Posted by: scribe9 | September 10, 2010

Always rugby

My family has made me aware that it’s football season in the US. It always seems to be rugby season here. After all, when one’s opponents are in both hemispheres for an outdoor game, there’s no need for an off season.

I was surprised to read recently that a poll showed that 40% of New Zealanders either don’t like or don’t care about rugby. It is on television virtually all the time. The other night Rick was clicking through channels and found three games on. The national team is the All-Blacks and you can buy an All-Black almost anything, such as our TV. New Zealand Post, which is a competitive business (in a big round of privatization, it lost its monopoly but still must serve the whole country, including providing free rural delivery) has issued four rugby stamps: one for the All-Blacks,

 one for the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be held here,

 and two for the centennial of Maori rugby.

Kids start playing rugby at very young ages—apparently about 5. And although we’ve never seen a cricket game on the beach (the man tossing the ball to his three-year-old who was about the same size as the cricket bat really shouldn’t count), we’ve definitely seen rugby there.

At church on Father’s Day, we played a game that involved passing a rugby ball around. It’s bigger and more rounded than an American football. We also saw an “inspirational” film clip about an American football coach pushing his best player, who’d been slacking off, farther than the player had thought he could go, by screaming at him. I was appalled rather than inspired, and thought of players dying during workouts. I won’t miss rugby, but I don’t miss American football.

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