Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

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der nister
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby der nister » 27 Jul 2012, 17:07

sloopjohnc wrote:
TopCat G wrote:btw. you're not a real sports fan because you don't get football. :twisted:


I guess you figured you couldn't be subtle writing to an American.

I think soccer players should just get over it and wear dresses.

Their fans too!


excellent :lol:
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby The Prof » 27 Jul 2012, 17:13

How would a Rugby team fare against an American football team, I wonder?

No padding allowed.

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 17:15

The Prof wrote:How would a Rugby team fare against an American football team, I wonder?

No padding allowed.


Playing what?
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
But every narrow miracle, takes place on Earth
Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
And they're pounding out messages loud on the drum

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby The Prof » 27 Jul 2012, 17:19

Chess. what do you think?

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 17:29

The Prof wrote:Chess. what do you think?


It's a serious question, you oaf.

What game should they play - rugby or American football?
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
But every narrow miracle, takes place on Earth
Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
And they're pounding out messages loud on the drum

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby der nister » 27 Jul 2012, 17:30

http://www.youthrugby.net/how_rugby_mak ... otball.htm

How Rugby Makes Better Football Players (This First Appeared in Gridiron Coach Magazine)

By Alex Goff

Your High School season is over. Your players are already making plans to play other sports during the winter and the spring. What should they play?

In the spring, especially, football coaches find themselves at odds with their players’ choices. But what if your players could play a sport that not only keeps them in shape for football, but actually makes them better football players? The sports is out there, it’s called rugby, and strangely enough some football coaches won’t let their athletes play the game.

High-school age rugby is played throughout the USA, culminating in a national championship tournament in late May. The game itself is an ancestor of football, and is similar to a no-huddle, wishbone gridiron game with all two-way players. Forward passing is not allowed, so the ball must be advanced by hard running and intricate lateral passing. After a tackle, play continues as teams for essentially a compacted line of scrimmage and try to drive each other off the ball. Players and football coaches who have been involved in both sports agree that playing rugby can make for better football players, and more dedicated athletes.

The improvement in fitness, hand-eye coordination, and tackling technique after a season of rugby is phenomenal," said Mark Bullock, who served as head football coach and head rugby coach for Kentwood High School in Kent, Washington before becoming the USA Under-19 rugby coach. "I always recommended my football players to play rugby is they weren’t playing a spring sport.

Everyone Plays the Ball

In rugby, every type of play handles the ball at least a few times. Every player is expected to be able to pass and catch, tackle, and break tackles.

"You’ll have players tackling and trying to break tackles which is great for contact skills in the off-season," said Dave Hodges, former pro football player and currently the captain of the U.S. national rugby team. "They will be working on fitness and should continue on with there strength and explosive exercises. They will be handling the ball, which will benefit hand-eye coordination. If they want a sport that complements football, rugby is much closer than the other sports played in high school."

"The ball handling skills are almost unmatched in American sport," explained Tom Billups, who was a starting offensive lineman for Augustana college during the school’s 49-0-1 stretch in the 1990s. Billups later took up rugby and played professionally in Europe, and for the USA a record 44 times. A physical trainer by profession, he is currently the USA Rugby strength and conditioning coach. "The development of the sense of space, timing, and teamwork are even greater than those in basketball. The total number of sets of hands that are involved in a well worked try [touchdown] is much greater than any in basketball."

Everyone Runs

There are stoppages in rugby, but not after every tackle. A well-played game of rugby requires backs (the runners) and forwards (like linemen) to run great distances as they work to retrieve the ball and launch another attack. Playing that way for 80 minutes requires fitness that can only help an athlete when he plays football.

"The aerobic requirements are dramatically different between rugby and gridiron," said Billups. "I can still remember my first senior side rugby match for the Quad City Irish in the Midwest. I must have asked how much time was left a dozen or more times. The continuity was the most drastic difference from one sport to the other. The concept of continued play asks the American football player to continue to react, scan, and process information rapidly. The assignments I remember from National Championship college football were more like, ‘you block the guy in front of you at the line of scrimmage.’"

No Pads!

