Re: Football is back

1

To what degree are you all conflicted about it?

I am struggling this season. I really do like watching football, but then a guy gets flattened across the middle and does the fencing response and I feel kind of gross.

On the other hand the Tulane thing actually bothers me less than the concussions, because it is so obviously a severe injury that there'll be no question of whether the correct intensity of care will be delivered. Of course, I can't bring myself to watch the video, so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:10 AM
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The Star Tribune had a good series recently on pain and injuries in the NFL: http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikings/166658046.html


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:13 AM
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Another interesting link, specifically about concussion stuff, but also the complexity of football fandom of late.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:29 AM
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Oh, by the way, it turned out the Tulane player has a fractured neck but not a collapsed lung, and that he never stopped breathing (they thought he did so performed CPR as a precaution). He was admitted to the hospital in stable condition (and could move his extremities). So it actually wasn't quite as horrific as it seemed. Although, you know, fractured spine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:35 AM
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A somewhat more detailed article about the Tulane kid.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:48 AM
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I've decided to work through any issues I have with watching football by rooting for Penn State to lose with 50% more enthusiasm than last year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:52 AM
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7

Buck's heart is still broken.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:55 AM
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8

Upon request, I will provide a list of the Big 10 sorted by level of evil so he can pick another team.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:58 AM
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9

I just read an interview with the Rutger's kid about the Tulane kid.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:58 AM
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10

I initially read 9 as referring to the guy who got convicted for bullying and thought "huh, wouldn't have thought to seek him out."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 10:59 AM
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11

Somewhat related: I loved loved loved season 1 of Friday Night Lights, but then I started Season 2, and, WTF. It's as though they decided to stop making FNL and to replace it with a similar show with the same premise and actors, except now nothing anyone does makes an ounce of sense. Is this going to get better, or should I just stop watching now.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:00 AM
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10: Oh god. How horrible would that be? "Suck it, wheels!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:02 AM
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Is this going to get better, or should I just stop watching now.

From everything I've heard it's good enough that if you keep watching you can basically pretend the problematic aspects of season two never happened.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:03 AM
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Oh, ouch, just read the link in 5. On top of the link in 3, I am just going to go ahead and be depressed now.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:04 AM
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The real problem with football is the conspiracy of lefty collectivists to force it on America.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:05 AM
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Definitely worth watching -- the I Know What You Did Last Summer interlude is brief!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:06 AM
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17

Actually, I rather like football.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:22 AM
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18

Stupid UCLA.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:22 AM
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19

I did read an article last year that asserted that there was no statistical increase in suicides and depression among NFL players, compared to adults from the same backgrounds as NFL players. But of course there are way more articles asserting that there is a connection.

But is the difference between the number of articles reporting a correlation and the number of articles reporting no correlation statistically significant?


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:23 AM
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20

Also, why must Faith Hill sing "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night", apparently before every game

I know - I pine for "Don't Stop Believin.'"

Re the OP, I have a low tolerance for football, although I played it in HS and attended almost every home game during college. The injuries have always been part of the game - TR intervened in 1905 to get the colleges to make it safer. But it seems like it's been in an increasingly brutal phase for the last ten years or so. The bigger, stronger, faster athletes may have something to do with that. Overall, I'm good for watching about a quarter of a game per weekend and then I just read the blogs scores.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:30 AM
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It's worth distinguishing between college and pro here. Pro football at least provides a moderate to extreme wealthy lifestyle in exchange for the horrible injury risk, so you can think of it more like being an Alaskan Bush Pilot or something. College Football is just an abomination on every possible level.

Though each year I find myself strangely tempted to root for USC, which is just wrong on so many levels.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:30 AM
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SO MANY LEVELS.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:31 AM
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Three levels. Four if you count the mezzanine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:33 AM
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21, 22: For your sake, I hope LA gets an openly professional team.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:34 AM
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That wealthy lifestyle keeps atheletes playing long after they've wrecked their bodies, and its promise does the same for college and high school players.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:35 AM
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26

USC is just so attractive and blond, they are so shiny, and my real estate investments are tied up in how they do. Yet the school is so objectively awful and I didn't go there and college football is evil. OTOH I intuitively rooted for Zabka in the Karate Kid, what can I say. But I must resist temptation. It's all very confusing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:35 AM
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26: You mean the really cool kid who had his own dojo? /Barney Stinson.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:37 AM
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28

I rooted for Elisabeth Shue to jump up and down more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:38 AM
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And yeah, I think I'm more conflicted about watching college sports* vs. pro sports than I am about the particular sport. Although the NFL has a poor track record on helping former players.

