Sign in to follow this  
Sguse1

Rugby in the US

Recommended Posts

With the recent rule changes in the NFL, many people are feeling that the game is becoming "soft". Recently the International 7's tournament was broadcast on ABC in one of the first primetime TV events the sport of rugby has seen in the US. The rough, fast-paced play of the game would seem to appeal to Americans. USA rugby has even made huge strides in legitimizing the game at both the collegiate and professional levels. No longer are there drinking teams with a rugby problem. But this leads me to wonder... Will rugby ever be given a chance in the US as a legitimate sport? Whether it be 7's or union 15's, I think rugby would be very appealing to this nation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rugby? Get in line behind soccer and wait 100 years for that to "take off" first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if North Americans get exposure to the highest level of Union it could take off. If Denver can actually land a Bledisoe Cup game and broadcast it during primetime I think that would go a long way to exposing the public to the game. Not to mention if people can see tournaments like the Heineken Cup or the Super 14 on a regular basis that would help as well. I've always thought an Americas version of the Tri-Nations with the USA, Canada, and Argentina would be a good way to build the sport in this region, possibly then leading to a "Super" league as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think if North Americans get exposure to the highest level of Union it could take off. If Denver can actually land a Bledisoe Cup game and broadcast it during primetime I think that would go a long way to exposing the public to the game. Not to mention if people can see tournaments like the Heineken Cup or the Super 14 on a regular basis that would help as well. I've always thought an Americas version of the Tri-Nations with the USA, Canada, and Argentina would be a good way to build the sport in this region, possibly then leading to a "Super" league as well.

What fun is a Tri-Nations if Argentina would win every year? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rugby is popular with guys at college who are from middle-class families and kinda big or tall, and few else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think in the end Rugby would be competing with football (US football, not soccer that is) to ever get much of a foothold in the US. Sevens might get something of a foothold, but Rugby exists in most places as a participation sport, and my sense is that there isn't much space for a participation sport in the US. (I think that is why cricket is doomed to failure in the US as well, its a game that is accompanied by a big social participation side, as anyone who has read 'Netherland' will appreciate.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rugby is at the center of all of North America.

Rugby, N.D., that is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see it taking off anytime soon, but it would be nice to see a few matches on TV every now and again. I miss the good old days of ESPN when you could see a Rugby match or Aussie Rules game when they didn't have anything big in American Sports to show.

As an aside, did anyone watch the Travel Channel Show Dhani Tackles the Globe this week? He (Dhani Jones) played Rugby for Blackheath in England. Kind of interesting to compare and contrast American Football and Rugby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't see it taking off anytime soon, but it would be nice to see a few matches on TV every now and again. I miss the good old days of ESPN when you could see a Rugby match or Aussie Rules game when they didn't have anything big in American Sports to show.

As an aside, did anyone watch the Travel Channel Show Dhani Tackles the Globe this week? He (Dhani Jones) played Rugby for Blackheath in England. Kind of interesting to compare and contrast American Football and Rugby.

hmmm... I prefer to see him try hurling ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw posters for a new girls rugby team at my school. And there is no boys rugby. So, maybe we have hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a rugby player myself I have thought about this many times before. Me and other members of my team were discussing this particular idea after a match once and we all came to the same conclusion. Simply put, rugby is too complicated for most to have a serious interest in early on. Games like basketball and soccer are easy to follow without knowing much about the sport, and games like football and to an extent baseball are usually followed from an extremely early age so it just becomes second nature. In rugby it seems like most pick it up around their college years, making it harder (in a sense) to grasp. Also, I've played in matches against first team all American players who have been playing for up to a decade, and it seems that half the time even they don't know what the hell is going on. Rugby is by far the most exciting game I've ever played and I absolutely love it, but I still can't really grasp some of the ideas. Rugby can in a sense compete for the American spotlight, but it has to be simplified a bit (sevens helps this somewhat, but not much) and has to be taught early on. Simply put, no. It probably won't really catch on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a rugby player myself I have thought about this many times before. Me and other members of my team were discussing this particular idea after a match once and we all came to the same conclusion. Simply put, rugby is too complicated for most to have a serious interest in early on. Games like basketball and soccer are easy to follow without knowing much about the sport, and games like football and to an extent baseball are usually followed from an extremely early age so it just becomes second nature. In rugby it seems like most pick it up around their college years, making it harder (in a sense) to grasp. Also, I've played in matches against first team all American players who have been playing for up to a decade, and it seems that half the time even they don't know what the hell is going on. Rugby is by far the most exciting game I've ever played and I absolutely love it, but I still can't really grasp some of the ideas. Rugby can in a sense compete for the American spotlight, but it has to be simplified a bit (sevens helps this somewhat, but not much) and has to be taught early on. Simply put, no. It probably won't really catch on here.

Rugby is a great game, but Bucfan makes a good point about it being complicated. If you think the NFL are good at tinkering with laws every year, then you should see what the IRB (the international rugby board) get up to every year! Maybe thats another reason why cricket hasn't caught on in the states, and baseball hasn't caugfht on in the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think with The NFL, MLB, The NBA, NASCAR, The NHL, College Sports, and Golf we're good on major sports here in America. I'm not knocking rugby at all but let's face it, breaking into the "national consciousness" of America in this day and age is a pretty tall order. Just ask soccer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think with The NFL, MLB, The NBA, NASCAR, The NHL, College Sports, and Golf we're good on major sports here in America. I'm not knocking rugby at all but let's face it, breaking into the "national consciousness" of America in this day and age is a pretty tall order. Just ask soccer.

Not to mention MMA, Drag Racing, and... *gulp*... poker.

The American sporting public is a xenophobic lot, and alas no matter how you slice it, anything that isn't any of the top ten is not going to gain any major favor outside of 30 minutes at an odd time slot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If complication of rules and play is the issue, then surely Rugby League is a much easier sport to grasp than Union. I apologise if my description does any of you across the pond a diservice, but in its simplest terms League could be Football with no forward passes that doesn't stop after every play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I figure Brian and I would be thrilled if Aussie rules ever took off to the extent of at least getting on local TV, as I've found it fun to watch and pretty easy to grasp. FAR easier to figure out than it's made out to be. Sorry to ya rugger fans, but you guys have about as much of a shot as we do of seeing our games achieve that level of popularity here: slim, if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's Union, Will. Penalties in Union are 3 points, and two points. In fact, the only odd numbered score in League is a drop kick (1 point).

From a semi-pro prospective, Rugby League has done pretty well. It has a decent stronghold in the East Coast with the AMNRL about to go into its 12th season with 11 clubs.

And I agree with 'Scrim that Aussie Rules would take off in this country if it were given half a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our sports landscape is so based in tradition and habit that neither rugby or Aussie-rules football would ever "take off."

We Americans watch football in the fall, basketball (and hockey to a lesser extent) in the winter and baseball in the summer. Not to mention college sports and NASCAR.

There just isn't any room for more sports. Heck, soccer has been pushed here and it's still behind hockey, even though the NHL lost a season to labor issues.

Rugby would be seen as too derivative of football (even though we know it isn't) and no sport named Australian Rules Football would ever make in the U.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this