In Argentina: The working class hates Rugby

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Jaguares, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Jaguares

    Jaguares First XV

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    In Argentina for socio-economic reasons, historically rugby is played by the upper middle class. People who have more resources to cope with such a difficult sport like rugby: A lot of training and a lot of injuries (Higher than football). For this reason, the upper middle class people are more likely to excel in a sport like rugby to face the Europeans and Pacific Islanders internationally.

    Football is the working class sport, most of the big footballers of Argentine are from the working class, they have lived in ghettos such as: Maradona, Kun Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Tevez, etc. In Argentina, football is seen as the sport of blacks (Blacks = Working class) and rugby is seen as the sport of whites (Whites = Upper middle class).

    In Argentina there is no black-skinned people, here blacks are the descendants of American Indians and whites are the descendants of European (especially Italian and Spanish).

    Working class = Descendants of American Indians
    Upper middle class = Descendants of European

    Here a kind of civil war exists in sport, the working class celebrates The Pumas defeats. Even they have a special nickname for the Pumas (And in general for all rugby players): "GORDOS CHETOS" in Spanish. "Fat Millionaires" in English, that's like saying the people from upper middle class are fat and play rugby. That's pure ignorance, they have never played rugby or know international rugby players only know Lomu. So when they see a rugby's game through the TV once or twice a year, and when they see a scrum, they see the first rows are fat, then they think all rugby players are fat, they don't know nothing about rugby.

    That's the reason why the Argentine journalism specializing in rugby is so kind to the Pumas and support the team 100% even if the results are bad. In Argentina there are 110,000 amateur rugby players, the rest of the country hates rugby and wants the national team always loses. Because they see rugby as the sport of the ruling class, like in SA in RWC 1995 (Not sure if this is still the case). Blacks hated Boks because they considered that Rugby as the white's sport, upper class, who dominated the country. In Argentina is exactly the same, and even worse for those who are middle class and don't like rugby, watch the rugby players as hooligans who only want to fight in pubs and drink beer.

    Rugby in Argentina is a kind of cult, where everybody knows everybody and we all support each other and people who aren't on the rugby circuit, usually hates rugby and see us as hooligans. And those who hate rugby, just watch the Pumas' games in the RWC and in big games versus ABs or Boks.

    This situation worsened with the third place finish in RWC 2007, and many people began to praise the Pumas, journalists (Even journalists who don't watch rugby often) said that the Pumas were the proudest national team. And as the national soccer team had more than 20 years without winning a world cup (The last world cup was won with Maradona in Mexico 86) some football supporters said that The Pumas gave them more pride than the national soccer team. That was a very great injured for football supporters because they couldn't say anything, it was true. The Pumas were the world pride for Argentina.

    Now the situation has changed, the defeats are common with The Rugby Championship (This is something that the rugby supporters knew that could happen, many we imagined that the incursion of The Pumas in Tri Nations could be as tough as the incursion of Italy in 5 Nations). Many football supporters who supported the Pumas in RWC 2007 now say: "The Pumas have cheated me, I thought they were the best in the world". And this situation is exploited by football supporters as revenge, they say things like: "The Pumas lose every game because they are upper middle class, if the rugby was the working class sport, Argentina would be the best team the world with the best players like football".

    Let me tell you that these sayings are pure lies, that's something unverifiable and also not in line with reality. If you look at the best Argentine football players, most are dwarfs of 1.69 mts and 65 kg as: Maradona, Messi or Kun Aguero. In the best case, with a very good physical condition, in rugby they could be scrum-halves but for a sport like rugby, you need backs of 95-105 kg as Dan Carter, Israel Folau or Bryan Habana. You need locks of 2,00 meters and 125 kgs like Eben Etzebeth or Sam Whitelock and you need back rows of 110 kg like Kieran Read, Francois Low or Wycliff Palu.

    I tell a personal anecdote to show that that's a lie. Once with my rugby club we went to a ghetto to teach rugby to the poor people. Ok, I acknowledge that I and my rugby teammates are from the upper middle class. Most of them were football players and almost all weighed 50 kgs on average. While my fellow rugby (Upper middle class) were most strong guys, they drank protein shakes, supplements like Creatine, some even taking steroids and of course, had plenty of food at home, unlike the situation the working class who do not have good nutrition. The result was clear, the boys of the upper middle class were stronger than boys of the working class and my rugby teammates were overcome to footballers easily, in each "face to face", the boys of the upper middle class pushed back to footballers. Then it's a lie that they could be the best in the world

    I just wanted to share this story with you who love rugby, here our sport isn't welcomed by the working class. Perhaps Afrikaners live a similar situation in his country between blacks and whites.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
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  3. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    interesting read man. It's completely random as fkk you'd write this right now, but informative and I enjoyed reading it whole.
    I had no clue about this, although it makes perfect sense when it's laid out like that.

    I saw interviews of Ledesma, couldn't understand much but just to see how he was in person, get a feel for him - he seemed very middle class/wealthy. And I know Roncero is also a certified doctor for e.g., so not exactly the ghetto kid.

    And yes agree of course: MASS...