*"Revenue-generating" college sports, mainly.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:38 AM
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I don't watch or care about college football, but you can't watch and enjoy the NFL without being at least a little complicit in the league's running of a sophisticated, volunteer development league lightly disguised as a college athletic program.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:39 AM
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If it wasn't for NCAA football, the NFL and most university communications departments would be screwed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:41 AM
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I don't watch or care about college football either, but that's primarily because UNC's program has been so bad for so long.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:41 AM
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33

You could cheer for Duke football.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:42 AM
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30's definitely true, but at least there's some comfort in knowing that IF the NCAA Cartel were broken up pro football could still continue, and the NFL as a whole would probably be happy to let colleges pay their athletes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:42 AM
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So, what's the head-injury level of worry in women's rugby? Sally is rugby-curious, and there's a conveniently located girls U19 team she wants to sign up for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:43 AM
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35: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10442621


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:59 AM
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So, what's the head-injury level of worry in women's rugby?

From contact on the playing field, not so bad. But once you factor in the drunken accidents and bar fights after the games, you might as well let her play in the NFL.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 11:59 AM
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Hah. I just got an email back from the rugby team, and if she does it, they have one practice a week doing crossfit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:03 PM
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39

Almost no contact sports are sufficiently attuned to the dangers of head injury; you need to find a sport for Sally where all the action stops at the first sign of head trauma, like MMA.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:03 PM
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40

You should worry about head injury while swimming. I used to boink my head on the wall while backstroking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:07 PM
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41

I used to boink my head on the wall while backstroking.

IYKWIM.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:08 PM
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42

So, what's the head-injury level of worry in women's rugby? Sally is rugby-curious, and there's a conveniently located girls U19 team she wants to sign up for.

See if you can steer her towards junior roller derby instead.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:08 PM
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43

It would be sad to get very good at roller derby just to find out that all the hipster chicks moved on to rugby.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:17 PM
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44

She's already very anti-hipster. There was a nasty conversation with Newt over dinner last night: "Look, I'm not calling you a hipster. I'm just saying you're the only person who listens to Skrillex who isn't a hipster."

This is not a fight that I'm even a little equipped to mediate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:21 PM
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Rugby is rough but nowhere near the point at which I'd worry about head injury. Skinned knees build character and a few bruises are a good thing for a kid to experience so they don't turn out soft and weak.

Of course I might think differently if it was actually my kid, but I'd be thrilled if my niece took up rugby. Or my nephew did, for that matter.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:22 PM
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46

Somewhat related: I loved loved loved season 1 of Friday Night Lights, but then I started Season 2, and, WTF. It's as though they decided to stop making FNL and to replace it with a similar show with the same premise and actors, except now nothing anyone does makes an ounce of sense. Is this going to get better, or should I just stop watching now.

Somehow I was thinking Season 3 was the extraordinarily bad season, but from this description, definitely 2. It's the season that was written/aired around the writer's strike, and it's such a mangled mess.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:26 PM
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47

Oh, I used to tape kids back together after rugby games in Samoa (Peace Corps issued tape and disinfectant made me the school nurse, on occasion); I've got a fair sense of the violence level, just not of what the latest thinking was about the risk of severe head injuries.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:27 PM
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48

Bobcats rule, grizzlies drool. Who cares about Sunday football?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:28 PM
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49

I thought Skrillex was more of a bro kind of guy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:35 PM
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50

I kinda like Skrillex /proving your point.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:37 PM
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51

they have one practice a week doing crossfit

Huh. I've actually decided not to do Crossfit; I had a few training sessions with the guy who owns my local gym and while there were things I liked a lot about the workouts I couldn't quite get past the sense that the point of Crossfit, for that gym anyway, was to get better at Crossfit. I could see results in my game fitness, but ultimately it didn't really feel targeted enough for me to want to go on with it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:40 PM
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Also, Halford, when you recommended the folks in the Presidio you neglected to mention that the dude wrote a book entitled "Be/coming a Su/pple Leopard".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:42 PM
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53