Actually rugby players can use pads. The scrum cap, designed to protect the ears, is much like a 1920s football helmet, only a little softer, and players can also opt to wear foam padding over their torsos. However, rugby certainly doesn’t have the padding football has, and that makes coaches worry about injuries.

But those who have played both sports say that playing a tackle sport without pads forces you to use good tackling and driving techniques. Football pads can be used as weapons, while rugby players have no such luxury.

"The neuromuscular recruitment that is required to control your body in a tackle in rugby is much greater than that of a tackle in gridiron football," said Billups. "American football is much more of a collision sport now than it has ever been, where a rugby tackle still requires a wrapping of the arms to be a fair and legal."

"It’s a great way for plays to gain courage," said Fred Jones, who coached both rugby and football at Vacaville High School in Vacaville, Calif., before becoming the fulltime football coach and athletic director. "Varsity football can loom so huge, and rugby can give younger kids the opportunity to get out there, get into contact, and participate in a related sport."

Culture

Athletes follow their role models, and it’s an unfortunate state of football that coaches are constantly trying to get their players to emulate what they see their heroes do in the game, but not what they do on the sidelines.

Rugby is a little different. Complaining to the referee, excessive celebration after scoring, and playing to the crowd may be discouraged in both sports, but in rugby it’s simply not part of the game at any level.

"From a culture standpoint, rugby can improve the American high school football in more ways than a coach can count," said Billups. "The mere fact that, in rugby, you address the referee as ‘sir’ — can you image that in American football? That there isn't this towel-whipping, look-at-me behavior we see kids emulating. Score a try, and leg it back to halfway to get ready to go again is the way it still is in our game. No touchdown dances or athletes taking off their helmets to show their mugs for the cameras."

Rugby Helps Football

Can rugby make a good football player? Consider the story of Richard Tardits. He grew up playing rugby, then one day, as a student at the University of Georgia, he walked on to preseason football practice.

"He didn’t even know how to put his pads on," said then head coach and now Georgia Athletic Director Vince Dooley. "We put him in tight end and asked him to fire out and block, and he fired out and tackled the guy. So we figured we better put him on defense pretty quick."

As a linebacker who had never played gridiron before, Tardits learned quickly, and in one scrimmage sacked the quarterback five times.

"I gave him a battlefield promotion right there," said Dooley. "I gave him a scholarship. He had such explosiveness."

Upon graduation, Tardits had made all-conference as a linebacker, and had set a record for sacks at Georgia that still stands. He went on to play in the NFL for New England and Arizona.

After his NFL career was over, Tardits returned to rugby, playing for the United States 24 times.

"All those things he learned in rugby, mobility, running, reaction, and tackling, can help develop a young athlete," said Dooley. "Richard went on to have quite a career in both sports."

"It’s an excellent way to provide continuity between football seasons," said Jones. "I suppose there’s a risk of injury, but a lot of things carry a risk of injury. It’s a wonderful tool in the development of young football players."

Football can also create great rugby players. Second-team All-ACC tight end Dan Lyle of VMI took up rugby while waiting for an NFL tryout. The tryout came, but by then he had shown a great talent for rugby and was hooked. Lyle is now one of the three best at his position in the world in rugby, and plays professionally for Bath in England.

Great Opportunities

Rugby offers athletes opportunities that gridiron cannot. Rugby has a national championship, for one, an Under-19 and senior national team, and a chance to travel the world.

"The culture of rugby is worldwide," said Billups. "You can go to any country on Earth, you can find a rugby team, and an immediate friend. Having heard I played for the USA, an acquaintance asked, ‘how much money do they pay?’ It’s never about the money. A sport where the highest honor you can receive, to play for your country is still coveted in the professional era should be admired by high school football coaches. The issue of character is white-hot in the NFL right now. Why would a football coach not want a kid who values the efforts of his teammates, plays with extreme passion, and after taking a knock, picks himself up and gets on with it?

"My experiences in college football I wouldn't trade for anything. I was lucky to have a great coach and tremendous teammates who played to their potential every weekend in the Autumn. But I would have loved the opportunity to learn about all the rugby represents at an earlier age."



The consensus among those who know football and rugby together is fairly clear: if you have a player on your football team who you wish would get a little stronger, a little fitter, and a little more aggressive, then have him play rugby. Rugby is fun, it’s different, but still enough like football that he’ll be able to play, and it makes you a better football player.
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 17:43

I played rugby and I watch it. I've nothing against the game and I agree with most of the above.

But.... until you actually see a live NFL game, you cannot begin to believe the sheer speed/size combination that exists. When you see an 18 stone Linebacker launch a QB sack, and you realise he can sprint 40 yards in about 4.7 seconds, you know you're witnessing supreme physical prowess. And, I'm sorry, rugby players are quick. But there are receivers in the NFL that are even time sprinters. I saw the LA Raiders back in '95 and they had four Olympic sprint gold medallists amongst their receivers.

I'm not saying that NFL players are better than rugby players - I am saying an awful lot of British sports fans seriously under-estimate what being a NFL player entails.
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
But every narrow miracle, takes place on Earth
Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
And they're pounding out messages loud on the drum

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby The Modernist » 27 Jul 2012, 17:49

Diamond Dog wrote:I played rugby and I watch it. I've nothing against the game and I agree with most of the above.

But.... until you actually see a live NFL game, you cannot begin to believe the sheer speed/size combination that exists. When you see an 18 stone Linebacker launch a QB sack, and you realise he can sprint 40 yards in about 4.7 seconds, you know you're witnessing supreme physical prowess. And, I'm sorry, rugby players are quick. But there are receivers in the NFL that are even time sprinters. I saw the LA Raiders back in '95 and they had four Olympic sprint gold medallists amongst their receivers.

I'm not saying that NFL players are better than rugby players - I am saying an awful lot of British sports fans seriously under-estimate what being a NFL player entails.


But it's all very specialist isn't? The fact that olympic sprinters can just transfer sports so easily suggests to me that all they're required to do is run very fast. They wouldn't be able to transfer so easily to rugby because they wouldn't have the all round skills required.

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby der nister » 27 Jul 2012, 17:58

good points, the size/speed combination can be deadly, and has led to much of the brain damage former NFL players/wrestlers, and now deal with, which at one time was misdiagnosed as 'roid rage':

NFL concussions lawsuits aim to improve the damaged brain

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/re ... ory_1.html

Bell began a program with Amen that involves supplements, hyperbaric oxygen treatments, fish oil and exercise, all intended to aid the regeneration of the brain cells and boost the neural connections in the brain. Amen said Bell’s most recent testing has shown more than a 30 percent improvement in memory, attention and processing speed.

Amen’s studies have been published in journals, but he says more research needs to be conducted. The medical community’s understanding of brain trauma has grown rapidly in recent years and experts say work like Amen’s is encouraging.

Read the complete master complaint that coalesces the claims from more than 85 lawsuits involving over than 2,000 former NFL players into a single document.

“I think we’re getting there,” said Barry Jordan, a renown neurologist who studies the effects of brain trauma on athletes. “I think there’s still a lot that we don’t know.”

The need is great, however, as studies have shown strong links between head trauma in football and depression, dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Half-jokingly, Jordan calls it dementia footballistica.

Amen operates four for-profit clinics, including one in Reston. He says the price of rehabilitating the brain can cost $5,000-$6,000 per athlete. Using hyperbaric oxygen treatments would double the cost.

His clients say the results justify the price tag and they are hopeful the NFL eventually agrees to medical monitoring.

“It’s amazing where I am now compared with where I’ve come from,” said Anthony Davis, the former running back whose USC career earned him induction in the College Football Hall of Fame. “It‘s scary what my head used to be like.”

When Davis first met Amen in 2006, Davis was 54 years old with a brain that looked like that of an 85-year-old. He was more than 100 pounds overweight and diabetic, suffering from sleep apnea and high blood pressure. He’d leave his home and have to return two or more times to make sure he locked the door.

“I’m telling you, if it wasn’t for him, I’d just be deteriorating,” Davis said. “This thing, it’s like a silent death.”

Davis played five years professionally, including two in the NFL. He says he’s “one of the lucky ones” because he had only two diagnosed concussions.

