Spare Us The Sermonising: Rugby, Football & “The Moral High Ground”

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3 Responses

  1. Frank Heaven says:

    Rugby fans have an inferiority complex. They come out of public school, where they’ve been told they will rule the world, and then they find that the game they play (rugby union) gets considerably less attention than another game (football).

    So they do their best to knock football at every given opportunity, helped by the public school network in the print and broadcast media, who provide a disproportionate amount of space – given how popular rugby union is compared to football – to promote their chosen sport.

    But if you think football gets a slagging from the union press, you should see how rugby league fares…

  2. Jez Grundy says:

    In last Saturday’s Times, Giles Smith did a short piece with a very similar message to this excellent article. Giles included the following wonderful quote: “Essentially, the problem is that, in football, one is dealing with a far more evolved level of machinery. Arguing that football would benefit from being more like rugby is like saying that a Jaguar might be better if it borrowed parts off a tractor”. The sports section this article appeared in also eloquently demonstrated Frank Heaven’s point about the disproportionate amount of space given over to Rugby reporting – you had to wade through several pages of rugby previews (apparently just previewing international friendlies, to make it worse) to get to the football bit starting on page 9.

    Also, developing the point about head-stamping being seemingly fairly run-of-the-mill – it’s not just the heat-of-the-moment violence, either – how about the scrum players who deliberately grow beards or stubble in order to permanently disfigure the opponent’s ears as efficiently as possible? I will always remember when my older brother started playing rugby and showed me the ‘hand-off’ – a coached (legal) technique of shoving your opponent in the face! Do I not like rugby.

  3. MoeTheBarman says:

    I have pointed out several times during and since the Olympics that for Olympians to be somehow superior to footballers that would require an inherent genetic difference – an impossibility.

    That seemed to go over a few heads so I listed the noble Olympians who: took drugs, feigned injury in a race in order to prepare for another, attempted to lose games of badminton to get a more favourable draw, had a hissy fit and staged a sit in after losing a fencing match and had to be physically removed from the arena, swore until the air turned blue upon being disqualified from a cycling race, complained to the referee (sound familiar?) to get their result overturned after finishing fourth in a gymnastic event who posed and preened and massaged their egos after various sprinting events…

    And that was all during one three week spell!

    The sneering from non-football fans towards the sport is contemptible and based on spite and jealousy as far as I can see; all sportsmen, regardless of their chosen field are more than capable of behaving like *human beings*, with their faults and failings.

    John McEnroe is famous for his petulant racket smashing and abusive tirades towards officials; footballers get slaughtered for it.

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