That does seem like a material omission or whatever the lawyers say.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:46 PM
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54

Dude I specifically linked here to videos of that guy talking about things like the "pain cave." You had more than enough information on which to make your decision. Also I am a supple leopard you guys.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:48 PM
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54: I had no idea you were doing commercials for Comcast.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 12:51 PM
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56

From the link in 15:

Barack Obama represents progressivism, a doctrine whose many blemishes on American life include universities as football factories, which progressivism helped to create.

Oh snap, George.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 1:37 PM
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56:USIH

Mostly on Veblen, his rant on Academia, and his awkward place in the histories of progressivism, but Bri/an Ingras/sia shows up to discuss to mention earliest college football and its relation to progressives

It could be that his analyses of society were really not all that different, but he was outside of the circle of more self-consciously "progressive" thinkers like Ross. Keep in mind, though, that I am coming at this topic from the perspective of having analyzed such thinkers' writings on college football; Ross and others were *much* more positive about sport's potential benefits for higher education than Veblen was.
...B Ingrassia

Rise of Gridiron University

Of course I think a particularly ugly form of violent elite authoritarianism is not a flaw, but the heart and soul of progressives, be they Wilson or Obama.

(I don't watch football television. Except for Japanese tv, anime and documentaries.)

Back to Cahiers du Cinema)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:06 PM
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The pain cave is a useful concept! That has been a term thrown around in road cycling circles for a long time. Supple leopard, I don't even know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:12 PM
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59

I don't actually understand 'pain cave'. What does it mean that's useful?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:16 PM
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60

Seriously though if you can handle that guy's mild bro-ness he's really an incredibly useful source for info on things like stretching and mobility. Life changing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:17 PM
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59: Not much? Here you go.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:19 PM
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61: My tendons wanted me to go into the pain cave. It appears they were right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:20 PM
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63

I think I watched that the last time you linked that guy, and still didn't understand.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:21 PM
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64

Hm. That seems vaguely different from what I had understood it to mean; I have heard it used in the context of (for instance) a huge climb on a bike, where you sort of turn away from the external world and go to a place where you can focus solely on riding through the pain. But maybe I made that definition up?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:22 PM
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mild bro-ness

"[M]ild"? I fear long-term exposure to CrossFit has damaged your bro-calibration.

He does seem to have some valuable things to say, but at the moment my tolerance for the macho bullshit is particularly low. Sadly the one reliably non-bro-tastic training resource I knew of (Stumptuous) seems to have gone on hiatus and I haven't been able to find any others.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:26 PM
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66

Rugby's pretty ok for head injury stuff I think --- odds are low, and you should be subbing off if concussed. (Mind you the guy I knew who played for the province at age grade had a reasonably nasty knock a bit back and seems to have been hit pretty bad by it.)

Collapsing scrums resulting in broken necks are the worry in terms of neuro-spinal injuries. Very low occurrence but super severe result --- often leaving people paraplegic.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:38 PM
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67

If you are actually really curious I think I can find out far more information about injuries in rugby than you can possibly want --- because all injuries caused playing sport are accidents and therefore covered by the state no-fault accident compensation scheme, ACC has a pretty aggressive eye on rugby.

(http://www.coachingtoolbox.co.nz/rugbysmart/injuries-in-rugby/)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 2:58 PM
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68

If it would be really easy, and if you could find out about women's rugby (which I figure has a less scary injury profile just because the body-masses are lower), I would actually appreciate that. But only if it's almost literally no effort for you. I'm at LizardBreath at unfogged dot com.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 3:09 PM
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69

I'd be more worried about neck injuries than head injuries in rugby, though of course head injuries are common. There are quite a few rules which serve to minimise head injuries compared to American Football, but for some reason the scrum is done, entirely unnecessarily, in a way which seems designed to lead to dangerous collapses.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 3:29 PM
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70

Pwned by 66, pretty much.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 3:31 PM
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71

Could be worse, Sally could get mountaineering curious.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 3:39 PM
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Sally could get mountaineering curious.

