Thursday, October 6, 2011

- Because I Miss My Dad

Sooooooooooooo yeah.  As I have previously mentioned, I am totally obsessed with rugby these days.  The problem is that most people don't know what rugby is.  And the sad part is - I'm having a hard time recruiting people who would like to know.  Generally peeps are happy in their ignorance of this completely awesome sport.  Totally their loss.  But, this does illustrate my main problem right now, which is a complete and utter lack of rugby friends.  As in I have like 1.  So when she's busy that takes my grand total down to 0.  This is deeply affecting me because there is a BIG rugby weekend coming up with the World Cup quarterfinals, the local team playing, and Rugby Day Minnesota where the U of M will take on Wisconsin - Madison in TCF stadium where the Gophers play...which means it's kind of a big deal.  I want to go to all of this.  Ideally, not alone.

Right about now I'm really missing having my dad 2 hours down the road, because he's the one person I know that I could ask to do all this with me...and would actually be excited about it.  But he's a 20 hour drive away.  Or a ridiculously expensive flight.  Side note: I actually looked up airfare for this weekend from RDU to MSP = $634.  This is not fair.

And I know Dad had probably given up on having a kid that really liked rugby.  And if we're being honest, out of the 3 kids, I'm sure he would have picked me last to grow into this role.  I mean...I'm the girl.  I never played a team sport.  I rode horses, which was awesome...but different than Aaron playing select soccer, or Trevor playing lacrosse.  I ran around in the backyard with the boys and kicked soccer balls, and threw the baseball around and can even throw a football, but the idea of doing that in a competitive setting with people watching makes me quite nervous.  I would surely flounder all over the place.

In my later years at the Sevens Tournament there was a part of me that secretly wanted to play rugby, but I'm not sure I've ever seriously thrown a rugby ball and I am much too wimpy to ever get on a pitch and take a tackle.  Have you ever seen the girls that play rugby?  Although, I have always wondered if I could handle being knocked to the ground so loudly that people on the sidelines can hear it, or if I could tackle someone else like that.  Or, if I could catch a ball when it mattered.  But at this point I'm so old, I would probably be broken into a million pieces in a matter of minutes.  And let's not even talk about the running aspect.  Because running is still very much against my religion.

What I'm saying took me a long time to really fall in love with the sport, and I've been doing my best to make up for lost time by watching, reading and learning.  I've gracefully fallen into the role of Grade A sideline supporter and since I've been paying so much attention to the sport lately, I would like to do something that absolutely NO ONE will care about.  Except Fahtar - who used to make rugby look pretty.

I now present my 2011 Rugby World Cup Quarterfinal Picks!

Just like in the Soccer World Cup, my picks revolve around a thorough knowledge of team performance in the current World Cup, a little bit of knowledge about where teams stand in worldwide rankings, and my gut.  Sometimes it's like "Yo, I like Scotland" or "I love New Zealand and want to go to there" and that's about all that goes into me cheering for a team. What I'm saying is...I got my own system and this is how I think it may shake down:

QF1: Ireland vs. Wales - This could be a pretty tight match (like all of them from here on out), because both of these teams pretty much rocked it out in pool play.  And even though Wales is playing at full capacity with no injuries, I'm going with the luck of the Irish - because I think they showed just how powerful they can be when whooping up on Australia.  At this point in the tourney I think tries are going to be harder and harder to come by and the Irish have been completely impressive with the boot - or that's what all of the announcers say anyways.
QF2: France vs. England - Les Bleus have kind of limped into the quarterfinals here, and I think it's going to become pretty obvious how out-classed they are when they go up against England.  The English are one heck of a rugby powerhouse, although they certainly didn't look like it in the first half of their match against Scotland.
QF3: Australia vs. South Africa - This game kind of blows my mind...I mean these are two top teams, and one of them won't make it past the quarterfinals.  Since the Springboks won the last World cup, I'm leaning towards seeing Australia advance, which will be tough considering the horrible luck they've had with injuries and the emotional blow from their loss to Ireland.  In fact, according to the poll on Facebook, the majority of people think that South Africa will win, but I just can't NOT cheer for the Wallabies.
QF4: New Zealand vs. Argentina - Man do I love a good underdog, which means I was actually pretty excited when Argentina beat Scotland...except that started the beginning of the end for Scotland and led to them not qualifying for the quarterfinals.  Which made me sad.  BUT, I'm thinking this is New Zealand's year so I'm expecting them to easily power over Argentina, with the emotional loss of Carter proving to be something they can completely overcome on the pitch.

