All Blacks scared the US Eagles

It was Halloween weekend and the All Blacks scared the tricks and treats out of the US Eagles.
The final score was 74-6, All Blacks.  Yes, that was certainly scary!   What may have been  scarier to most rugby novices, I think, was the provocative haka (war dance) which may have intimidated and scared the US team as well, even before battle.....Hahahahiiihooaaa (scary laugh).

... the Haka
But the score was to be expected though, considering the unfamiliarity of rugby in the US. Want proof?  Well a Chicago newspaper reported that the All Blacks are Aussies (re: pic) - yep, an Australian team.  The paper apologized afterwards for the mistake.  But wait.  If rugby is unpopular in the US, why was the  61,500 capacity Soldier Field stadium (versus 50,000 Eden Park stadium in Auckland) sold out?  Apparently the majority of the spectators were rugby fans especially of the All Blacks, who, by the way, were not “all blacks” since they donned conspicuously red cleats! Ha! They did however put on a typical All Blacks rugby show and clinic for the Americans.

Some of our children, and family, tuned in to the game which was on national TV- and prime time - and were cheering for (guess?), well, SBW and the Kiwis. True!  They even opted for All Blacks rugby over BYU (football), playing in the same time slot on another channel.  They only switched, momentarily, when I told them to check the score of the BYU game. Interestingly however, back at the rugby game, the commentators were mentioning BYU as a rugby powerhouse at the collegiate/uni level, having won consecutive national titles.  As mentioned in my other previous posts, BYU rugby has benefited mostly from NZ and other Pacific connections.

The lopsided nature of all aspects of the weekend game would be similar, I guess, to an American professional team playing a NZ team in basketball, though the gap between America and other countries, including NZ, in basketball has narrowed rapidly in the last decade.  Not true for rugby, at least in the level of  international play.  The inclusion of rugby now, in the Olympics, may eventually change that.

The evolution of rugby (to football in America) represents a prototype in the cultural shift between the so-called Old and New Worlds.  Though rugby is the forerunner of American football, the latter has become more of a science while the former remains an art form, generally speaking.  Football is replete with data, statistics, strategies, analyses, logistics, etc.,   Teams even have some of their staff taking pictures during the game (from high up in the stadium boxes) of opponents’ defense and other formations which are fed down to the sidelines for strategic play-calling.  It’s like modern warfare, in a sense.  Rugby, on the other hand, remains largely a sport of finesse, flair and style.

The question is, will the Americans compromise their scientific mentality and approach in favor of finesse and "fitnesse" and finally score their first touchdown try against the All Blacks in my lifetime?  Now there's a scary thought!

No comments:

Post a Comment