Thus starting her down the terrible path toward becoming a physicist.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 3:51 PM
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71: You could have Flippy teach her how to fly!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 3:57 PM
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74

Come to think of it, it did sometimes seem like half the people on mountain club trips were from CERN.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 5:05 PM
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75

Back in the late 19th/early 20th century, when football was more rugby-esque, there were like a dozen deaths a year. I assume rugby rules have changed since then too.

What's so guilt-inducing about being a football fan is that the ultraviolence is definitely part of the pleasure of the sport. Not just the car-crash appeal of watching a spectacular collision, but the complexity of executing an intricate play in the face of extreme violence.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09-10-12 9:02 PM
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The thing that freaked me about the video was the announcer saying "And the whole campus stadium is stunned", which seemed to be missing an important point about metaphor.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 12:30 AM
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77

Rugby League scrums are much less of a big deal in general, and I can't remember the last time I saw a collapse (since 1993). But you can certainly get KO'd, ranging from Brett Hodgson in this year's cup final (who was out cold, but played on and took the Lance Todd trophy to go with the winner's medal, and then immediately retired from the game) to Phil Clarke when he was with Sydney City and was lifted out of the ground by a medevac helicopter...he was out of the game for over a year, and injured his neck again after five matches, when his doctor warned him to quit before ending up as the star of paralympic rugby. The ruling that a serious high tackle is a red card probably helped.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 1:14 AM
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78

all injuries caused playing sport are accidents

Not in my experience of playing rugby they aren't. You wouldn't have thought that floppy-haired gently-brought-up private school boys from Morningside would actually attempt to gnaw through each other's skulls but that's rugby for you.

I'd agree with 69: the lack of helmets and the different style of play means that there tends not to be very much serious head trauma, but neck injuries are a bit of a worry.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 1:47 AM
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77: Yeah, I'm primarily thinking of Union.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 2:10 AM
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You wouldn't have thought that floppy-haired gently-brought-up private school boys from Morningside would actually attempt to gnaw through each other's skulls

Yes I would. I know from British private school products.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 3:05 AM
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Most British people of course know that the private school system breeds savagery.

When the rugby v American football injury rate thing came up before here I looked up a few academic papers on the subject. Rugby has a higher injury rate in general, across quite a wide spectrum of injuries, not just head and neck.

Ironically, in 7 or 8 years of kickboxing classes, I can never remember seeing an injury inflicted by another person worse than a black eye, fat lip, or bruising. Seen a couple of slightly less minor ones in competitions -- cracked ribs, torn ligaments [self-caused rather than intentionally inflicted by another] -- but certainly nothing like the sort of injuries that you'd see in adult rugby matches on a weekly basis.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 4:03 AM
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82

Most British people of course know that the private school system breeds savagery.

Fear will keep the lower orders in line. Fear of having their skulls gnawed through.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 6:58 AM
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83

80: well, obviously I would have thought it, that was my skull. But the average unfogged reader would not, and it is to her that I address my comments.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 7:02 AM
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83. Yes. A friend from Kirkcaldy, who thought he was hard when he was a kid, told me the annual game against I forget which public school was the most terrifying experience of his life. "Fuckin' ANIMALS, man!"


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 7:24 AM
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It's like no one even saw me quote on Fb Hollingdale calling Nietzsche's secondary school "the Rugby of Prussia." Honestly, the fanfiction possibilities alone (Flashman slash? "Steampunk Nazi Supermen are our superiors"?)....


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 7:34 AM
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Fear will keep the lower orders in line. Fear of having their skulls gnawed through.

The hangman holds our society together!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 7:47 AM
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87

Surely warfare is the rugby of Prussia?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 7:48 AM
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I think 75 is sad but true. Especially if you are rooting for a dominant defensive team, which means you are rooting to see people get knocked down violently 50 times a game.

I think I am done with football. It was hard enough to find out two years ago that the answer to the question "Who would root for an animal torturer like Michael Vick?" was "Me." I am not ready to learn that I am the exact same demographic that once watched Christians be fed to lions.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 8:09 AM
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82: it's fear of what the lower orders will do to them if they have the chance.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 8:09 AM
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86 is great and I have put that film on my list.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-11-12 9:11 AM
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