Rugby often has to play second fiddle to other sports, be it roundball or, in Australia, even rugby league. Yes you read that correctly: ‘rugby league’.
No more is this the case than in America, where rugby comes lower down the pecking order than legalised brawls on ice with sticks, an ever-so-slightly manlier version of rounders, cage-fighting and tall people putting a ball through a hoop.
And don’t get us started on American football. Any sport where its annual showpiece event gets more press coverage about the halftime TV advert (or ‘spot’ as it’s called across the pond) than the action on the pitch is no good in TTT’s eye. Superbowl XLVIII (the terribly well-to-do executives of the NFL still speak Latin) featured Budweiser spending an exorbitant amount of money on a ‘spot’ and halftime entertainment from Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers but we’re buggered if we know which teams played – and incidentally more people tuned in for the half-time show (115.3mil) than they did the actual game (111.5mil).
And what’s with the guys who weigh 25stone and stand stationary all game … or the guy who literally just comes on to kick the ball?!
RugbyNation is trying to change all that, with the aim of ‘growing the sport in the US to the highest levels of competition in the world’. A social network for fans, by fans, the site promotes all levels of the game in the US from High School through to the RWC and potential Olympians in 2016. Things won’t change overnight of course but rugby is now one of the fastest growing sports in the US and the signing of Eagles players like Carlin Isles to Glasgow and Blaine Scully to the Tigers shows the progress that’s being made.
You can get behind RugbyNation by buying one of their limited edition t-shirts here. They’ll ship worldwide but hurry, the tees are available for a short-time only.