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Rugby Letter to Bill Burr

By Hunter Wade | January 31, 2023

I am an active listener of Bill Burrs podcast, and on a previous episode invited listeners to write in about rugby.

I have been a fan of your podcast and comedy for years. My girlfriend and I love listening to your podcast together. I was inspired by last week’s episode to write in. I am part of the 3% that gives a flip about rugby. I grew up loving the sport because my Dad coached me in high school. I still play today in college for the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and am ambitious to play in Denver, the rugby capital of the US, this summer. 

The sport isn’t as popular here in America as you pointed out, but it is the 2nd most popular sport worldwide behind soccer. Did you know that football gets the word “touchdown” from a rule in rugby where you must touch the ball down in the endzone? As a fan, I think it’s a shame that it’s not as popular in the states. For one, it is safer than American football; there are less concussions and head injuries. In football, the helmet and padding are used as weapons for players to throw themselves into one another. Without protective equipment, rugby players have to be strategic about the situations they put themselves in and how they go down. While rugby has the brutality of football, it does not have the same threat of CTE. It’s a game with few time-outs and even during injuries there is continued play. Another difference between rugby and football is trash talking to the referee. While this is all too prevalent in football, it is not tolerated in rugby and will lead to a yellow card, and a trip to the sin bin. However, the most amusing difference is the appearance of the fans and players. Rugby fans will wear crazy costumes like it’s Halloween and players rock mullets like it’s the 1980’s.

You also commented on how hard it is to find rugby to watch. With the Peacock app, you can catch the rugby 7s World Cup on tv this Saturday. It’s a tournament played in quick 15-minute games, with over 30 countries playing, for 10 hours of exciting rugby content. I would encourage you to watch, as The United States has one of the GOATs of 7s players, Perry Baker, who is actually an ex-NFL player. To get you excited about rugby, check out this highlight reel of Argentina making a comeback from their game against Canada.

Finally, the last aspect about rugby that I enjoy is the camaraderie. Hosting teams will have an after-match in which both teams will drink together and sing songs (usually funny, dirty, rugby songs). There is also such a thing as whoring in rugby and it’s when you show up to a game or tournament and play with any team that needs players. It’s a cool way to connect with people from all over. Unlike football, which has an age limit, rugby has tons of different leagues. Some of which are for only older gentlemen, and some are entirely social leagues where drinking is encouraged. Anyone can find a league that matches their lifestyle. Hope you found this informative and enticing.

Keep up the laughs and stories Burr.

Go Ruck yourself,


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