“It took me many years to screw it up,” Davis said, “so it’ll take me some years to rehab it, too, to bring back some normalcy. It‘s a process, but I can feel the results.”
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby sloopjohnc » 27 Jul 2012, 18:03

Diamond Dog wrote:I played rugby and I watch it. I've nothing against the game and I agree with most of the above.

But.... until you actually see a live NFL game, you cannot begin to believe the sheer speed/size combination that exists. When you see an 18 stone Linebacker launch a QB sack, and you realise he can sprint 40 yards in about 4.7 seconds, you know you're witnessing supreme physical prowess. And, I'm sorry, rugby players are quick. But there are receivers in the NFL that are even time sprinters. I saw the LA Raiders back in '95 and they had four Olympic sprint gold medallists amongst their receivers.

I'm not saying that NFL players are better than rugby players - I am saying an awful lot of British sports fans seriously under-estimate what being a NFL player entails.


UC Berkeley has won 25 NCAA championships in rugby since 1980. You get some varsity football players playing for the team to stay in shape like Zphage cited.

While Lacrosse has always been more popular back east, it's getting pretty popular out west here now too.

I think people forget that Jim Brown, who was arguably the best NFL running back ever, is also on the all-time college team for Lacrosse when he played for Syracuse. I think he was All-American for all four years or something ridiculous like that.
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 18:06

TopCat G wrote:But it's all very specialist isn't? The fact that olympic sprinters can just transfer sports so easily suggests to me that all they're required to do is run very fast. They wouldn't be able to transfer so easily to rugby because they wouldn't have the all round skills required.


I've had this particular argument on here on numerous occasions G - even The Slider had to conmcede that you are comparing apples and oranges. It doesn't get away from the fact that there is a huge amount of ignorance shown by Brits about the NFL - like, somehow, it's a 'cissy' game because they wear pads. How much good do you think pads did Joe Theismann when Lawrence Taylor broke his leg (tibia and fibula)- the injury where the crack was audible on mics 40 yards away, where the bone punctured clean through his skin and the blood was spurting out of the wound? Finished his career. The average career expectancy of an NFL lineman is something like 4 years (there are various ways of measuring this, so it's not an exact science). It's anything but a cissy game.

As for the specialist thing - yes, of course the NFL player is more specialist. But, with a couple of exceptions, to suggest players only need to do one thing is frankly insulting to them. An NFL Running Back has to be able to catch the ball, run with the ball, block the opposition to help others run with the ball, block the opposition to allow the Quarterback to throw the ball successfully. And then get hammered mercilessly by the opposition, from all angles - whether in possession of the ball or not. I think that's the part alot of Brits truly do not comprehend - it isn't rugby, where you can only tackle the player in possession, where you are not expected to tackle players if you are not in possession, and where you can only tackle from certain angles/positions on the pitch. In the NFL - if you're on the pitch, you are pretty much fair game. It's a huge difference.

And don't even get me started on the information a QB has to store, compared to what we ask our sports guys to digest as 'tactics'. The average NFL QB playbook makes "War & Peace" look like "Heat" magazine, trust me.
Last edited by Diamond Dog on 27 Jul 2012, 18:22, edited 2 times in total.
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
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Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby the masked man » 27 Jul 2012, 18:07

TopCat G wrote:
But it's all very specialist isn't? The fact that olympic sprinters can just transfer sports so easily suggests to me that all they're required to do is run very fast. They wouldn't be able to transfer so easily to rugby because they wouldn't have the all round skills required.


It's more about just being fast, though that is obviously an important attribute. You also need to position yourself well (so the quarterback can find you), to be very strong (to break tackles) and also to have the awareness to avoid those tackles. I'm with DD; Brits who are sniffy about US football do not understand that it's a very complex sport that requires extreme mental and physical sharpness.

EDIT - and I see that Pete has just made the same points in greater detail.

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby sloopjohnc » 27 Jul 2012, 18:10

TopCat G wrote:The fact that olympic sprinters can just transfer sports so easily suggests to me that all they're required to do is run very fast. They wouldn't be able to transfer so easily to rugby because they wouldn't have the all round skills required.


