Rugby versus Soccer

Neither of these sports are very popular in the states but they are of great importance in the culture I grew up in (the UK). The problem is I never fell for football (soccer) in the same way my peers did and because of that I still feel uncomfortable when conversations concern the Saturday afternoon football scores. People used to tell me football was a working class sport but I could only see it was about money. The older I got the more this seemed to be the case.
When I was eleven, because I was tall, someone thought it a good idea to put me in a rugby team. And so began my sporting career of ups and downs. It ended one Sunday afternoon in gloomy drizzle when I played an awful game for the Essex colts. They dropped me and although I kept playing that incident did my self esteem no good. I still watch rugby and I still maintain there is no better feeling than putting your all into a game, being covered in blood and bruises and having nothing left to give. Of course it was good to win but to be honest when we lost I was still smiling inside.
When I watch football on the TV, at the risk of upsetting 98% of UK males, I get bored. I’ve watched older games 30 or 40 years, and they were exciting. But contemporary UK football seems based on drama classes and a disinterested weariness. When I watch rugby I see intelligence, courage and even honour. I think its the only game in which the referee’s word is final and is rarely challenged. I like that.

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