The Rugby world cup - do the Americans know?

If you didn’t know, the Rugby world cuplink started this weekend, and I was surprised to find that America is participating, but do the Americans know that this event is on? Do that ones that do know care? Is it bigger or smaller than football (soccer)?
I’m just curious on how much media attention it’s getting on the other side of the pond.

I haven’t heard anything about it beyond casual references, I didn’t know we were in it. American football’s much bigger than rugby. Soccer? I don’t know, I’d guess it’s bigger than rugby, but not as big a deal as football.

I was at the France vs Fiji match at Brisbane’s Lang Park on Saturday - just 2 nights ago. It’s a really magnificent stadium these days and I took some great shots. Give me a few hours and I’ll put some photos up on my webserver for you all to see.

France was very strong. Very professional and disciplined. As they say… you don’t win football games, you lose them - and Fiji proved that old chestnut big time.

They got to within 6 points of France shortly after half-time, and then proceeded to let in another 36 points to France. Talk about self destructing.

I’m aware that it’s happening, and I’m aware that we’re in it, but, unfortunately, rugby gets ZERO coverage over here. I haven’t seen a single mention of it on the news at all.

It’s really a shame, because rugby is one of those sports that is played at virtually EVERY college in the country at a recreational/club level, but gets no press. I think most Americans would LOVE rugby, as it’s a very football-type game, but we don’t get any exposure to it at all.

Go Eagles!

Hmm…I don’t think I CAPITALIZED enough WORDS in that last POST!

I’m peripherally aware of it but didn’t know that we were in it. Bad timing though what with both the Red Sox and the Cubbies fighting for spots in the World Series of baseball. One of whom hasn’t won it since before my 89 year old grandmother was born and the other since she was a little girl. Plus we’ve got both College Am. Football and the pros playing. And the whole Kobe rape thing. We’ve just got so much going on sports wise I’d doubt it would get any decent placing in the news (TV, print or internet) short of us winning it. ESPN only has 2 reuters article about it.

Soccer is much bigger the Rugby. I imagine a fair portion of Americans know that we were in the World Cup or soccer last time. Although I doubt very many know that we lost the Woman’s World Cup. If I were to rate sports for awareness then Baseball, Basketball and Football would be in the high 90s. College b-ball and football a little behind. Hockey a little ways behind that. Soccer would be in the 30s or 40s along with college baseball. And Rugby would be way down in the low single digits. Look where they put it atESPN although Sports Illustrated actually gives does quite a lot with it. That’s surprising. See here and here.

You Americans should give Rugby and football a chance (the rest of the world likes them :slight_smile: ), they are both exciting and enjoyable games. Rugby is like American Football, but without all the protection, and much more physical. I used to watch American Football on channel 5, but I could never work out the point of all those timeouts, hut huts, referees and whatnot. :slight_smile:

Well, rugby is certainly not “more physical” than American football…and I say this as a fan of both. That said, I agree, it’s a shame that we don’t get more exposure to rugby, outside of colleges. It’s a great sport that I think americans would love.

As for soccer, I’d direct your attention to the recent thread on the matter, and say that you’re wrong in saying americans don’t appreciate the sport. It’s far and away the most popular participation sport among youth today.

Yes, I don’t know a great deal about American football, but in a recent thread, I had a bit of ignorance removed: I will no longer say American football is for pussies - those pads are needed. Tougher than Rugby? Probably not, but not a whole lot softer either; you can get equally nasty injuries in either game, but they are inflicted in creatively different ways. High impact injuries for the 'mericans, and crush injuries for the Rugby players.

Anyone for tennis? :smiley:

Yes I do know about it. Am I watching it? No.

Damn you Fox Sports World!!! :mad:

Uh, Blackeyes, the US-Fiji game airs on Sunday the 18th. Set your VCR accordingly.

Yes, it’s tape delayed.

Hey, I didn’t know the US had a national rugby team, much less that we’d qualified for an international competition, and I watch FSW all the time.

The World Cup looks like being great, apart from New Zealand winning that is. Last night I watched the Scotland - Japan match. Scotland were 100/1 on favourites and Japan turned in one of the greatest performances I have ever seen from such an outclassed side. They had chances to lead up until the last 10 minutes and Scotland’s final score was inflated by a terrible decision to award the last try. Japan’s defence was fantastic and I loved the convoluted lineout shuffles they used to offset their lack of height.

I humbly submit that they DO NOT.

I love rugby and the only reason I know about it is my brother calls from London every day to let me know what’s going on.

During the last rugby world cup (which the US was also in) I sent a note to a sports-mad friend saying that a US national team was playing in a World Cup competition. I challenged him to search the sports sites and tell me what the sport was, he couldn’t find any info at all.

I had not an idea that we were in it. I am aware of rugby otherwise, however, and do like to watch it when it’s on.

I’d say that rugby and American football are vastly different even only with the lack of forward passing.

Quite right, Joe K. One of the most marketable features of football is the amazing catches, especially while being clobbered. (That is what NFL Films hung its hat on for a long time.)

I think the main difference between the two big American sports (football, baseball) and the two big world sports (soccer, rugby) is strategy. There is vastly more complex strategy going on in the American big two. (My theory is that this is part of the reason hockey is in such dire straights.)

I’d be willing to make the case that there are more complex tactics as well, but I don’t think the difference is as clear-cut.

We just loooooove strategy. Especially if it can be quantified into statistics.

Are there any US satellite channels showing it?

If you can’t get it, you’re missing out on something absolutely fantastic. I think it’s a crying shame.

There’s too much great sport on right now to bother with rugby. This happens to be the “prefect” time of the year: October. We have:

  • MLB playoffs
  • NFL in full force (so good)
  • NHL regular season just started (Go Rangers! :frowning: )
  • NBA preseason just started
  • NCAA Football (NFL without the defense)

This is the only time of the year when all of the “big four” are active. There just isn’t enough room for any others.

On a side note, I doubt if many actual sports fans were unaware of the women’s cup. It was on the cover of SI, and was mentioned on every sportscenter last week. One or the other will pretty much reach every sports fan in the US.

The way I see it is that international competition trumps domestic. But that’s just IMO.

It probably would if there were World Cups in our sports. Olympic Hockey, for example, trumps the NHL. (The NHL actually alters the season to accomodate the Olympics.)

Does anybody know if the US has a professional rugby league? Or is the US team college kids?

jjimm, if an NFL-Europe team from your area traveled over here to play, say, the 49ers, would that trump an <insert your favorite footie team name> match? It’s pretty much the same deal.