What The Duece Are We Watching?

Matt ManleyContributor IJuly 18, 2009

Football is months away, basketball has ended. We are in a sporting no-mans land we call Summer.

Sure baseball is in full swing, but who cares? I stopped caring about baseball when I was 12 years old. Don't get me wrong, I respect the game, I just don't care who wins or loses. Well, I still hate the Yankees, but that is besides the point.

How has it come to this sad state of affairs where we care about dudes pedalling through the Alps in tights? Seriously, has it fallen to watching the Lance Armstrong comeback tour for excitement? Admit it, you are waiting for them to crash, be honest.

Here is my personal problem with all this non-sense: there is a sport out there that could actually fulfill all of America's sporting needs and yet only a handful of us know what it is. I speak of course about rugby.

We hear stories about rugby from those who think they know the game. Horror stories of crazy drunkenness and random acts of lewd behavior. It is sad that was an ugly side to the sport, but it doesn't have a place in the current game of rugby. The sport has grown up and away from such activities.

At any rate, does that stop us from abandoning other sports because of a few players horrible off-field behavior? Professional and college athletes are constantly, I don't know, killing people! Do we stop watching football or basketball because of their behavior? No. With rugby though, people collectively pass, saying: "I heard it has too much baggage."

The problem is that American sporting fan doesn't know about on-field side of rugby because they haven't seen it played well. If they have seen the game, it a sophomoric effort at best. People like to watch athletes that know what they are doing and look good doing it. 

This is where television can actually help to educate people about the sport. If you show the game played correctly with helpful and educated announcers we give the new fans a useful informational to base their opinions of rugby. We just need to give the American sports fan more chances to figure it all out.

The summer time is the ideal season to create a North American rugby competition and put it on television. Think of how grateful the American public would be if they had a real sport to watch during the Summer months.They might not jump up and thank you all at once, but given time, many will.

No other sport on this planet would be a better fit for the American sports fan than rugby. It blends all the things that attract us to football and basketball. It literally is the forefather of both sports and yet we have disconnected from it like an estranged relative.

Rugby isn't American sport's weird second-cousin, it is the father that we had a falling out with. Don't blame yourself or rugby for losing touch, these things happen to good people. It is simply time to reconnect: father and fan.