Soccer vs. Rugby

I like soccer, and I don’t know much about rugby, but this is a funny video.

The slow-motion drama queen falls, the poor-me childlike appeals to mommy—I mean the referee—it all starts to make you wonder. If soccer players are so tough (which I don’t dispute), why do they come off like such babies?

It occurs to me that soccer happens much closer to the “edge”. The dividing line between sporting and unsporting play is very narrow. Good play means you’re almost always on the verge of a dangerous foul. The action is around your feet, so you’re more likely to be tripped than in rugby or American football. Tripping has a particularly cruel look to it. Since the resulting penalties are often severe and game-changing, the temptation to put on a show for the referee is irresistible. Soccer is a dance at the edge of a plateau. Rugby is much closer to the ground.

The video closes with the words “Forget about soccer. Leave them to cry.” You can bet that they don’t do the haka before any soccer matches.

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