It’s still happening! After Kieth Van whatshisname wrote on our favourite social media platform that the US can dominate Rugby, because of the NFL, now some NZ troll farm agrees. Except the All Blacks of course! Madeline Chapman wrote: it’s not even a question. She does expand into details about US training methods and the way sport is encouraged in the States. She even argues that not even Rugby players play 80 minutes.
Obviously this being a Rugby blog, I believe she’s wrong. With her reasoned but faulty logic she is trying to compare apples with oranges. The NFL is a strategic game with some truly amazing plays. Yes it’s a bit stop start but it is a spectacle. I do love the NFL especially the Patriots! Being New England of course! But Tom Brady has a huge offensive line putting in monster hits to protect him. What does a scrum half have? Special Teams have a kicker that comes on refreshed and protected. Sexton, Farrell, Barrett have been hit, they’ve tackled, they’ve read an attacking three quarters and still have the responsibility of kicking for touch, three or the two point conversion.
NFL is big. They’re mountains of men. Rugby isn’t, with exceptions such as Lomu, Bastereaud, Chabal, Johnson and O Connell. Rugby is inclusive. Shane Williams is a case in point. Too small to play and yet lifted the Welsh team and the Lions! You want speed. The US 7’s team have one of the fastest men in sport. Carlin Isles is massively quick, but was out sprinted in a recent game by England’s Dan Norton. My point is speed is relevant but if you can’t tackle, step or pass your not doing rugby. Mr New Zealand public enemy number 1 Quade Cooper or to give him his full title, Quade ‘how the hell did he pass that’ Cooper, is the full package in that regard.
The only sport comparable to Rugby is Rugby. 7’s, 10’s, 15’s or even touch. League and Union are similar in Laws but is still a different governing body. The only sport comparable to American Football is .......... Nothing. American Football is the US’ hobby and the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of that.
In closing the NFL and rugby are not comparable in any way, but I am delighted that Todd Clever and Carlin Isles chose rugby.