The most exciting thing about all this?  The pub up here is showing QF 1 & 3 LIVE Friday and Saturday night.  I may be there by myself - but I just don't think I can bear to miss it.

And now for my other 3 readers who don't care about this kind of thing...LOOK!  Something sparkly!
Yep that's 3 pictures of the same piece of fabric on which I painstakingly created the pattern I wanted with sequins.  It turned out WAY better than expected and whenever I decide to make it into a pillow - it's going to rock your face off.


Mams said...

Holy made that? are way ahead of me in the creative aspect of things....You go!!!

Dad said...

Wow La! You're not going to believe this, but I was thinking about this very thing today. How I've got two sons and a daughter and the daughter is the one that loves rugby. Makes me feel really awesome. Usually people from the states have to play the game to develop that feeling, whereas folks from rugby playing nations come by it easier, just because its a much larger part of their culture. Anyway, its great that you,re liking it so much and what,s going on right now with the RWC is the best there is. Now for the picks: Ireland should beat Wales for the reasons you mentioned and also because I think this might be their time. Their captain Brian O'Driscoll wears the 13 shirt and is one of the best in the world. I think this is his third world cup and I just have a feeling about me Irish lads. Wales will not be easy though-they're playing strong right now.
England will have no trouble with France. They are just too strong and France is having problems. They are not together at all.
The Springboks and the Wallabies is a toss-up. They have each won two times, but I would rather see the Aussies advance. I've always enjoyed their style and flair. Hope there are some tries scored, but it might come down to kicks. South Africa can be really strong defensively. We'll see.
The All-Blacks should pretty much dominate the Pumas. Argentina can be good, but I just don't think they're in the same league as New Zealand is at this time. Too bad my man Dan Carter won't be in there but they have able replacements. If New Zealand start clicking like they can, it will be a long 80 minutes for the Pumas. The fact that Carter is out might also spur the Blacks on to finally win another Cup. I am going to try to find someplace to catch some of the action. If not I'll see the highlights on line. Also I can see the total game replays after 72 hours. Ruck on!!

Laurie Elaine, Ph.D. said...

Dad! We apparently don't know anything about anything! Well I mean I knew Wales was strong and playing their best right now, but I didn't expect Ireland to be so lackluster. They just never hit their stride and the Welsh totally used that - and England! I mean wow. Even their scrums fell apart! The French totally showed up and really made me wonder where all those rumors about discord on the team came from. I guess their loss to Tonga really lit a fire under their butts. How absolutely crazy though - I never would have expected a Wales/France semifinal, and if they both play like they did last night, it guarantees to be one heck of a game!

Can't wait to see what happens tonight - hopefully my picks will fare better!

How are you watching the total game replays?

Dad said...

They're showing the replays on the World Cup site, the same place you get the highlights and RWC Daily. You just have to wait 72 hours.
Yea, leave it to the French to do something totally unpredictable. I really didn't expect that. I think the English believed all the press a little too much and thought it was going to be a walk in the park.
Wales was unbelievable. Do you realize they made 141 tackles and only missed 11. They just wouldn't let the Irish through. Good on them. I hope they win the whole thing, now.
The Wallabies were somewhat lucky. The Boks pretty much dominated the play, but that's the way the game is sometimes. Still not sure if the pass to Pat Lambie was forward.
All-Blacks pretty much cruised, although I figured it would be worse. Argentina played inspired in the first half.