Friday, September 07, 2007

Rugby Is Better Than Football

Football is a good game , it has fluidity and elegant balance that justifiably earns it the title "The beautiful game", if I had to choose, however, its Rugby for me .
Firstly I have become ‘retrospectively’ rather a good at it, but its objective superiority springs from having less rules than football .Yes , I am aware there are actually more rules, and they are always bewilderingly in flux, but this is because the concept is far more expansive and like a basic beloved old car , it needs constant tinkering. Football is an artificial game ,whereas forms of rugby spontaneously evolved in every country . The oval ball’s challenge is simply to get a ball over the oppositions line subject to offside strictures common to all games .Crucially football adds the limitation of hand ball . From this point it becomes and has developed into a gorgeous confection and away from tribal conflict
For all the Byzantine sophistication of its offside laws at the breakdown women immediately understand the visceral drama unfolding , football must be explained. There is at bottom something in the puzzled reaction …well what a silly thing to want to do , she might add , ‘Why not just pick it up‘.

An eighteen stone man able to run 100m in 12 seconds and with a good sports brain and magnificent skills will never be able to play football because you cannot carry that sort of strength around .We know however , that in some incontrovertible way Jona Lomuh was a greater man than Maradonna. These are the distinctions and notice the difference in the interest of the world 10,000m--- A fastest man/ 100m - The fastest man ;Middle weight champion--a champion fighter/ heavy weight champion-- The worlds greatest fighting machine. A footballer can only be ‘a’ greatest.

Football lends it self to diva worship . Relatively few supporters play and the club is a theatre , not a real club for most. People are sometimes horrified at the corruption and cupidity of the premier League but is bound to be that way it is a show separated from its sporting heritage and each change of the rule emphasises the distance . It is the Busby Berkeley extravaganza watched by the huddled depression urchins .It is the business we call show . It has controversies courtiers and whispered intrigues , rugby has legends.

The rugby supporter is typically on the side of the pitch reminding the current incumbents of his team of their unworthiness wear the shirt . At international level this very groundedness tgathers and metamorphosizes into an expression of the very soul of a country. The wizardy of the Welsh , the beef and elegance of the English , the panache of the French and the sheer competitive joy of the Australians . An unpleasant tendency to cross the border is still prevalent in the Scottish back row play and the South Africans are still deserve to be punched every now and then.

Rugby is closer to players . It can be a gruelling trial of strength and tactics or a carnival of genii weaving their enchantments , either to those who appreciate the game are mesmerising .True to its roots it has evolved specialisms but the Dales of this world may be unaware there is nothing to stop you having two in the pack or two full backs and most experiments have been tried . It is miraculous that spontaneously specialist cooperation sprang into being and from this comes the fact that Rugby is really a team game in a deeper way than football can ever be. As specialism thrives in the wild so each player is better at his role than a footballer is at the homogeneity of Soccer. Rugby has faster players , it has stronger players , of course, it has better kickers ,it has more devious tacticians and it has mightier warriors .A footballer cannot be so honed to a purpose because the whole game is played by each player.
This last quality is what makes football a thrilling athletic ballet , and I do love it but in the end ballet is not for me . I want to see strength skill teamwork and sprit combined in the grand cathartic heroism that is the glorious game of Rugby football.

Come on England ! You just might surprise them all….


Nick Drew said...

A nice essay, Mr M

I agree with (nearly) every word

Newmania said...


Newmania said...

..I mean cheers

Anonymous said...

Do you like sports then Mr Newman? I never had you down for that... blimey.

Newmania said...

...Oh and why not Mutters ? I wasa good rugby player at one time .

I take a lot less interest than I used to

CityUnslicker said...

Rugby does well too in the type of people who supprt it. Plenty of well turned out totty, none at football unless you are in the players lounge.

Rugbby only suffers from the fact that like cricket, so few countries play that internationals are very limited.

In football the wrold champions are second to none and who can disagree?

Newmania said...

I cannot deny that CU , the sheer scale of football elevates it onto a different level..

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