No BLOGGING 101 tasks this weekend, evidently they allow us a rest two days a week….thank you http://Wordpress.com . So..I’ll do an everyday blog from the Steel City on this very overcast but warm September day. It’s a perfect day for a game of RUGBY UNION, or, at my age, watching a game of RUGBY UNION. Yes, the Rugby season is upon us and after the first two games in the championship were away, ROTHERHAM TITANS have their first home game of the new campaign against Plymouth Albion…I’ve looked forward to this game since the Titans narrowly lost out on promotion to the Aviva Premiership in the playoffs last season…and guess what ???… I’ve been laid low by a virulent stomach bug and cant/daren’t go to the game !!! Murphy’s law strikes again !!!
Let me tell you a little of my experience of the game of the God’s. I started playing the game at secondary school from the age of 11 and played it off and on for the next 25 years or so. growing up and even now I support a soccer team as well, SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY FC, but the soccer experience is NOTHING like the RUGBY UNION experience. I can remember going to soccer matches as a young fellow and being involved in rumbles with the opposition fans, punch ups and the like. The soccer fans are very partisan, very tribal and are ready to go to war at the drop of a hat generally. The game has attracted pro players who are cheats, bad actors and people who will lie in order to get an opposition player booked or sent off..most of the referees are spineless and will not punish the players who surround them and yell abuse at them. My God !! what a disgusting spectacle the so called beautiful game has become.
By contrast, RUGBY UNION fans are NOT inclined to fight…there is no segregation of fans, they mix with each other, drink with each other enjoy the banter and, win lose or draw, retire to the clubhouse for a pint or two. The players are very much gentlemanly, hard as nails but gentlemen. They don’t cheat and lie to get players sent off (I know..fake blood on that one occasion) they don’t argue and abuse the referee. Generally, the only player who will question the referee will be the team captain.
By and large a soccer player will spend 90 minutes pretending he is injured…a RUGBY player will spend 80 minutes pretending he is NOT.
A typical match day for me would be..get to the ground for 1pm, into the club house for a pint of bitter and the Titan’s famous pie, mushy peas and gravy, another pint of bitter then out to the ‘terrace’ to meet up with friends and old army mates, as well as, usually, my sister and her husband and have another pint of bitter from the pitchside bar. after that ritual we watch the Titans crush the opposition (hopefully) and then either have another drink or get the bus home, satisfied I’ve had a grand day out……Roll on next home match !! COME ON YOU TITANS !!
PS…the womens game of RUGBY UNION is taking off big time in the UK, I’m not leaving the women out … just that not having been to a women’s game, I can’t comment…yet…more research needed. Must go to a few womens matches, then I will write a piece about them.