Rugby should become the next American sports craze. I tuned past a game, NBC-TV, paused, tuned back, watched without a shred of comprehension as Irish and American teams played in the rain. Some very tough guys were having at each other like football players in short pants wearing absolutely no protective gear. Beyond that, I could make no sense of what going on. It was fantastic. .
A tossed ball was caught by a man suddenly hoisted into the air by a team mate. Clots of players of both teams piled up on the ground, but a pileup does not mean the action stops. I thought the ball was out of play when it suddenly shot out from somewhere and was back in play. Men ran with and also passed the ball, kind of a white fat pillow-sized sausage, trying to reach football-like goal posts but set closer together and absurdly low at each end of the field, The ball is carried, tossed, dropped, scooped up, carried again. Unlike American football, where each play lasts hardly a minute, rugby plays go go on and on, Sometimes knots of players heap up on their feet shoving furiously at each other, like a backwards tug-of-war. A goal was made by an Irish player when he hurled himself between the goal posts while clutching the ball.
I understood that a goal had been made and almost nothing else. But if any more rugby games are broadcast, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing. Not sure I want to learn the rules. It was too much fun watching what looked like a lunatic running, grappling, scrambling free-for-all.