Monday, 10 September 2007

Rugby World Cup

The start of the Rugby World Cup this weekend.

Looking at the papers and tv is would appear that our football (soccer) obsessed nation has suddenly discovered the real 'beautiful game' which it pretty much ignores the rest of the time. This process now seems to happen every four years, but I'm not convinced that it wins significant converts - even after England's victory at the last world cup, attendance at Premiership club matches was laughable by football standards.

And I'm not sure why. Even in a fairly average game of rugby there is far more passion, excitement, drama etc than in the painfully slow defensive play in football that seems to end so often in a 0-0 draw.

And from the point of view of a live spectator there is really no comparison. Rugby fans are not herded like cattle into segregated pens - in fact as a rugby fan there is usually more danger from a surfeit of Guinness than being stabbed by a rival supporter or having your head cracked open by the riot police.

Actually, I do know why rugby will probably remain a minority sport in this country; it's socio- economic demographic...

Although my enthusiasm far outstripped any ability, I loved playing rugby at school.

The fact that I even had the opportunity to do so at a state school is unusual and probably was only because it was a comprehensive that had formerly been a grammar school. I had every intention of continuing to play when I went to university. But university rugby clubs (at least at my particular institution) were (are ?) magnets for the most obnoxious, reactionary public-school wankers imaginable.

Certainly at that time in the 'eighties membership of the rugby club and of the student Left were pretty much mutually irreconcilable, and so ended my rugby-playing days.
Almost 10 years later, in a moment of madness, I ended this retirement and played in light-hearted 'social rugby' events for a couple of seasons.

I loved every minute and regretted that I had ever allowed the arseholes to put me off.

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