Sunday, February 6, 2011

RUGBY! (or, Wait...what?)


I just watched my first Rugby match. BBC America is carrying it every Saturday over the next month or so. Times start around 11:30am eastern time, 8:30am pacific.

I'm hooked.

BBC America Six Nations Rugby

I didn't quite get all the rules, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. It's a lot like our football, but tackling doesn't seem to do much as the person tackled can still toss the ball to the nearest teammate (though I guess if you hold his legs still, the ball becomes dead at that point.) And though I don't quite get the point of a "scrum" (one commenter said it looks like a cross between a tug-of-war and an orgy) I'm guessing it's something like a face-off in hockey.

A few neat things: they don't stop play for much of anything. Except for maybe the halftime, I don't think there were even any commercial breaks. Even injuries are tended to while play is still in session, with the game sometimes going right over injured players and medical staff on the field.

I actually enjoyed it more than the Super Bowl, which was sort of left me cold. (It's just another football game. Why all the hype? And I'm glad I'm not the only one who was underwhelmed by the Black Eyed Peas. Then again though, don't all halftime shows suck?)

BBC America has some neat hosts. Here they are with some American football player. (I can't remember his name.)

And somehow, he got seated in front of an athletic supporter and a cup! Very nice. He was a good sport about it.

Anyway, Rugby has no pads, no real breaks, no commercials, and unlike soccer, no one fakes injuries because it doesn't do one any good to do so. If you haven't tried watching a game, give it a shot.

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