of American professional sports into a multi-billion dollar enterprise that has basically locked public sporting interest into football, basketball and baseball.

Rugby is actually growing in the States, but slowly. And actually I don't mind. This means that those who play have to go out of their way to find it, so they're doing it for love of the game. The way the best sports are always played.

Bror said...

I must brush up on my rugby so we can play in heaven.