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I love Rugby
February 12, 2005 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I love rugby I love playing, I love talking about it, I love the video game,, fans on the other hand.... Why is it Americans tend to be lower key about sports (as fanatic as we are) than the British or other folks who riot, blow stuff up, behead each other, etc.? I mean, I've slid naked on tile floor through puddles of beer, but cutting off your nuts, that's crazy!
posted by Smedleyman (44 comments total)

 
Oh. Oh my.
posted by sourwookie at 6:10 PM on February 12, 2005


Indeed! Why are Americans more civilized and better looking than the foreign dogs? We must be Gods chosen or something.
posted by Osmanthus at 6:14 PM on February 12, 2005


Police told the paper he had a history of mental problems.

Erm, I think that may be the difference rather than his nationality.
posted by qwerty155 at 6:22 PM on February 12, 2005


is the writing on his shirt supposed to be ironic?
posted by blendor at 6:27 PM on February 12, 2005


Also see: SportsFilter.

My favorite thing about this story is that I learned that the Welsh national rugby team is sponsored by a brewery in Cardiff named S.A. Brains, and their uniforms say Brains on the front.

Also: Don't forget to check out the various headlines for this, such as "Fan Loses His Tackle", and "Rugby nutter".
posted by casu marzu at 6:29 PM on February 12, 2005


Smedlleyman, he's Welsh - a Brit with a difference - they tend to treat rugby as a religious experience. Though cutting your nuts off seems a bit extreme. Maybe other Welshman will understand this - something about being emasculated by the English conquerers maybe. Its probably a historical thing in the poor guys rather warped mind.
posted by adamvasco at 6:32 PM on February 12, 2005


What's up with Britian and severed testicles?
posted by zardoz at 6:45 PM on February 12, 2005


Uh, something about an improvement in the gene pool......
posted by notreally at 6:46 PM on February 12, 2005


zardoz: ow ow ow ow ow ow!
posted by thebabelfish at 7:00 PM on February 12, 2005


i see a darwin award in this guy's future...
posted by joedan at 7:16 PM on February 12, 2005


...and if he survives, he's still taken himself out of the gene pool. Could he be the first living Darwin recipient?
posted by Uncle Ira at 7:47 PM on February 12, 2005


Obligatory testiclular rugby anecdote: in a test match against France in 1986, All Black no. 8 Wayne "Buck" Shelford had his scrotum torn open by a French boot, leaving one testicle hanging out. Did he leave the field? Don't be daft! He instructed the physio to stitch him up, and he kept playing.

Brings a tear to the eye.
posted by John Shaft at 7:52 PM on February 12, 2005


is the writing on his shirt supposed to be ironic?

not the same guy.
posted by quonsar at 7:54 PM on February 12, 2005


Buildings in my (then-) neighborhood were burned badly, and many others vandalized, in the Oakland Raiders victory and loss riots. At the onset of the victory riot, I was in the back of a taxi and trying to get home, and had good reason to be concerned with my safety given the vigor with which the taxi was being assaulted by revelers.

So, no, I wouldn't really say there's a substantial difference between the behavior of european and American sports fans, as described. They still go apeshit.
posted by majick at 8:04 PM on February 12, 2005


Clearly, this guy is nuts.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:16 PM on February 12, 2005



>>Clearly, this guy is nuts.

>>posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:16 PM PST on February 12


Clearly, this guy is had nuts.

posted by login at 9:23 PM on February 12, 2005


He was feeling a little testy.
posted by SPrintF at 9:24 PM on February 12, 2005


not the same guy.

no kidding?
posted by blendor at 9:36 PM on February 12, 2005


Scrummy bastard.
posted by Eideteker at 10:07 PM on February 12, 2005


Zardoz's link: wow. I think that woman wins the "crazy ex" competition now and forevermore.

I have the impression that there is some credibility to the UK soccer/rugby "hooliganism" thing. But fans in other countries are quite bad, and the US is no exception. I'm inclined to think that the US is moving in that direction and the difference, if any, will disappear shortly.

No offense intended to sports fans (since this concerns only a small minority of sports fans), but does anyone besides me see this sort of thing as blatantly a modern-day manifestation of tribal bloodlust and and post-victory celebration?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:29 PM on February 12, 2005


Why is it Americans tend to be lower key about sports (as fanatic as we are) than the British or other folks who riot, blow stuff up, behead each other, etc.? Because we get our ya-ya's out blowing stuff up in other countries. Makes us perfect ladies and gentlemen in the stadium.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:47 PM on February 12, 2005


So, no, I wouldn't really say there's a substantial difference between the behavior of european and American sports fans, as described. They still go apeshit.

I would have to disagree with this. While it's true that there are occasional violent incidents after American sports games, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. "Basketball Riots" are rare and not part of the culture, while soccer riots seem to be generally accepted as something that just happens. I've always wondered about the question raised in the FPP. You generally really don't see the level of sports fan violence among Americans that you do among Europeans.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:25 AM on February 13, 2005


Well Sangermaine, it's not really about sport, it goes much deeper than that. There is a section of society in the UK that for whatever reason get their jollies out of kicking seven types of shit out of each other, and the tribalism that surrounds football is a convenient centre for this.
posted by chill at 2:37 AM on February 13, 2005


Ethereal Bligh: UK soccer/rugby "hooliganism" thing

There is no such thing as rugby hooliganism. Never has been. Rugby fans are a far more civilised lot than the footie watching scum.
posted by couch at 4:43 AM on February 13, 2005


Ah. Thanks for the correction.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:44 AM on February 13, 2005


It's tempting to say the explanation is that in America, the hooligans and thugs simply become professional athletes, not fans.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:59 AM on February 13, 2005


I don't think that football(soccer) hooliganism is the problem it once was. You don't hear much about it, especially in the Premiership, I think it's mostly confined to lesser divisions. And generally English fans were pretty well behaved in Portugal last summer during Euro '04.

