Beau cul (not so) belle gueule
September 12, 2007 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Broken Faces [Flash site] During 2006, photographer Denis Rouvre travelled throughout France to cover a majority of the TOP 14 French (French national championship) rugby matches all the way to the finals. He was given locker room access to take these intimate and striking shots. via SpoFi.

Full credit due to afx237vi at SpoFi.
posted by psmealey (29 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Great photos.
Nasty ears.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:06 AM on September 12, 2007

And then there's the "Dieux du Stade" books and calendars featuring the French Rugby team players naked (NSFW).
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on September 12, 2007

Thanks psmealy. Full credit to the Guardian sports blog would be more correct though!

CitrusFreak12: They're actually cauliflower ears, the price you pay for playing in the front 5 with all the other bruisers.
posted by afx237vi at 8:17 AM on September 12, 2007

I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of any of those guys.
posted by schwa at 8:35 AM on September 12, 2007

I played a little rugby. So glad I never played any of these boys. Great photos.
posted by Mister_A at 8:46 AM on September 12, 2007

I love this. As all good south Dublin girls are brought up to say, real men play rugby. Great post, thanks.

(I love Dieux de Stade too ... )
posted by jamesonandwater at 8:56 AM on September 12, 2007

Hypermasculinity presented in a precious, almost feminine way
posted by mert at 9:15 AM on September 12, 2007

The guy with the scratch marks across his back was clearly just trying to brag.
posted by The Gooch at 9:15 AM on September 12, 2007

I got a broken face. I got a broken face uh huh uh huh ooh.
posted by The World Famous at 9:32 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hey guy, does your face hurt?

Well it's killing me!!!!
posted by inigo2 at 9:40 AM on September 12, 2007

Scratch marks = boot marks. Looks like someone was playing the ball on the ground.
posted by electroboy at 9:57 AM on September 12, 2007

We men are lucky in that sometimes facial injuries add to (or at least don't detract from) our attractiveness. I can't think of any cases where the same is true for women.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:32 AM on September 12, 2007

One of the things I find fascinating about Metafilter is how the posts sometimes contradict each other, either through conscious effort on the part of the posters, but also by accident. This post versus this one for example.

Can anyone tell me if the ears are like that because it's just after a match or do they stay that way permanently?
posted by Zinger at 11:25 AM on September 12, 2007

*Throws keys, wallet at monitor, runs away sobbing*

Nice post, great pics.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:34 AM on September 12, 2007

Ears are like that forever - the cartilage is pummelled. Take a look at retired pros and usually they look like that.
posted by A189Nut at 11:46 AM on September 12, 2007

Can anyone tell me if the ears are like that because it's just after a match or do they stay that way permanently?

The swelling will eventually go down, but they'll always be mis-shapen and crinkly. One thing I found funny about looking at the pictures is you can pretty much guess which position each of them plays in by how mashed up their ears are.

The prettiest ones are scrum halfs, naturally.
posted by afx237vi at 11:49 AM on September 12, 2007

I don't know much about the game, but I'm always mesmerized by it when they show games on television. It's actually kind of a flowing beautiful game from what I'm able to tell.

One question, though. I notice that some of the guys wear headgear and others don't. Is the a personal choice, or a requirement? The ones I've seen seem to be the bigger blokes out there so I suspect it's not a macho thing, or is it?
posted by psmealey at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2007

What do you need headgear for when there’s perfectly good electrical tape available?
Nifty post psmealey
posted by Smedleyman at 2:12 PM on September 12, 2007

Mostly heat psmealey although it can help you not get cut up. For the Japanese pros I think it’s manditory. I never wear it. (Played 3 games in a tourney in 105+ degree heat which completely validated my decision). Guy on my former team used to always wear one and said it prevents concussions. He got two (mild) and one pretty nasty one over the time I’ve known him. I’ve gotten one very mild one my whole career (if amateur club play can be called such). Headgear is no substitute for awareness, and padding is no substitute for muscle and conditioning, which is far more likely to prevent injury.
And there’s more of a feeling of being protected when you wear one which (perhaps completely irrationally) I think actually contributes to injury.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:27 PM on September 12, 2007

Funnily enough, the headgear (scrum cap in rugby parlance) is actually to protect the ears rather than to offer much protection to the head. They're worn by the forwards, the big guys who do the donkey work in the scrums and rucks. They take much more of a physical pounding than the backs, who hang around and stay out of trouble until the forwards create some openings for them to run into.

