Wednesday, October 5

The Red Sox fall from grace

I feel sorry for the Red Sox. Their catastrophic crash and burn is now infamously logged in baseball history forever. The Red Sox fan’s echoing cries were heard round the world, literally. It even made the local news in Botswana. Outside the U.S., the Red Sox now bear the brunt of many embarrassing jokes.
This is not the first time however, that an American sports team has miserably lost and exposed themselves to worldwide embarrassment. In fact, at this very moment, sports fans spanning the globe are avidly following the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The World Cup is the culminating competition for the top 20 qualifying rugby teams. It is the largest international sporting event after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup with an estimated 4.2 billion television viewers (baseball’s 2010 World Series averaged 70 million viewers). The USA rugby team, (known as the Eagles) took a beating, with a notable loss to Australia 67 – 5. The Eagles collapse was scrutinized by rugby fans on every continent but Antarctica.
What is more important, and more embarrassing, is that most Americans had no idea that the one, two combination punch of the American rugby team loss and the American public captivation with the Red Sox calamity made the U.S. look like a bunch of boobs to the rest of the planet.  
Consider that the 2011 baseball ‘World’ Series will be played in the domestic, contiguous U.S. by American teams, while the Rugby ‘World’ Cup is played in different countries around the world by teams representing over 80 nations. International media coverage of the Red Sox included their recent demise as well as their two previous World Series titles, which were only played by American teams in their American world. Media coverage in the U.S. of the Rugby World Cup and the U.S. rugby team’s performance (or lack thereof) was scant.
Also consider that the aggressive sport of rugby makes football look like child’s play. A highly athletic game, rugby requires the endurance and agility of a soccer player and the power and coordination of a football player. With absolutely no pads, the rugby players accept and deliver pain like a boxer. I went to a rugby match and the players were gargantuan. They ran around the field kicking and throwing the ball for 90 minutes (with one ten minute break) and blood was spurting out of their noses, mouths, elbows and knees. The match was positively gruesome and incredibly impressive. For international rugby fans, the recent U.S. rugby team loss was yet another example of why Americans should stick to football (and their pads).
One can hardly blame the U.S. rugby team for any negative press. It’s not as if they had a huge crowd of fans cheering them on. Can the Red Sox be reasonably faulted for causing international embarrassment? The Red Sox aren’t the only team that has suffered significant loss this season, they’re just one of the most well know teams outside the U.S. Foreign media reports on events in the U.S. such as the Red Sox and U.S. rugby team because there is public interest. Apparently there isn’t enough public interest in the U.S. to warrant media coverage of American athletes attending international sporting events.
The U.S. could have aggressively supported the team effectively using the Rugby World Cup as an international political tool. It wouldn’t be the first time a sporting event has been used to broker a political relationship. Instead American athletes are left to wander international playing fields alone. It should come as no surprise to anyone when the U.S. looks like a bunch of boobs.

Catcher: Carlton Fisk The major league leader in games caught with 2,226 has since made amends with the Sox, but his departure in 1981 was as bitter as they come. GM Haywood Sullivan may not have been interested in keeping Fisk long term and famously neglected to file some paperwork, making the Hall of Famer a free agent. Fisk signed with the White Sox, for whom he played 13 more seasons.

1 comment:

  1. Please research the up-and-coming nature of Rugby in the US.

    Internationally, Rugby teams have players that are full time professional athletes. In the US, even at the professional levels, many players maintain full time jobs and play rugby as a passion and calling, with the belief every second of every practice that rugby is the greatest sport in the world. Your description was quite accurate; however, describing rugby as an intense combination of football and soccer. But some things you may not know about the grassroots expansion of rugby right here in your backyard. Recently, FGCU and Estero High School started rugby clubs. The Naples Bears is an extremely successful club at the high school level, and the Naples Hammerheads is the men's club that is expanding and has gained much success in recent years. In addition, there are women's clubs in South Florida and abroad. Also, more and more youth clubs continue to gain membership and popularity in the US, bearing in mind that internationally, kids are playing rugby and learning the fundamentals before they can tie their own boots (rugby lingo for cleats). While I appreciate your point of view, I must respectfully disagree with your perspective. If you'll kindly put it in your datebook to review your article during the next 2 Rugby World Cup tournaments, my estimation is that you will find your prediction proven otherwise. And the Eagles are anything but boobs. They are fathers, brothers, sons and husbands that go to battle to represent our country in international competition. Oh yeah, and those "boobs" beat Russia in this World Cup. Where is your nostalgic post Cold War patriotism?

    See Also: