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American fans?

Discussion in '2019 Guinness Six Nations' started by Dave Davies, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    Evening, friends,

    Any American fans on here? Literally have NOone to talk to about this tournament. Very excited to watch my Pats in the Super Bowl (oops just alienated 90% of Americans), but I may be even more geeked for 6N.

    Hit me up, y’all!

    Thanks as always,

    Dave
     
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  3. bushytop

    bushytop First XV

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    Not American but appreciate the fact you have 'gotten into' rugby in such away that your excitement for which is eclipsing that of the super bowl. Curious as to what got you into rugby in the first place?
     
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  4. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    Well, you asked, so you may want to grab a beer, 'cuz I foresee a LONG-winded answer here... :)

    Let me say, it isn't easy to become a rugby fan over here. It's never on television (NBC has been experimenting in the last year or so, but that's brand new), and of course, with the time differences, even if they were on, it's inconvenient to watch. Super Rugby tends to happen at like 3AM for me, and I am unlikely to find a bar that's open and showing the Scotland game tomorrow at 9AM...

    A friend of mine spent a summer in New Zealand back in the late 1980's and came back wearing an All-Blacks jersey and raving about how much better rugby is compared to football. That sparked my interest, but as I said, it's almost impossible to find games on TV, and with no internet, it seemed an impossible divide.

    Occasionally, during the 90's, I might come home very very late from some bar and discover a random match on, like, ESPN3 or some minor channel, but even then, I found the game incomprehensible. I still remember seeing fans holding signs that simply read, "Try!" on them, and thinking, "Wow, all they want is for their team to try? That seems pretty bare minimum," and the commentators didn't seem to interested in explaining things to the uninitiated.

    Amazon creating their "All or Nothing" series and featuring the All-Blacks was a real game-changer. It helped me understand the rules, get a grip on the (very foreign) dynamics of having intermingled leagues, side tournaments, cups, and a lot of the fundamental aspects of, especially, international rugby. Even the small things, like, "Can I earn this jersey number" is completely foreign to any American sport. In the NFL, your position dictates a range of numbers you can have, but the player still picks it and then it's his until he leaves the team (or somebody pays him for it.)

    After the Amazon show, I randomly discovered that one of my co-workers is an American Women's Hall of Fame player. I have been chewing her ear ever since, trying to better understand the intricacies of the game. I am still utterly baffled by driving mauls, and how referees decide what constitutes a penalty in a scrum eludes me.

    My growing interest led me to bite the bullet and pay for a couple online subscriptions, so now I watch quite literally every single Premiership game, every Pro14 game, every Super Rugby game, any international tests I can find, the European Cup, and whatever else comes along. The international tests, to me, are by far the best, and there's simply no American equivalent. I am WAY beyond excited for the Six Nations starting this weekend (countdown is at 6 hours 'til Wales/France!) The only American team I care about, in any sport, is my beloved NFL Patriots, and they are potentially on the cusp of Brady and Belichick winning their 6th Super Bowl, so obviously that has me more excited than even Six Nations, but that will end Sunday, one way or another.

    At this point, I really think rugby is the superior sport. The NFL still has glitzier highlights, and there may be more spectacular plays, especially with the evolution of the passing game, but let's face it:

    Football is a 60 minute game that takes 180 minutes to play. Rugby is an 80 minute game that takes 100 minutes or so to play.
    Rugby players respect the refs and the rules and the traditions of the game. NFL players are often far less savory, and it's increasingly difficult to separate the league from all the issues of domestic violence, crime, and toxic masculinity.
    The NFL will always be American, and it seems typically American to play a sport nobody else cares about, then proclaim ourselves "World Champions." In rugby, you actually know who the world champs are, because they go out and prove it.
    The commercialism and just the sheer amount of advertising during NFL games has gotten so ludicrous, I find it hard to sit through a whole game. I used to snicker at all the ads on soccer and rugby jerseys, but no more - I'll take an infinite number of logos on shirts over another freaking Bud Light ad ANY day.

    Anyway, sorry for the long rant - as I've said, I pretty much have nobody to talk to about it here, and the folks here have just been fantastic answers questions and reflecting on my obviously newbie questions.

    Thanks for taking the time, I very much appreciate it.

    Go Pats, and Go Scotland!

    -Dave
     
  5. bushytop

    bushytop First XV

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    Cheers Dave, happy you've found something (in this case rugby) that has really gripped your interest. I assume you have some Scottish ancestry by your proclamations (though judging by your surname you may have a little Welsh in there somewhere too).

    Enjoy the super bowl and the 6N... and don't worry about penalties awarded at scrum time, they're a mystery to us all.
     
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  6. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    Thanks, buddy, it's gonna be a heck of a weekend for sports. And yes, all my ancestors are Scots, though it's certainly been a few generations. Davies isn't my real name, just doubling down on my Dave-ness. ;)
     
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  7. Leinster Fan

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    It eludes the refs as well, don't worry!
     
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  8. Cruz_del_Sur

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    Brian Mujati (former Springbok, Lions, Racing, Saints, Sharks and Ospreys, so you could say he's been around) played as a prop his entire career. He's stated several times that, unless one side is clearly overtaking the other, scrum penalties are, and i quote, "an absolute guess".
    He deleted the video where he said it but it was up for years on his youtube channel.

    There are quite a few statements from props who notice that every time the scrum collapses the ref starts alternating penalties to "even things out". Because of that props start counting and collapsing on purpose knowing they'd get a penalty in their favour if say, they are on the opponents half and they have a good kicker.
     