    And about the Pumas' inception in the 3N tournament: if not for their dysfunction this year (as a whole, not just in August) I think they've been absolutely laudable so far. Even this year, they got at least 3 good games. Vamos, los pumas.
     
  4. Jaguares

    Jaguares First XV

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    Yeah bud, maybe I wrote the thread at the wrong time, at this time the lads are talking about 6 Nations and Super Rugby, so a thread about Argentine Rugby will not have much success now.

    Maybe I should rewrite this thread in the Rugby Championship when the Pumas defeats again become the daily bread.

    Long ago I wanted to tell the status of Argentine rugby for you to understand some things that happen such as: Why Argentine journalism is so kind to the Pumas despite poor performance or Why is it so hard to professionalize rugby in Argentina.

    I promise to revive this thread when the Rugby Championship starts, then I'm sure the lads will be interested in this review.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  5. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    Interesting read. I think some teams can survive without 200m locks though :p.
     
  6. Jaguares

    Jaguares First XV

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    Yeah, I know. It's an expression, not an exact science. Let's say on average most international players are about 1,95 mts and several of them measuring more than 2 meters, right?
     
  7. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    I was joking. You meant to put a full stop/period (.) in stead of a comma ,. as 2,00m would imply they were the size of tall buildings instead of a tall humans.

    It seems odd that Argentine stadiums are able to sell out reasonably well with such a niche following.
     
  8. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    This whole part could have been written by a South African as well, if you change the names and so on. there would have been absolutely no difference.

    finally a decent post by you Conrad. Keep it up
     
  9. Pockets

    Pockets Academy Player

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    Some countries use them the wrong way around. I blame the French.

    I don't think there's anything particularly unusual about being successful despite having a section of the population that's bitter about a sport; if you went and surveyed a football crowd in Leicester you'd find a similar set of opinions about rugby from a substantial minority of people. It isn't about the die-hard fans inside the rugby stadium, it's about those outside it - without the casual enthusiast you don't sell the TV packages, get sponsorships etc.
     
  10. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    Interesting read, CS. You alluded to this at one stage I remember but interesting to read it in depth.

    In SA we experienced something similar and to a large degree it is still the case though I can see a definite move toward everyone getting behind both the Bokke and Bafana bafana every year. It is slow to be sure but has a lot of drivers; for every Julius Malema or Eugene Terre'Blanche there is a Desmond Tutu or Nelson Mandela, the rise of the black middle class, ever growing numbers in black players at grass roots which though the top player base is still mostly white with superior resources and training at schools does create a support base in those communities and then you have the erlative success of the national rugby team vs the percieved underperformance of the national soccer team. So I wouldn't say I know one single black person who is against the Bokke per se. There is of course many who are simply indifferent but that is not race based at all I would argue apart from the fact that you are more likely to get exposure to soccer over rugby still in most black communities and vice versa in the majority white communities. The Cape colored peoples though are a very interesting microcosm in SA. They are either the most vocal supporters or the most viscious.. anti-supporters.
     
  11. TRF_heineken

    TRF_heineken RIP #J9

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    Just look at Icemn
     
  12. TRF_stormer2010

    TRF_stormer2010 Super Moderator

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    LOL, the less I see of Icemn the better.
     
  13. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    OK, so all whites from Argentina and SA to go to either South Africa or Argentina, and all 'native' populations to go to the other. Sorted.
     
  14. Jaguares

    Jaguares First XV

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    Yeah but the difference that I see between the Argentina's working class and SA's working class, the Argentina's working class has been successful in football and the SA's working class is a failure in football. Argentina has won 2 world cups (1978 with Mario Kempes and 1986 with Maradona) and has had the best exponents of the football as: Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona and now with Lionel Messi.

    It's for this reason that many Argentines from working class truly believe that Argentina would be the number of rugby power if the sport has roots in the working class, while the South Africans can't think that because SA blacks haven't had success in football. But I think that's a lie, and gave my explanation of why the thought that doesn't conform to reality. Argentina's working class is weak and doesn't have resources to create chords rugby players at international level to deal with the beasts of our sport as: Manu Tuilagi, Robbie Fruean or Sam Burguess.

    Yeah, but the situation is different, you just can not compare the socio-economic reality of a first world country like England with a third world country like Argentina. Here there is a greater difference among the social classes.

    England has the sixth highest GDP in the world and its citizens have a per capita income around 50,000 american dollars a year. While the GDP of Argentina is the number 26th and our citizens have a per capita income around 11,000 american dollars a year. Very different realities, England has a strong sporting heritage. In England people not only love football, there are many sports that have roots in the people as: cricket, golf, rugby, tennis and others. In Argentina, most people only care about the football, football and football.

    In Argentina there are 110,000 amateur rugby players, if each player has a family and friends, multiply that number by 5 and you get a figure of about half a million people, that's people who move the rugby in this country, all others prefer football. But if you have 500,000 people interested in rugby, you can sell out a stadium for 40,000 tickets easily. Also, remember that most rugby supporters here are from the upper middle class, which is why they can buy an expensive ticket smoothly.

