Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts on the U.S. Rugby Team

First of all, yes, we have one.  Not only that, the U.S. team is playing in the Rugby World Cup right now in New Zealand.  Out of the twenty teams there, the U.S. are ranked 18.  They played their first game today against Ireland.  They lost.  This was not a surprise to anyone, but I want to propose to you that the U.S. rugby team is to be respected and admired.

Most Americans don't know about rugby (I'm not trying to be mean to my fellow countrymen, but it's true), let alone that we have a national team playing in a World Cup competition at the moment.  So think about it -  when the Eagles (that's our team) take to the field, they do it without the support of their country, without those back home rooting for them and cheering them on. 

In contrast, here in South Africa there was a huge sendoff when the Springboks left for New Zealand.  An estimated 65,000 people came to say good-bye to the Boks as they left for the airport.  Every Friday, the nation wears green and gold in support of the team, as well as on every match day.  Even babies are dressed up for game days.

On match days you can watch the game at a multitude of restaurants, pubs, shops - even the grocery stores will have the game on in the electronics section. And when the Springboks take to the field, they know their country is behind them.

But what about the Eagles?  In many ways they play every match "alone."  And that takes a huge amount of courage. 

Would you play as well - give it your all - if no one was behind you?  The same as if 50 million people were cheering you on?  I wonder. 

America, get behind your rugby team! 

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