Friday, July 30, 2010

Rugby, why not, after Turkish oil wrestling


Rugby is the most manly of sports. Shorts, t-shirt, and shoes are all the protection they wear.

"If you don't go in hard, it's not a tackle, it's an insult."

There isn't much grace oar style to the game. It's largely stomp . . .

and grab . . .

and tackle . . .

"Thought ya was home free, didn't ya. Well, think again, ya ding-bat!"

and crunch.

Sometimes deception is graceful


and escape is grand.

Sometimes there is the rare chance to run unimpeded

and the experience seems filled with terror and joy.

There are these odd towers that happen from time to time during the game

and they look like manly fun.

This will give you an idea how the tower are formed.

I will not even begin to describe the mysteries of the "scrum", which happens at odd moments during the game, and which never seems to satisfy the referee, who requires them to be built over and over.

And finally, there is, sometimes, friend and foe at your feet, the perfect satisfaction of victory.


Rugby is related Red Rover Red Rover, which we would play as children.


Which one were you?


Fifty years ago, every filling station, mechanic's shop, lumber yard, cotton gin -- every establishment where women weren't expected to go, had calendars showing the Vargas Girls . . .

or perhaps Betty Garble or Lana Turner.

There have been changes in the last half-century. Naturally you would expect me to applaud the changes, but you can't reasonably expect all Ruggers in France, Australia, and even Vancouver to share my interests, and a quick glance at google shows that at least those places have calendars like the French ones below.

These come from a calendar done up by French national rugby champions.

So, where are these calendars displayed? Rugby, unlike any other sport save cricket, is split between working-class men and those from the playing-fields of Eaton. In England, rugby associations are centered around the minds and factories of Manchester, presumably supported by working men and women.

Curiously, we don't know French persons anymore. If you do, help me out: where are these calendars hung?

Here's where rugby is played today:

And here is where is all started:

The history of rugby football is much to complicated for such as I. If you want to try to short it out, a place to start is here. I like it that there is such a concentration around Manchester, because my favorite football club is there.


As the blog, OutSport, puts it,

Why won't NFL players do a calendar like French rugby players?

Can't Chris Simms fondle Trent Green's nipple in a bubble bath as well as these two?

Why couldn't Vinny Testaverde ever comfort Chad Pennington in their birthday suits?

How many would pay to see Chad Johnson rubbing his inner thigh against the butt of Javon Walker?

Why are French men so much more comfortable touching other men, gently, in the nude, than we are?

Well, maybe some day.


Lest you think only Frenchmen are odd, here are some other rugby players from


Meanwhile, here are the Cowboys, beloved by all sentient beings, in practice uniform, for comparison.

This is about as intimate as North American footballers get in public . . .

Our firefighters have calendars showing lots of skin but little touching . . .

and our Marines have calendars that sell to benefit wounded vets . . .

Australian Rules Football doesn't count: it is not played by human beings. More on that later.

North American footballers prudery is a puzzle. Anybody propose a solution?

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