Rugby For Dummies

This article originally appeared in the UCC Express as one of my late-night ‘oh shit, is that the time?!’ editorials.

You know those moments when you see something that makes you so embarrassed you want to immediately climb into the shower and cleanse the feeling from every pore of your being? They’re a strange occurrence, as usually the embarrassment is felt on behalf of somebody else and it’s an odd sensation to try to explain. Well I had one of these unbearable cringe-fests just a couple of days ago while browsing through my e-mail inbox. I came upon a link for a course being offered by this very college, not just any course you understand, but a sports course – so naturally I was intrigued to find out more. Looking back, I wish I had read no further.

The course is titled ‘Rugby for the Un-initiated’. It costs 160 Euro and spans what I imagine must be 6 weeks of awe-inspiring ‘spoofing’ by the people in charge. The course covers various aspects of the sport including ‘Rugby from a Coach’s perspective’, ‘Rules of the Game’ and of course it wouldn’t be complete without the chance to test your new knowledge at an actual game, ‘The Field Trip’ is the conclusion of this abomination unto sport. Questions must be asked and heads must roll. I shall be seeking the resignations of whoever devised this poorly disguised attempt to profit from the unthinkably self-conscious and deluded members of our society. I jest of course, but you get my point.

The first line of the course description is comedy cold. ‘Everything you wanted to know about rugby but were afraid to ask’, it reads. Are there really people out there who would rather pay 160 quid and sit through a six-week course to save the ‘embarrassment’ of just asking a friend? Jesus wept! There are other lines of similarly inspired comedy, for example, ‘Next time you are out with your rugby friends surprise them with your expertise!’ I can picture the scene…

“Hey lads, I know I didn’t know a line-out from a ruck a few weeks ago but it suddenly occurred to me that while Stringer is very solid at the base of the scrum, O’ Leary offers more attacking flair and mobility.”

“Jeez Paul that’s a good point, you’ve really gone up in my estimation. I can’t believe I ever thought you were an annoying waster, wanna come to this cool house-party I’m throwing later?”

There’s no shame in not knowing as much as your friends about a sport. The way to learn is to watch the game more and ask them about things you’re unsure of or read a book on the subject. What you most definitely should not do is pay 160 Euro to learn about it in a lecture hall. This may seem like stating the obvious but the very fact that this course exists suggests that people out there are interested in it. If you still don’t know what to do with that extra cash you now have lying around, I plan to get a small group of people together in a pub in the city every week and, for a nominal fee, I’ll run you through the finer points of whatever sport is on the TV. Classes, I mean ‘get-togethers’, will start at around 7 and you should bring a pen and paper as well as money to cover your round. For more information get in touch at the usual address.

See you soon my new students friends.



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