Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I went to a rugby match this weekend. A real, live one, with a whole bunch of men with no necks and tree trunk-sized calves feeling each other, and a rugby ball, up on a beautifully manicured lawn under huge lights. The testosterone in that place swirled and flurried, I’ve never felt anything quite like it.

As you can see from that description, it will probably not be a repeated experience. I was excited, really I was. I was keen to experience the shared humanity of the massive crowd. Until I heard the baying for blood, the boo-ing to the other team, and the drunken stream of expletives from the bullies behind us.

Now, I can honestly say that I am by no means a prude or a priss and have been known to use language that could make a sailor blush and, at one time, be able to drink said blushing sailor under the table. I don’t, though, when there are hordes of young kids around. And if there’s one thing I abhor, it’s bad sportsmanship. Call me weird, but I was brought up to acknowledge good play, on both sides. Boo-ing, in our household, was a no-no.

There were exciting bits, let me not lie… “Our” team won, and there is something very special about mass enthusiasm. It was just the violence that got me. I do think we were unfortunate in our nearby neighbours. Perhaps it’d have been better elsewhere.

Admittedly, I’m not the world’s biggest rugby fan. Basically, I know nothing about the sport, but am learning. I tend to limit my exposure to it to international games, in a pub, with beer, preferably in the company of others who are also only slightly interested in the rugby, and will talk to me throughout the game. My lovely friend, E, who instigated this live match at the stadium, tends to make sure there is at least one such person when I watch rugby with him. He knows, if there isn’t, he’s going to have me wittering away in his ear for the whole 80 minutes (See that? I even know the length of a match.)

Perhaps I’m just too much of a sissy, but is it okay if I stick to cricket?


Angela said...

Here, we don`t have rugby but "only" football, but it can get bad enough when the guys from the opposite fan curves are let loose. I admire your courage, don`t think I`d ever go to a rugby match. But cricket??? Do you understand the rules? Does anyone?

twistygirl said...

I don't care much for sports, keast of all rugby. I've never been to a live match and I used to use rugby time as nap time when I was dating this huge rugby fanatic.
It is amazing though, how infectious the spirit can become when there's a big match coming up, especially here in Pretoria

Shiny said...

Angela - yip, I'm proud to say I do, indeed, understand cricket... mostly.

Twistygirl - welcome! And, yes, the only thing that thrilled me, really, about the whole thing, was the mass excitement.


Anonymous said...

hi all