But as Smedleyman points out, some people choose the scrum cap, some just tape their ears back with electrical tape and bandages.

Right now the Rugby World Cup is taking place in France, so I'm on a bit of a rugby binge. As psmealey says, it can be a beautifully free-flowing and graceful game, but sometimes it can be like watching trench warfare, full of brutal hits that make you wince just watching them. It's pretty much just like American football, only without the helmets, forward passes and board meetings.
posted by afx237vi at 2:45 PM on September 12, 2007

It's pretty much just like American football, only without the helmets, forward passes and board meetings.

American Football is often described as a sport that combine the two worst attributes of American Culture:

1. Violence
2. Meetings
posted by psmealey at 3:19 PM on September 12, 2007

I've seen the cute "Give Blood Play Rugby" stickers, but holy shit, I had no idea. I'm a pretty scarred up mean looking fucker myself, but some of those guys scared the shit out of me! Ha!
posted by snsranch at 4:30 PM on September 12, 2007

I found series of photos by Nicolai Howalt earlier today, that is similar. It's a series of photos of young boxers before and after their bouts. These are like the younger version of the rugby maulers.
posted by snsranch at 4:41 PM on September 12, 2007

I'm confused. I see no rugby players whatsoever, only a bunch of artistic portraits, many of which are of (apparently) French hotties.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:54 PM on September 12, 2007

Gotta say, though, that I'd have nothing against scrummaging with the one sitting on the antique cabinet in front of that floral wallpaper/mural thing...
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:57 PM on September 12, 2007

I played second row for about 10 years, never wore a scrum cap or taped and have very little cauliflower ear. We used just put tons of Vaseline on our ears and around our eyes - surprising how much that helped things from breaking and/or splitting.
posted by ill3 at 8:38 PM on September 12, 2007

“I'm a pretty scarred up mean looking fucker myself, but some of those guys scared the shit out of me!”

Got into a fight outside of Matoon with some bikers (back before meth drove everyone nuts). Don't remember if they were 1%ers, but we were coming back from a tourney hitting bars along the way (back when you could get away with having more than 3 oz of beer and drive). I don’t really remember how it started, kinda buzzed, we had a cocky hooker though (who doesn’t) and we were the first ones there. Anyway we had three full sides, so it started at about 5 of us to 25 or so of them, and more and more and more of us kept showing up. Police reponse was pretty much a couple squads just waiting for the state troopers making sure there was no gunplay. But the fight kind of just ended on it’s own accord. A lot of bikers like to freak people out, tongue kissing, swapping food from their mouths, etc. etc. So some of us started doing naked beer slides and singing songs and buying pitchers. Pretty soon we had them doing slides, trying to out do us in scrum half bowling, all that. One of their guys was pissing in the parking lot just before we left looking at one of the “It don’t pay to fight with folks that enjoy pain” rugby bumper stickers on my buddys pickup truck, looked at me and said “Ain’t that the truth.”

We all bailed before the state troopers showed and hit some bars together along the way. Watched a couple (not bad looking) biker chicks go at it. Eventually got drunk as a monkey but woke up (mud and all) in some girls’ apartment when I got back to campus (back before the threat of AIDS had terrified everyone). They made me breakfast.
Man, that was a lot of fun.

Yeah...I’m married now.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2007

Smedleyman, that's a great story. Now what's more painful, fightin' bikers or being married?
posted by snsranch at 2:49 PM on September 13, 2007

Btw, that youtube is mostly rugby league, which sucks.
posted by electroboy at 8:29 AM on September 17, 2007

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