This used to happen in water polo too. Being a super fast swimmer was definitely an advantage, but if you could swim and keep up and had good experience in other team sports, like basketball and baseball, you could overcome those swimming speed deficiencies. If you played basketball (and soccer could replace basketball), you had a better understanding of player spacing, cutting towards the goal, being physical in guarding someone, and getting open using teammates.

If you played baseball or football for any length of time, even basketball to a degree, chances are you had a pretty good arm and could aim and throw a water polo ball.
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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 18:15

Wasn't it Jim Hines - the first guy to run under 10 seconds- who earned the nickname "Oops" when drafted by Miami, because he:
a) couldn't catch the ball, or
b) couldn't run anything but a straight line?
Started 11 NFL games in total, caught two passes, ran the ball once, returned a kick off once....and was cut during his second season - never to mplay football again?
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
But every narrow miracle, takes place on Earth
Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
And they're pounding out messages loud on the drum

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby sloopjohnc » 27 Jul 2012, 18:30

Diamond Dog wrote:Wasn't it Jim Hines - the first guy to run under 10 seconds- who earned the nickname "Oops" when drafted by Miami, because he:
a) couldn't catch the ball, or
b) couldn't run anything but a straight line?
Started 11 NFL games in total, caught two passes, ran the ball once, returned a kick off once....and was cut during his second season - never to mplay football again?


Olympic sprinter, Bob Hayes, was the first celebrated sprinter to make it big in the NFL.

The 49ers tried putting hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah at receiver. Here's hit that made him quit.

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 18:38

Now Nehemiah was a cissy.
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
But every narrow miracle, takes place on Earth
Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
And they're pounding out messages loud on the drum

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby The Modernist » 27 Jul 2012, 18:38

Diamond Dog wrote:As for the specialist thing - yes, of course the NFL player is more specialist. But, with a couple of exceptions, to suggest players only need to do one thing is frankly insulting to them. An NFL Running Back has to be able to catch the ball, run with the ball, block the opposition to help others run with the ball, block the opposition to allow the Quarterback to throw the ball successfully. And then get hammered mercilessly by the opposition, from all angles - whether in possession of the ball or not. I think that's the part alot of Brits truly do not comprehend - it isn't rugby, where you can only tackle the player in possession, where you are not expected to tackle players if you are not in possession, and where you can only tackle from certain angles/positions on the pitch. In the NFL - if you're on the pitch, you are pretty much fair game. It's a huge difference.

And don't even get me started on the information a QB has to store, compared to what we ask our sports guys to digest as 'tactics'. The average NFL QB playbook makes "War & Peace" look like "Heat" magazine, trust me.


I don't regard it as a cissy sport, you only have to look at the size of the fuckers to see that, so I won't challenge you there.
But I do think it's one of the less skilled sports I've seen. Other than the quarterback who throws the ball, who needs to show great vision and accuracy as well as great athletic prowess and the runner who catches it and attempts a touch down, I don't see a great deal of skill on offer. The ability to simply block the opposition doesn't seem to me any great skill if you're big enough to do it.

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Diamond Dog » 27 Jul 2012, 18:41

I shall sit down and explain it to you at the next JU, G. Bring along a white board and marker and be prepared to learn.
So you're living in Eden where, apples are good
But every narrow miracle, takes place on Earth
Yeah, some militia have arrived and, the percussion has come
And they're pounding out messages loud on the drum

The Modernist

Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby The Modernist » 27 Jul 2012, 18:46

Diamond Dog wrote:I shall sit down and explain it to you at the next JU, G. Bring along a white board and marker and be prepared to learn.


:shock: :(

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Re: Americans! what have you learned about the UK?

Postby Poppypoobah » 27 Jul 2012, 18:48

CRUSTO wrote:We do love to whinge, it's true. But as I said earlier, when it's done with humour, it's one of our most likeable national traits.

Nothing brings people together more than a good moan. Nothing puts a distance between you and the people around you more than my-life-is-great positivity.

It's likable amongst yourselves but I used get really frustrated thinking I had to fix it, that is an American trait, if you complain about food at a restraunt in the US, in all likelyhood you will get an apology and a discount on the meal or a free one the next time you come there to eat. We see a complaint as something that we need to fix, not as a fun way to pass the time.