In New Zealand we operate at the opposite end of the spectrum where it's almost considered obscene to celebrate an All Black win too obviously. The correct response to victory goes something like 'Yeah they played well in parts, but they need to perform for the full 80 minutes, eh.'
posted by isthisthingon at 5:12 AM on February 13, 2005


There is no such thing as rugby hooliganism. Never has been. Rugby fans are a far more civilised lot than the footie watching scum.

If that isn't a joke, it's an incredibly twatish thing to say.
posted by nthdegx at 6:00 AM on February 13, 2005


Why? There isn't a history of violence or even unsporting behaviour by fans in Rugby. In most venues the fans will go silent while the other team are taking kicks at goal etc.
posted by daveirl at 6:19 AM on February 13, 2005


The report of this in the UK Sun had the barman saying "Fairplay to him, he said he'd do it and he did."
posted by biffa at 7:17 AM on February 13, 2005


If that isn't a joke, it's an incredibly twatish thing to say.
Huh?
posted by chill at 7:23 AM on February 13, 2005


There is no such thing as rugby hooliganism. Never has been. Rugby fans are a far more civilised lot than the footie watching scum.

You posh egg-chasing bastard! Come here till I smash this pint of Carling over your head!
posted by Celery at 8:05 AM on February 13, 2005


While not as extreme as self-castration, American fans can also go nuts (pun intended). Didn't you see Ron Artest lose his shit and go after fans in Detroit? Philly fans booed Santa Claus and cheered when Michael Irvin suffered a career-ending neck injury. A girl was killed when the Red Sox won the World Series. NASCAR fans trashed Talladega.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:43 AM on February 13, 2005


There's the old saying: football is a game for gentlemen, played by hooligans; Rugby is a game for hooligans, played by gentlemen.

It's true up to a point. Probably the point where you have to tape your ears up to stop them being ripped off by the other side's prop forwards.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 8:59 AM on February 13, 2005


I do wish that Americans who clearly know nothing about soccer culture in the UK would stop commenting on it. Anyone would get the impression that you're in mortal danger any time you watch a soccer game.

Smedleyman, you're an idiot.
posted by salmacis at 9:26 AM on February 13, 2005


I 'm from the Boston area. I go to UMass UMass Amherst.

I'm goddamn thankful they're starting to quiet that type of thing down around here.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:47 AM on February 13, 2005


zardoz, that link's hosed...got another one to the story?
posted by alumshubby at 1:26 PM on February 13, 2005


Smedleyman, you're an idiot.
Never said I wasn't.
But at least I have testicles.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:02 PM on February 13, 2005


"Basketball Riots" are rare and not part of the culture, while soccer riots seem to be generally accepted as something that just happens.

I dunno, man. Maryland seems to have rioting on lockdown.
posted by thecaddy at 11:46 PM on February 13, 2005


Q. What makes American sports fans different from British?

A. We have testicles.

*post may contain traces of nuts
posted by Aknaton at 6:10 AM on February 14, 2005


Osmanthus: More civilised? Hahahahaha

More repressed.
posted by catchmurray at 2:48 PM on February 14, 2005


Being English, at the moment I'd like to cut Charlie Hodgeson's balls off. The new Carlos Spencer indeed...

And Americans and sport? I've lived in the States and the Superbowl is taken just as seriously as the FA Cup is in Britain. I think that perhaps one of the reasons that American sport doesn't provoke the same passions is that American teams play non-American teams in significant matches with less regularity than elsewhere in the world. This means that ugly nationalism is less likely to rear its head.

Partly this can be explained by the size of the internal US leagues and partly by the fact that the really popular sports in the US have less traction in the rest of the world e.g. American football and, to a much lesser extent, baseball.

This isn't to say that US sport is inward looking and parochial - I'm well aware of the Panamanian and Japanese teams who play in the World Series but international fixtures involving American teams are much less common and much less tends to hang in the balance.

In the UK this month we've got the 3 top sports all playing crucial fixtures, the soccer European Champions league, the cricketers are in South Africa and the 6 Nations rugby tounament. And this is not an unusual state of affairs. As PJ O'Rourke once said about Europe "you can't swing a cat without sending it through customs" - no surprise then that sportingly the same holds true for fixture lists.
posted by dmt at 3:50 AM on February 15, 2005


I think you're on to something there, dmt. But I suspect the difference might be down to the nature of American sports - they're interminably dull. (Basketball being the exception, but a Canadian invented that one.) I mean, can a baseball game really rouse enough passion for a proper fight among fans?
posted by jack_mo at 8:12 AM on February 16, 2005


Oop - that sounded much ruder to America's homegrown sports than intended. The same can, of course, be said of cricket, a beautiful, but also interminably dull sport that doesn't have a reputation for fan violence.
posted by jack_mo at 8:19 AM on February 16, 2005


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