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Rugby Player Banned for Penis Biting

give_blood_play_rugby_t_shirt

From the moment I became aware that rugby existed I was aware it was a violent sport. I remember seeing a guy on campus who was wearing a shirt that read “Give Blood. Play Rugby”.

Back in college I hung out with a group of people that included several rugby players. Individually they were lovely people, but when you got a lot of them together it was chaos. It was from rugby players that I learned of the Flaming Zulu. The Flaming Zulu involved a naked guy going up on the roof, taking a long strip of toilet paper, shoving one end into his butt crack, lighting the other end on fire, jumping off of the roof and running around the house. You win if you don’t burn your ass.

I don’t get it either. There was also some sort of hazing thing that involved the rookies stripping down to their underwear and being strapped together with belts and being hit with spoons. I couldn’t possibly be remembering that correctly. That doesn’t even make sense.

Not like the Flaming Zulu. That is perfectly reasonable.

Sometimes you would just see the rugby players headbutting each other for fun. Sometimes you would just see them walking around naked for no reason.

I mean, no reason besides the fact that they were drunk rugby players.

Ninety five percent of the naked men I saw in college were drunk rugby players.

Very little of that has anything to do with the penis biting story.

Read more…

Rugby

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I apologize for being gone so long… or should I apoligize for coming back? Well, no matter, because today is a great day. A great day indeed, and not just because it is the beginning of a three day weekend, either.

No, today is a great day, because the Super 14 Rugby (Union) season starts once again in the southern hemisphere! If you aren’t familiar with the concept of “super” rugby, I fill you in, briefly. The Super 14 competion consists of 14 (get it?) professional rugby teams from New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. They compete in a tournament where they play in all three countries from this week until May, when one tem emerges as champions in the Grand Final.

For my money (and I am paying for it via DirectTv) it is the best professional rugby competition there is. I enjoy the Super 14 much more than I do the Europe-based Heineken Cup, Magner’s league, and others. Southern hemisphere rugby is just a wee bit different, and to me, a whole lot better.

I know that rugby doesn’t excite most of you (probably any of you), but for me, it is the height of sport… all of the speed of hockey, the physicality and hard hits of American football, the athletic skills and the requirement of full team play, is a hell of a package.

As if the start of the Super 14 season wasn’t enough, there is also the fact that the European Six Nations competition started last week! The Six Nations is an international competition played between England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. It is clearly the best European tournament there is… made all the better as you have to be a great player even to be considered a representative of your national side.

Now, you might think that all this is too much for one middle-aged former athlete to bear, but I feel that I have to add one more thing: This weekend is also going to see the USA Sevens competition, in San Diego! Sevens rugby is fast and furious and is popular in many places in the United States. Less hard hitting, but much, MUCH faster that regular rugby, which has 15 players on a side.

OK, friends, it’s Saturday… Valentine’s Day, and I have to go make breakfast for Clan Gunfighter, so that they’ll leave me alone to watch rugby in peace… that will be MY present for the day.

GF

Big Changes in South Africa

Recently, something remarkable happened in South African sports.

On January 11th, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) named Peter DeVilliers as the coach of their national team, The Springboks.

Big deal, right? Sports teams get new coaches all the time, don’t they? Well, yes, but in south Africa, this time it’s a little different… this time SARU has hired a black man to coach their national side. While most Americans might shrug this off, in the rugby world… especially in South Africa, this is huge!

Sure, there are more and more balck players being selected for the South African squad… players like Bryan Habana, JP Nell, Akona N’Dungane, Jon-Paul “JP” Pietersen, Ricky Januarie, and Breyton Paulse have become brights stars on a team of bright stars who are the current Rugby World Cup champions, but this is different. This isn’t about leadership or coaching ability, is it? I think that this is about national character.

Of course, you’re groaning now, because you think I am going to launch into a lecture about racism in sports, right? Well, not really… but in South Africa, considering the nation’s history and the fact that rugby is totally dominated by white players, on all levels, this move is just one more remarkable act in a nation of recurring remarkable acts.

South African politics have undergone a huge transformation in the past twenty years, as has South African culture. I suppose, then, that it should follow that change has come to the world of South African sports. I, for one, welcome that change.

The South African Rugby Union is to be congratulated. From all reports, DeVilliers is a top flight coach at the international level, and seems poised to lead that country’s national sport in the right direction.

Rugby World Cup – Week One

Well, the 2007 Rugby World Cup is off and running in France, and has already given us a few surprises.

In the opening match, France vs Argentina, the French went down to defeat in what was probably the most hard-hitting, bloody, physical match that I have ever seen.

The French seemed to take the Argentinians a little too lightly at the beginning of the match, and the Pumas pounced on the opportunity, took the initiative, and held onto it throughout the entire match. Even the French second-half inclusion of replacement hard-man Sebastien Chabal, couldn’t stem the Argentinian tide.

The Argentinians didn’t win by much, but then, everyone expected the French to win this fairly handily.

The World Cup started with a surprise, but it wasn’t to be the only surprise in the early stages of pool play.

In another surprise, The United States had a splendid game against England! No, we didn’t beat them, but most commentators expected that the English were going to teach the upstart USA that we shouldn’t be dabbling in their athletic baliwick. The conventional wisdom, before the game, said that England would beat the USA by at least 60 points. As it turns out, England struggled with awkward play, while the United States had the game of a lifetime, holding the English margin for Victory to only eighteen points.

The second match for the USA was against Tonga. A horrible start by the USA allowed Tonga to score a converted try in the first two minutes of the game. It was all downhill from there, and the United States were defeated 15 to 25.

The opening week was marred only by the four-game suspension of South African flanker, Schalk Burger, who was found guilty of executing a dangerous tackle against Junior Polu, of Samoa.

The coming week promises to be exciting, as England and South Africa face off against each other. Other exciting matches this week will include Wales v. Australia, and France v. Namibia (who are surprisingly strong).

See you next week.

Rugby Primer

For those of you that don’t habla the Rugby.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEQyCcageGg]