American Football vs Rugby

Rugby is hardcore, as is American football. Anyone who honestly thinks that either sport is for sissies is a moron.

The main difference, I think, is akin to the difference between MMA and boxing. Boxers wear gloves and take rests, ergo they’re sissies, right? This is only sensible from the point of view of a moron. The same dynamic from American football is at play in boxing, where the padding (gloves) serve exactly one purpose: to let you hit harder. (Otherwise you’ll break your hand every fight.) And the breaks between rounds serve exactly one purpose: to rest the fighters so they can punch more and harder in the next round.

Anyone who’s watched any MMA know that most matches have fairly long stretches where two guys are basically laying on the ground doing very little. This is legislated out of boxing for a reason, and that is to maximize the action.

These differences are mirrored in the differences between rugby and American football.

Lets see, being tackled by a 350 pound Samoan? Or being hit while wearing sufficient protection to require a pistol to do damage.

Hard Choice.

An gloves for catching in baseball? Seriously are you guys afraid you will get hurt playing sports?

Incidentally, Rugby is a game where you have action throughout the game, mosy NFL players would die of a heart attack if they saw that much continious action. How many seconds of actual play do you have in the NFL in one minute, 15?

I am not denegrating the courage of NFL players, you have to have sufficent physical courage to play such a game, but seriously a game which is so much more physically taxing beside the tackle is something that would be beyond them.

You really have no idea, do you?

First, the protection offered by NFL padding and helmets is nowhere near as comprehensive as you seem to think. What it does is allow very large, very fast athletes to hit each other very, very hard without killing one another. And even then, there are lots of injuries in American football, including head injuries.

Second, how many 350 pound players are there in international rugby? I just looked up the national teams for Samoa, Australia, England, and New Zealand. The biggest player in those four teams was a 138kg (300lb) Samoan. On the other teams, no-one weighs more than 128kg (282lb), and most of the forwards were actually in the 105-115kg (231-253lb) range. These are still big, strong guys, and i wouldn’t like to be hit by one of them, but your 350lb man is made of straw.

Finally, as i pointed out earlier, the two games are very different in the way they are structured, in the types of hits that are allowed an not allowed. Until you understand that, and can address it intelligently, you should probably stop embarrassing yourself.

The continuous intensity of rugby is very different from the NFL, which is precisely why the big guys in rugby are smaller–usually considerably smaller–than the big guys in the NFL. They need to be able to run from ruck to maul to lineout, and maintain an ongoing level of intensity that just isn’t the same in American football. But this is an issue that is completely separate from whether they are tough or courageous or sissies.

That’s why you called them “sissys,” i guess. :rolleyes:

Continuous action has nothing to do with toughness. I thought I made that clear with the boxing/MMA analogy. Perhaps it was too complex?

And to be fair - let’s not pretend that rugby players spend all 80 minutes performing at peak levels, there is a lot of standing around waiting for lineouts/scrums/penalty kicks/etc to happen or the number of players that are actually involved when pick-and-go drive is happening?

This 2007 PDF file estimates the actual “ball in play” time of the RWC 2003 was just 42% - although the pace of the game has increased since then.

(Rugby fan)

Perhaps, but not entirely. Bill Cavubati (Fiji) weighed 360lbs in his appearance against NZ in 2005.

Not to mention the often interminable back-and-forth kicking games that some rugby union sides engage in. You can have entire phases of play with the ball being punted from one 22 line to the other… it’s sometimes an interesting tactical battle for field position, but often it’s the sign of two teams who’ve run out of ideas.

And rugby has changed signifncantly in the last 15-20 years: used to be a much clearer distinction between forwards and backs (the slow, ponderous slabs of lard in the scrum vs the lithe, spring-heeled gazelles on the wings); nowadays both forwards and backs are all-round athletes which has (IMO) changed the way the top-level game is played.

I’ve always thought that if you like union, you should watch (good) amateur matches instead of professional ones. There’s none of the kicking bullshit. There’s still a huge distinction between forwards and backs at the amateur level, with many teams stacking their front row with 22 stone fat bastards. Many referees still allow rucking which improves the game about ten billion per cent. Further, this may be controversial, but many tackles at the amateur level seem a lot more vicious/harder than at the professional level (even if they aren’t).


One guy.

The fact that you can name him, and him alone, makes pretty clear that 350lb players are the dramatic exception in rugby. Not only that, but Cavubati’s main claim to fame as a rugby player is his weight. He’s the heaviest guy ever to run onto an international rugby field. As my look at the four teams in my earlier post shows, even 300lb is really something of an upper limit in international rugby, with the vast majority of forwards weighing in much closer to 240-260.

The current rosters of the 32 NFL teams, by my count, contain 13 guys of 350lb or more, and another 117 players in the 325-350 range. Bill Cavubati, a guy famous in the rugby world for his huge size, would barely make the top 10 in any given year in the NFL.

I don’t think any of this really relates to toughness or difficulty of play; i just wanted to make clear that AK84’s characterization of rugby as a game where you get hit by “350 pound Samoans” is completely disingenuous.

Well, yeah, I agree, which is why I said “perhaps, but not entirely”. Rugby players from both codes typically top out at 22-23 stone. For instance, Iafeta Paleaaesina is probably one of the heaviest currently playing league players, weighing in at 22 stone (310 pounds). Incidentally, he also demonstrates why truly massive players are of limited use in rugby: he’s only on the pitch for ten minutes before he’s subbed off exhausted.

So, do you think people who say dumb stuff like this really believe it, or do they just like to indulge in weird meta-competition wherein they just have to compete, not only within the sport, but about the sports themselves?

I player both rugby and football in highschool, and just rugby in college. Both are pretty brutal…you just hurt in different ways. Getting a football helmet in the ribs is a particularly painful experience. In rugby, you tackle differently, that is if you want to play every week. But I would say they are equally tough to play and you have to expect a lot of pain.

AK84: I’d like you invite you out to a baseball diamond. You stand where the third baseman plays and I’ll hit balls to you. I really want to see you catch them bare-handed. :smiley:

In that video, the number 33 player is attempting to tackle the ball carrier (who laterals the ball to a teammate just before being tackled). This is allowed; what is not allowed is tackling, grabbing, holding, or hugging any player who is not carrying the ball. Of course, in practice, effective blocking quite often involves ‘holding’ to some extent. It’s often said that if football referees were to call holding penalties strictly according to the rulebook, that penalties would be called on every single play. The trick is to grab your opponent enough to impede his progress, but not enough to draw the attention of the referees.

Incidentally, the play linked to may not be the best example to draw from for someone unfamiliar with the sport. It is quite possible the single most bizarre play in the history of American football (it is known colloquially simply as “The Play”). You can read about the controversy surrounding it here, if you’re so inclined.

John Madden, while not discussing Rugby, said this about American Football (I paraphrase)

“If you were to take an average person and put them in the best football equipment and have them play through a single set of downs in the NFL the odds are they would have injuries that would haunt them for the rest of their life.”

From my own experience (which was not with the NFL) I can honestly say that is very, very likely.

Sissies indeed, just because they put on helmets doesn’t make the game safer.

A subject for a different thread.
Any decent club cricketer would be expected to catch them, but equally the only player who takes the ball with regularity in cricket (the wicketkeeper) is allowed to wear gloves.

And of course catching a ball hit in front of the bat is a little easier because you can get a bit of a sighter. If you really want to see catching skills, stand in the slips behind the bat to a decent quickie, or watch somebody like Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor or Bobby Simpson.

You’re lucky no AFL fans have shown up. Make chestbeaters such as AK84 look quite demure.

Meh, tangents, this thread can handle it.

A baseball glove is efficient. A bare-handed third baseman would never make the plays a gloved player can make. I don’t know who these cricketers are but if they tried it against major league hitters, I’m pretty sure they would have broken bones in their hands. I could be wrong, but I’d have to see it.

Personally, I would argue that more equipment makes the game more dangerous. The added weight not only makes hits harder, it also throws off balance. If you know how to fall, you can’t fall the same way when your body balance is different. Personally, I think football players are way too top-heavy with the helmet and pads, which is why they fall down all the time without getting hit.

Heh, I was wondering what would happen if I left the OP without a question or direction. :slight_smile: In theory, without an actual topic, there can be no tangents. :slight_smile:

Are baseballs really moving that much faster than cricket balls? Is the third baseman closer than a fielder at “silly point” in cricket? (Serious questions.)