Rugby is a game of MEN. Just ask anyone.
When kickoff is upon us at Red Bull Arena, it’s all gonna start with the fans. First off, the fans of the sport are like no other. There’s no other sport that you can become confrontational to the point where there’s almost a scrap and turn into a great convo with hilarious banter. It is electric in the arena.
Secondly, the physicality of the game and the hits that take place are absurd for the most part and the best part? NO PADS. Rugby players are often on the receiving end of some huge hits and are still able to share a beer with the opposite team afterwards.
Next, the all around respect for one another on the field as well as the referee. Rugby players at least have the decency to listen to the referee and do as they are told rather than sending a barrage of abuse at him like they do in soccer, basketball and sometimes football. As any rugby player would also tell you, rugby is a sport where you can make instant friends. This is because you have both shed blood, sweat and tears for the same cause. Nobody wants to be associated with a “bad guy” that nobody has respect for. Even if their game is great on the field, the way they carry themselves will have a stronger effect on people. If you carry yourself like a professional on and off the field, then you will have respect from your peers.
Lastly, I would like to touch on the aspect of rugby that no one can argue is like any other sport. The inclusiveness of the sport is definitely unmatched and I mean that in a way of letting everyone who wants to be involved can be. No matter how fat, skinny, tall, short, black, white, smart or dumb you are – rugby is the most accepting sport for what you are and I know it sounds like a bunch of bullshit but it’s true. You can’t be 5’6″ 270 pounds and compete in basketball, football, soccer or tennis. You would be mocked, dismissed and laughed out of the sport. And yet in rugby, you can be the best damn player on your team. It’s an outstanding sport for everyone to get involved in.
Check out the USA vs Ireland rugby match at Red Bulls Arena in New Jersey this Saturday, or at 5pm EST on NBC Sports Network. Spoiler alert – it’s going to be absolute madness.