Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bone to Pick

I am a little peeved at the representation of rugby in this week's New Yorker "Talk of the Town" piece. They make fun of the athletes for having had injuries, for being rowdy, for drinking beer, and for singing crappy songs at post-tournament banquets.

Now, I will be the first to admit that rugby parties can get rowdy. I have seen lots of testicles in my decade of rugby and, once, on a very strange birthday I was forced into drinking Jim Beam from the severed head of a roasted pig. But you know what? My teammates and I train really hard and are outstanding athletes. The article is kind of flippant in mentioning that the US women's team is ranked 3rd in the world. That means something! Those women train their butts off, leave their families for months, leave jobs unpaid to represent this country on an athletic team.

Also? Other sports have crazy parties. I have been to the lacrosse house at Penn State. There were testicles there, too! And...adults? They drink booze. A lot! Have you seen the NFL commercials sponsored by Coors Light? And Budweiser?

The piece suggests that rugby lost its place in the Olympics because salty fans threw bottles and rocks, as if soccer fans don't freaking commit suicide when their teams lose and other such behavior. The piece fails to mention that 15s is impractical for Olympics because of the amount of recovery time players need after a match!

Finally, pointing out gross injuries is a tired joke to play on rugby. There is all sorts of research pointing to football as super dangerous. Heck, Malcolm Gladwell wrote in the New Yorker last week that football players have so many concussions, the sport might not even be different from dog fighting if you think about it his way.

All I am saying is Hey! World? Enough with the rugby jokes. Get over it!


Sikora said...

Well said. You should send this to the editor!

P said...

It's like there's been one article on rugby ever written by a credentialed journalist and all the publications pass it around, change a few words and republish it every few years.