So for the Americans who read this blog, you prob don’t know that the commonwealth games are happening – since America is not apart of the commonwealth (I will not waste any electrons if I have to explain what the commonwealth is… use wikipedia or something you ingrate). But for those of us who weren’t able to throw our tea out of our cots (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Indian, Pakistan, South Africa, Singapore, and a ton of smaller countries) the commonwealth games are almost as important as the Olympics, if you’re into Olympic sports like swimming, field hockey, athletics (for Americans that’s Track n Field), gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, cycling, et al.
From an American perspective (if I daresay I have one) there are some seriously weird sports at the CGs. Probably none worse than lawn bowls, which is nothing like botchy ball. Statistically lawn bowls is the most dangerous sport in the world… because more people die on a bowling green than in any other sport FACT. Lawn bowls is to Ten Pin Bowling, what cricket is to baseball. But Ill get back to American sports later. Lawn bowls is like that crazy sport Curling where you dance around with a broom in front of the “bowl” except there are no brooms and you play it on grass. I’ve actually played lawn bowls a few times. It’s tougher than it looks.
I don’t really care about the CG’s. Why? Well because water polo is not a sport at the CG’s (whereas it is the oldest Olympic team sport). But the CG’s have brought incredible shame upon me and everybody who knows me, and alas I need to confess my crime. My crime is finally supporting an Australian team. Everybody in the commonwealth knows the golden rule – “Support anybody playing against Australia, in anything, at any time!” Unfortunately I broke that rule, and now I cant help myself. You see I love watching the Australian men’s field hockey team. They’re the most skillful and attacking field hockey team I’ve ever seen. That’s my cognitive dissonance right there. Every fibre in my body tells me its inhuman to support Australia. It’s tearing me up inside, I hope the vibes don’t give me cancer… Watching the Indians play the Pakistani’s is also fricking heavenly.
My non-American friends are now asking why I’m saying “field hockey”. Well that’s coz Americans think of ICE-hockey when you say hockey. Just like they think of AMERICAN-football when you say football. The idea of men playing field hockey is prob foreign to most of them, I bet half of them reading this blog don’t even know what field hockey is. Yes America has its own sense of sport. And so lets talk about American sports.
I will openly (much to all the flak and chagrin now gonna come my way) say that I have become a big fan of AMERICAN-football. In the NFL I’m a Greenbay Packers fan & because of Brett Favre I tacitly root for Minnesota Vikings as wel (because Brett Favre is a God). In the college game I like watching Texas, Florida, Oregon, Nebraska, Boise State, Wisconsin & Oklahoma but I hate Arizona, USC, Alabama, & LSU. Don’t waste my time about ASU football, they might have stole my heart in 2007, but the past 2 years have sucked so bad I don’t even bother keeping track.
But lets be real here. American-Football does not compare at all to rugby. Firstly football games take almost 4 hours. That’s why they need cheerleaders and tons of fireworks to keep the spectators interested.
Sure there are way more tactics and plays etc, but for pure athleticism rugby kicks the krap out of football. Firstly we don’t stop playing just because we get tackled, or our knee touches the ground. Secondly we have a lot less padding (no helmets). And lastly we only have 7 subs. That might be tough for most Americans to grasp, so pay attention here – we have 15 guys on the field from each team at a time, with only 7 substitutes. If you get substituted, you don’t come back on. In football you’ve got like 50+ guys on each team, and at most you’re on the field for 3-4 or plays (except the quarterback). As a spectator you spend more time watching replays and commercials than actual play. Yes its weird, but I enjoy watching it – but its not as great as rugby.
I still think its RIDICULOUS that they call themselves world champions when they win the superbowl (in a sport that’s only played by Americans).
ICE-hockey isn’t so bad. At least the Canadians are involved. Its also tough as hell. And I like the fact that the playoffs involve a best of 7 games. Watching a 6’5″ monster prance around on ice skates and still bliksem the living hell out of other people is tough. Give him a knopkerrie to bludgeon his opponents to death and its only tougher. Respect!
Baseball… well say what you want about cricket (trust me I too think it’s a silly sport) but consider this. In baseball you are considered SPECTACULAR if you hit the ball 30% or more…. 30% that’s worse than my Afrikaans grade. That’s a whole lot of just swinging. Most of these guys should’ve been lumberjacks, at least that way they’d actually hit something. Lets also not mention the steroids (which is prob pretty prevalent in football as well, since NOBODY ELSE PLAYS THE GAME EXCEPT AMERICANS). Then lets look at the outfits. Guys in tights throwing balls around a diamond… hmmm sounds oddly. The weirdest thing to me is that the coach/manager wears the same damn outfit and even has a number on his back (prob doesnt know how to spell coach…). Imagine how stupid it would look if a water polo coach wore a speedo and a cap to coach the game from the deck. All those reasons are why baseball sucks compared to cricket. Most Americans cant make heads or tails of cricket, so don’t even begin this argument. Also baseball is considered “America’s favorite past-time”… further proof its not really a sport. I will concede that an average baseball game is more exciting than a 5-day test match. But compared to a one day or a T20 game, baseball doesn’t come close. And again whats with calling it the WORLD-SERIES? There are only maybe 2 or 3 (prob only 1) non American teams. Where does the world come in?
Ah yes the funny world of sport. Believe me there are many ridiculous things I could say about water polo here as well.
FYI I have ALWAYS supported anybody playing against the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix suns, Arizona Coyotes. Even when I lived in Arizona. But my boss & room-mate said it best – there are more teams I like watching lose, than there are teams I support. Well in American that rings pretty true. If I liked watching men in tights I prob have a different perspective.
More importantly this weekend the Western Province rugby team hosts the Free State Cheetahs in the semi-final of the Currie Cup. Beat that for quality competition! Newlands is the place to be.