    But if it's true. There are many people in the middle class who doesn't hate rugby but they are ignorant , they know nothing about our sport. They are people who support the team when the results are good (eg: RWC 2007) but if the results are bad they harshly criticize the team, it's people who never practiced our sport, don't even know the rules of our sport. They are just curious of rugby, that can be seen in the 2 games that were played in La Plata between The Pumas and ABs. In 2012 there were many onlookers in the stadium. There were many people who did not know the rules of our sport and do not know the idiosyncrasies of rugby. For example, when Dan Carter was going to kick, they whistled and booed the kicker, in our sport we respect to the opponent's kicker and remain silent during the kick. That's an unwritten rule of rugby, but as they didn't know that, they insulted and criticized to Dan Carter in the kicks.

    I was in the stadium and I can attest to that:

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    There was a campaign by rugby supporters to teach the rules of our sport to the footballs supporter who go to the stadium to support the team will learn some customs of our sport, for example: Respect the opponent's kicker. But he had no positive result, they simply behaved like football's hooligans and booed to Dan Carter in ALL his kicks. As the team didn't win any games in his first Rugby Championship, the curious and football supporters who supported the team in the first year, let go of the following year. That's why in the last game between the Pumas and ABs played last year in La Plata, people respected the NZ kicker, because the stadium was sell out 100% by rugby supporters, who always supporting the team, who love rugby and of course know the customs of our sport. But for example last year in Rosario (vs Wallabies) and in Mendoza (vs Boks), all tickets aren't sold, there were many empty seats because football supporters and the curious who supported the team in the first year, now they don't and are angry with our sport, for the reasons explained in this thread.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  15. dasNdanger

    dasNdanger First XV

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    Very good post.

    I wonder how much of any nation's support, or lack thereof, of any team is based more on nationalism than on an actual love of the game. For instance, I love rugby, and it doesn't matter to me if the US team wins or loses, as long as they keep playing and keep promoting the game. I'm also not very patriotic (*See my support for NZ teams over US teams).

    In many countries people base their national pride on the success of their sporting teams. I guess I've never quite understood that - to me, you either like the game, or you don't. I've seen this sort of sports nationalism a lot among football (soccer) fans, where some seem to base the value of their very lives on whether or not their team wins. That's just crazy to me.

    Okay...I just finished my second glass of wine and totally lost my thought. Forgive me. :p



    das
     
  16. Shaggy

    Shaggy First XV

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    ... Interesting ... I think people view team sports a little differently in North America, than they do back home in NZ. For example, in NZ, the tendency is to support the national team (in any sport), first, and then the regional team from where you are from, and then the relevant club from the suburb you live in ... this undoubtedly (for me at least), built up parochial views, which probably didn't allow me to appreciate good play from the teams I didn't support ... I think moving away (and I'm only speaking for myself here) has allowed me to view games a little more objectively, and thus, enjoy the game, not the team

    My perception of North American team sport, is that it's generally regionally based (except maybe at the Olympics), and so national patriotism doesn't generally come in to it .... I still have a little bit of trouble with my wife not supporting our city's Ice Hockey team, when she's lived here all her life, but that's her choice I guess (I'm probably more annoyed that I actually care about that team more than she does)
     
  17. admartian

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    Good informative post. :)
     
  18. sigesige00

    sigesige00 Bench Player

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    Hi, could you tell me why Argentina's RU national team is called "Los Pumas"?
     
  19. Tallshort

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    Is Rugby in Argentina regional like it is in Italy, England and most other places?
     
  20. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    That's not very Gretzky of her...(...or maybe it is thinking about it).

    Last weekend I took my German girlfriend to her first rugby game, and she found it great fun cheering for the Cheetah's overs the Hurricanes. I knew she was doing it to annoy me, but it totally worked...
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  21. Big Ewis

    Big Ewis BANNED!!!

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    my God, you're absolutely useless !...

    And as sexist or wtvr the hell this might sound, I think women have a much easier time with national identity or anything to do with that level of pride. Patriotic women are legion, I'm not contradicting that fact. I'm just saying men will more identify themselves through national belonging or belonging to something in general along those lines.
    As an example, in mixed individuals I'll often see the boys struggling with identity crises and never the girls, they're just fine with who/how they are.
    It's part of masculine stubbornness and stupidity than to cling on to the team that represents us, in sports as one instance, but in life in general. It's 100% typically masculine. Women are far more flexible with these issues and don't nearly take em as seriously, and see the relative unimportance of it all.

    it does seem like that, aye. I follow the NBA avidly, and it's ALL about the local-town team. Of course Americans are behind Team USA when at the Olympics, but then if a player gets injured there and he's from let's say the Chicago Bulls, Bulls fans will go nuts knowing their star has gone down. Team USA seems more like a formality of somewhat importance. American fans I don't think as a whole are devastated if Team USA doesn't do well internationally, their pride is just harmed a bit because they used to never lose, now they do.
    During the strong Soviet Union years though, Americans took it extremely seriously when they lost to the latter, but that's because of course there were huge stakes behind the pretext that was basketball.
     
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