Friday, 4 February 2011

Oddly-shaped balls

I have a confession to make. I my younger years I spent some time as a hooker.

That dragged you in, didn't it? But how else could I get you to read a post about the noble sport of rugby?

Observe a typical rugby team. Look out for the short, stumpy one with mis-shapen ears and a broken nose. Ok, the shorter, stumpier one. That'll be the hooker. Ironic, isn't it? He's the chap who is right at the centre of the scrum, trying to hook the ball backwards with his foot while his opposite number systematically rearranges his facial features.

That was me, aged 11 to about 16. It explains a lot.

Most of all, it explains why, as a decidedly non-sporty bloke, I am fascinated by rugby. It's pretty much the only sport where I would sit down and watch a match as a neutral. Football (ok, "soccer" for you lot over there) leaves me a little cold. Cricket has rules complex enough to make your typical Hadron Collider look as simple as a matchbox in comparison. Athletics is just a whole range of wrong.

But rugby is something I can get down with. I can watch it and understand the strategies. I can tell when the referee is being an idiot, instead of speculating upon his idiocy as we all do when watching football. And my national team has actually won a World Cup in the last decade.

Orcs on steroids. You've got to love it.

So that is why I'm going to switch off this computer in a few minutes.  The Six Nations campaign is about to begin. I shall be settling down on the sofa as 40" of HD wonderment expands in front of me.

I have a surfeit of beer and spicy food to hand. This is as sporty as I get.

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