My mate at work, Daphers, loves his rugby. He's also Welsh. You wouldn't know this to speak to him, apart from the fact he brings it up whenever he can. He also has a deep Midlands accent.... Apparently his Dad is from there and he spent some time right on the border as a foetus so he's as Welsh as cottaging. Or cottage burning. Or one of the two at any rate.
I myself quite like rugby but unless it's an England international game, I won't be making a special effort to watch it. I also like football, cricket, boxing and MMA and they all have their good points and bad points.
For example, boxing is about so much more than who can hit the hardest. Anyone remember Marco Antonia Barrera giving Prince Nas a complete lesson? Or Muhammad Ali's Rope a Dope? I get actual shivers down my actual spine, whenever I watch them on my old VHS player.
What completely ruins boxing, is the way boxing is run. The fact that Pacquiao and Mayweather still haven't fought is a travesty. This is where Mixed Martial Arts, in particular the Ultimate Fighting Championship, comes into its own. The rankings in the UFC have meaning and the top ranked fighters will fight each other or lose the belt. There is no argument. The downside is that the fights are judged by people mandated by the state athletic commission, mostly former boxing judges who do not understand the submission game. This often results in ridiculous decisions and the UFC president Dana White, can only say "Don't leave it in the hands of the judges."
That tangent aside, both sports have their pros and their cons, but the UFC is edging it. For me, at any rate.
If you like your football and you have a conversation with my mate Daphers, or any rugby fan for that matter, you know that the same old argument will surface every damn time.
"Football is a game for cheats and thugs. Just look at the way they act when they get tackled." At this point in the orator's oration, they will feign a baby crying noise, decrying the fact that a strapping 6 footer is going to ground under the slightest of contact, clutching his face and hamming it up for all he's worth.
He will also point out the complete lack of control that a footballing referee has over the players. "You take rugby; you give the ref any lip and you get sent back 10 yards. And another 10 yards. And another 10 yards!"
You don't get it in cricket either. Well, actually, you do.
But to be fair, he and other cricketers get fined a rather large percentage of their match fee for quite minor showings of dissent. Surrounding the umpire, getting vocal and borderline physical with him, would just never happen.
It's hard to argue with this but I get tired of just agreeing.
"Oh piss off, Daphers. Have you seen the amount of decisions made by referees and linesmen that are just plain garbage? Don't give me that swings and roundabouts nonsense either, it doesn't even out over the course of a season. As a Wolves fan, I know this to be true.
All this crap that rugby players know how to behave is bollocks too. I mean seriously, wah wah wah, look at the big strong man kowtowing to the tiny little fellow with a rulebook and a whistle. "But, Sir! It was a fair tackle! wah wah wah, OK sir, I'll tell them" and they slink off. At least footballers stand up for themselves! They're not put off by some clipboard carrying carnival sideshow! "Ref! Are you ****ing blind?! That was never a pen!"
Those rugby players want to man up. Bloody poofs.