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  9. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    Ha! Good stuff. My co-worker tells me, in her experience, the refs actually lean towards penalizing the side that is better at it, because they start to assume they're pushing people around or trying to get tricksy...

    It's funny, because I've actually started to enjoy the fact that I don't understand scrum penalties - in the NFL, when there is a blown call (looking your way, LA Rams), everyone watching knows it. So if your team gets screwed over by a missed call (looking your way, NO Saints), it's really hard to get over. But in rugby, I just get to sit back and think, "oh darn, my team made a mistake, I guess." lol
     
  10. scotty507

    scotty507 First XV

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    That was some essay and you didnt lie on the long winded answer part haha. :)

    So you watch all the rugby, what is your take on premiership vs pro 14 vs super rugby? Which do you prefer and why? Whats the differences in your opinion? As i dont watch much pro 14 or super rugby due to not having the time more than anything and curious for a neutrals perspective.
     
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  11. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    I did warn you, lol.

    Good question. When I first started watching, I somehow had the impression that Pro14 was like the junior varsity to the Premiership's varsity. My view has changed since then - at this point, the two leagues seem very evenly matched. With the dominance of the Pro14 in the Heineken Cup, I'm starting to wonder if it's actually the other way around...

    On the other hand, it seems like a lot of this depends on how teams manage players and the sides they pick for the different competitions. There is simply no American equivalent to the constant cross-pollination of teams and players, and it seems like there is a lot of long-term strategy involved. As in, "OK, we really want to compete in the 6N this year, so let's rest these 5 dudes during the weeks of the Heineken Cup and see how our young guys are doing," versus, "We're not winning the 6N or the WC, so let's see if we can kill it in the Heineken Cup," or what have you.

    I imagine I'm not a sophisticated enough viewer yet to really discern the big differences between the leagues. I'm hopeful that when Super Rugby picks up again, I'll be able to start to spot differences between Southern Hemisphere and Northern Henisphere styles.

    I do have one unassailable, scientifically proven opinion about the difference between Pro14 and Premiership - I think I have enough evidence to confidently say that the Pro14 has two more teams than the Premiership. :p

    Can you point out what to look for? What differences should I be seeing? Do you think one league is stronger than the other?
     
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  12. scotty507

    scotty507 First XV

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    I dont watch much pro14 or SR tbh but i get your point, the league that dominates europe seems the stronger league though for a time tpulong wpn it year on year, then it was Sarries amd now Leinster, it all shifts season on season. Thou styles change between teams and even between pro14 and the prem, they are roughly the same. But super rugby tends to be faster, quicker clear outs at the break down, quicker getting the ball out leading to a much quicker attack. The NH is abit slower compared building the phases, more physical carrying. More territory kicking. Or least thats the impression ive always gotten but not watched SR for a couple of years but id say thats what to look out for.
     
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  13. Dave Davies

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    Thanks, Scotty. I can feel myself understanding what I'm watching more and more these days, but as I said before, I'm still hopeless when it comes to scrum penalties, and I find mauls mystifying... :)
     
  14. scotty507

    scotty507 First XV

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    Scrums normally a pen comes either from player buckling under pressure, losing the bind or dropping to his knees.

    Mauls watch for a player lifting a leg, entering from the side, colapsing it(including colapsong it due to falling underneath it) or a player changing his bind to move rpund the side.

    Yet a player can have both hands free if in the centre of the maul (so he can fight for the ball or stop others doing so) bound in by other players around him, often happens to the jumpers who you see held up in the mauls trying to latch onto a ball. Another instance where tall players have an advantage.
     
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  15. Dave Davies

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    I find it easier to spot penalties in mauls, but much harder to actually see the ball... :)

    Thanks again!
     
  16. miccloarch

    miccloarch Academy Player

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    I died laughing mate. :D

    It's always great to see North Americans getting into rugby. I'm really enjoying watching the US men's teams recently, both sevens and fifteens.

    We sometimes don't care about defence in Super Rugby. That trend has changed recently, but over the years scorelines like 44-43 have been fairly common (more common than in any other top tier league, that's for sure). The Chiefs beat the Lions 72-65 in 2010, and while it would become a farce if every game was like that, it's highly entertaining when it does happen.

    Until we see some kind of club world cup, where the best of Super Rugby plays the best of the Heineken/European Cup, that debate will not end.
     
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  17. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Academy Player

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    Are the Crusaders just gonna cruise to another inevitable title this year, do you think? Any upstarts I should keep an eye on? When I started watching, I fairly at random picked the Highlanders to root for, but they weren’t really much threat over the season... and thanks for laughing at my try joke. ;)
     
  18. themole25

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    Lions are really the only non New Zealand team with a chance. Stormers are tied to province who can’t get their **** together. Sharks have a potential to be real good plus play exciting rugby.

    Every New Zealand team other than blues could have a chance but crusaders are the favorite.

    Only Aussie team worth rooting for are the brumbies cause pocock is bae.
     
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  19. Dave Davies

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    From what I read and hear, SA rugby is a mess at the club level, despite the ongoing success of the Boks... and yeah, Pocock is totally sick. :)
     
  20. miccloarch

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    Barring a minor miracle the Crusaders will be unstoppable. As a Canes fan that ****** me off, but if we don't win it, I'm glad for any other kiwi team to do so.
     
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