Saturday, May 12, 2007

The age-old argument

The rugby vs hockey argument has always made my blood boil. Well, not so much the argument itself, I'm all for healthy rivalry, but rather the narrow-minded point of view (in some communities) that hockey is a wussie sport, moff-stock. Why? For the simple reason that it's not rugby.
Mockery in jest is good - rugby guys mock hockey guys and vice versa, it's the same with hockey girls (lesbians, of course) and netball girls. Don't even get me started on that sport... "ooh, look at me! I caught the ball with both my hands! How skilled I am. Now I'm not allowed to move my feet, so that cuts down on the coordination and allows me to focus on where I'm going to pass this over-sized ball..." Okay, you got me started. No offense to anyone who play(ed) netball, but you're still a bunch of fairies.

Back to rugby/hockey.

Listening to some of the Super14 commentary this weekend resurfaced the issue for me. I play hockey and am more hockey-biased, but I like rugby and my friends who play rugby. I enjoy watching a good game and I can appreciate the skill involved in trying to read the bounce of a egg-shaped ball while 15 men from the opposing side wait to pounce you from every angle.

But surely I'm not the only one who finds the overt sexuality amusing?

"Hougard goes in low and hard..." [His teammates like enthusiasm.]
"Adams whips it out to Botha..." [Naughty - he'd get arrested outside a primary school.]
Referee warning player: "You must release him, then play the ball." [Or at least have a safeword that you've both agreed upon before the time]
"Crouch... Touch... Pause... Engage!" [Who says rugby players aren't romantic?]

On screen, Habana makes a dash for the line but gets thrown to the ground - in the tumbling process, his attacker manages to wedge his head between Habana's thighs. I've watched a lot of moff-stock and not once have any of the men ended with someone's face snuggled in another's crotch for any amount of time.

Not to mention the scrums, where hands go up and in areas that I'm pretty sure most hockey guys would jealously protect during a match - especially if it was a team mate doing the grabbing.

I also feel the need to whisper, in as hushed typing as I can muster... Kamp Staaldraad. Oh dear.

So please tell me, how can an avid rugger-bugger honestly argue that hockey is more gay than rugby? From a number of SAUs, I can attest to the fact that most male hockey players are definitely not same-sex inclined. I cannot say the same about female hockey players... there's smoke and most definitely fire in that case. Eye-opening education when on provincial tour at the tender age of 15.

Rugby is a manly game, no doubt about that. Certainly less drama-queenish than football, where a player tripping over his own shoelace results in him clutching his shins and wailing loudly for the next 3 minutes. In rugby, when a man stays down it means he's unconscious. And guys bleed and stuff. You don't get much more macho than that.

What I would love to know is this: just how many of our national rugger-buggers are same-sex inclined? Cos I think they're having a ball on the pitch. Literally.


Boomkind said...

Hey there Kookie
I played rugby till Tech where I found a different attitude to the sport and as I was not ready to die I looked for another sport to play and tried hockey. I wish I had played it at school now as it is a very good sport and social too. I think it boils down to watchability. I love rugby and can watch almost any level of it but I would be flicking back and forth from the cooking chanel if I watched hockey on TV.

Koekie said...

I think hockey is much more social at an adult club level, mostly because it supports both men and women teams (not saying that rugby clubs aren't social!).

As to the watchability... I tend to lose interest in rugby, but then that boils down to the fact that I just don't understand it. Try as he might, Mills cannot get me to comprehend the hands-off rule in a ruck or when it's a foul to tackle from the side.

Gimme the stick skills of a top class mens hockey game any day!

Catalyst said...

Come on, I was a great supporter of the Ballerinas (think the Blou job threatened to bop me one, cos I was so annoyingly loud!).

Girls hockey is a wonderful spectator sport! Seriously 22 athletic lasses running around and bending over in short skirts - what's not to love?!

But watching the Bulls win, or the Sharks for that matter (lucky guppies), was lots of fun! Beer, insults, questioning the ref's eyesight, his sexual orientation, his daughter's descent into harlotry and his wife's habit of shagging anything with a penis... Good times.

I don't know all the rules either, but as long as your objection is inarticulately loud and gutteral, no one cares... Besides Koeks, have you never in your many days as a sweeper, just wanted to throw your stick down and tackle some silly wench so hard that her malformed children would bear witness?

Peaches said...

Dont think Koeks has ever wanted to have a trow down on the hockey pitch but the Blou Job def. has.

Scaaaaary. She was def after your blood Catalyst. Think she might have batted for both sides to reckon you could have placated her rage with a quick smooch behind the goal posts.

As for rugby. The best bit about it is the hurling of abuse at the TV and drinking and the hot men (sometimes, think De Villiers and Skinstad) bending over in tight shorts.

About the men slappiong each other on the backside and picking each other up to catch the ball by the crotch. Unhandsome and certainly dubious.

Have never walked up to one of the Ballerinas after someone scored a goal and grabbed her noombie or slapped her backside!

Did jump on Stace once, but thats because I felt like a football hero for scoring my fiorst goal EVER....

Byt lets not get started on the footie drama queens

Heddles said...

The only things that make rugby worth watching (besides the Sharks absolutely caning it last Saturday), are Hugh Bladen's commentry ("This is the kind of kick that will test a man") and Steve Hofmeyer's opening number for the Bulls' game "Ooooo, Liefling!"

Koeks you are now FAMOUS on my blog. You like that

Koekie said...

Another commentary favourite from Joel Stransky... "it's a coop-dah-grayce!"

Um, you mean coup de grĂ¢ce, right Joel?

Love it.