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(YouTube)   Cliff Morgan, the legendary Welsh rugby player and commentator dies aged 83 - footage of him playing is tricky to find so here he is commentating on the (generally accepted) greatest try ever scored   (youtube.com) divider line 4
    More: Sad, Cliff Morgan, color commentator  
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1007 clicks; posted to Sports » on 29 Aug 2013 at 8:09 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-30 01:33:11 AM  
2 votes:
NFL (USA) and Rugby (Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa - i'm gonna call these commonwealth nations even though that isn't correct) are broad reflections of the differences between the mentalities of those countries.

NFL is about specialization and precision. Whole different teams to perform different roles. People in different positions do one thing and one thing only. The breaks in play mean no second is wasted and each second is played at full pace. Only a few players on each team have the capacity to pull off a golden scoring play. The game is played at a level of precision that ensures that the better team on paper will usually win and luck is not so much of a factor.

Rugby is about versatility and attrition. Players must be able to defend and attack and be able to change roles in a millisecond. There are fewer stoppages and players must get to every breakdown to retain possession. Players have broadly defined roles, but are regularly called out to do things outside their normal position.  Each player has the capacity to pull a scoring play out of nowhere. Grit and determination become factors late in the game when both teams are tiring and the game slows down.


You can see these differences in these countries' societies also. USA military stresses specialization, while the Commonwealth nations favour all-rounders. American businesses are biased towards vertical management structures, while the Commonwealth ones tend towards horizontal and non-hierarchical structures. NASCAR is about speed and nothing else, F1 sacrifices top speed for nuance.

I can see the appeal of NFL, but I can't get over the extreme specialisation and the stop-startiness of the the play (There is only 11 minutes of actual play in an average NFL game  -source: 2010 WSJ article "11 Minutes of Action"). True, you don't see Olympic-quality sprinters or 350lb behemoths in Rugby, but those players would be incapable of running and wrestling for almost 40 minutes straight anyway. The games are different and require different physical traits.
2013-08-30 01:38:50 AM  
1 votes:

INeedAName: PluckYew: INeedAName: My real issue with this is that the last run of the play was sheer luck. The guy who laterals was throwing it someone else when a teammate comes in takes it down the field. It's a fun play, to be sure, but no one knew wtf was going on.

no, it was conditioning. Before the end of that play, any NFL'er would be hunched over sucking wind asking when is the huddle?

Im going to assume you've never played a sport before. Id rather run a 2:00 800m than have to do 20 40m sprints.

Football is all 40m dashes over, and over, and over. Unless you're lucky enough to be an O or D lineman, then you get to spend every play trying to push 360 very angry pounds around the football field

I have no question that soccer and rugby players are fantastic athletes, but only an ignorant fan would think you're comparing the same sort of physical exertion.


I think the crux of your case is "only an ignorant fan would think you're comparing the same sort of physical exertion." Is that an admission on your part? Because I decided not to be an ignorant fan (well, I'm a player not a fan. But still no desire to be ignorant). According to what I can find, the average NFL game involves 11 minutes with the ball in play. I suspect this may be a little lower than it is in a rugby game. NFL players run about 1.25 miles per game. No, not on average, that is how far a wide receiver runs. (http://gizmodo.com/5992583/how-far-do-you-run-in-different-sports )

By contrast 2.8 miles is how far a rugby Prop runs (the fat slow players) while the scrum half will run 4.2 miles. Sure you might say, this doesn't quite contradict your idea that rugby is a slow run (even if more than an 800). But 19 miles an hour is not a bad speed and the backs are running about .4 of a mile at that speed (and some players are getting well above that speed) with about 1.6 miles at about 12 mph (http://www.rfu.com/takingpart/fitness/rugbydemands/distancesandspeed ru ns)

Rugby also fails to make a clear distinction between a lineman and a running back, so, when the play calls for it the prop has to break from the scrum and run support for the outside centre or the flanker has to get out from under the ruck and chase the ball to the wing. Or the winger has to keep his legs pumping in contact until the pack slams into his back and pushes the maul forward.

I am not using this to say that rugby is the better sport, nor that rugby players are better athletes. Those pissing competitions are pointless but I will conclude by saying that you seem like the ignorant fan, incapable of seeing past his own prejudice about his favourite sport and trying to understand a different sport by resorting to generic oversimplifications and misunderstood ideas. I know you were responding to a similar oversimplification "any NFL'er would be hunched over sucking wind asking when is the huddle? " And while that is a blatant exaggeration, you would have to admit that many (most?) NFL players are not conditioned to play a continuous flowing form of football. This is not a criticism, the game does not demand that of all its players. Whereas the game of rugby needs players to be in motion for most of the game, moving from a slow jog into a sprint as the play requires it (well, at the higher grades, the average lower grade prop is quite happy to walk to the next scrum and only join in a ruck if it appears in front of him).

/as an aside, I play with the son of Grant Batty (the NZ 11 in that game).
//as another aside, there seems to be a lack of appreciation that this game took place in 1973
///NFL & rugby have both changed since '73
2013-08-29 09:03:47 AM  
1 votes:

MugzyBrown: And you can see something greatly more athletic and exciting 10 times (at least) in every NFL season.

White guys running slowly... fascinating.


This was an amateur game in 1973.  No play books here.  Also, I doubt there has ever been an NFL play where the ball was in play for a minute and half and went through the hands of almost every player on the pitch.

...and the point is not whether anyone likes rugby or not but that a legend in the sport (29 caps for Wales, captain of a Lions tour and respected journalist) has died.
2013-08-29 08:27:42 AM  
1 votes:

Yes please: But that was league, not union, so it hardly counts as rugby at all.


What are you talking about? That was the barbarians, it was very definitely union
 
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