Trying to learn about Soccer, Part 3: A Detour

Okay, this isn’t directly connected to learning about soccer, but it’s still soccer-related.  About a month ago, there was some kind of collegiate rugby tournament on television.  I watched some of it, and it was surprisingly enjoyable.

Rugby seemed to me to be almost exactly halfway between soccer and American football.  It’s like the missing link in the evolution from one to the other.  From an anthropological perspective, it was cool to see how it had changed.

It was kind of like the desperation, lateral plays that teams will sometimes use at the end of football games–the 1982 California vs. Stanford game being the most famous example.  (Aside: why don’t more teams use that in lieu of the “Hail Mary”?)  It was like a continuous lateral play.  For those who find the pace of football too slow, rugby might be more their speed, more soccer-like.

I’m surprised it isn’t more popular than it is in the U.S.  I suspect it’s because the players don’t look as impressive as football players, since they don’t wear helmets or pads.  I think a faster-paced version of football could really catch on.


  1. Watched some rugby matches being played in Las Vegas. It has an underground quality to it in the US. A few drawbacks, 1 The big money is in football and that draws most of the quality players. 2. Games are over too soon. Crowds want to be entertained for at least four hours for the cost of the tickets. I really like watching the matches. Wish they show more hurling games.

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