I admittedly don’t know much about rugby, well, nothing would be more accurate. So this being my second rugby game, I will refrain from making remarks about the actual game proceedings as I don’t think I’m the right person to judge. On the atmosphere however, I can absolutely report.
It was a very cold November Saturday when we headed down to Twickenham Stadium. What I genuinely like about rugby is the atmosphere. It’s friendly, familiar and great for families. While I would think twice about taking my kids to a football game, rugby would be an absolute yes!
Throughout the entire game the whole stadium cheered for both teams (which didn’t help with understanding the rules but made for a great atmosphere). The one confusing element was the cheerleaders though. I understand the part cheerleaders play in American football, even in basketball. It’s an American tradition and is fostered in high schools all the way through to professional cheerleading for the NFL. In England though the concept makes no sense. The games are outdoors, it is freezing 90% of the time and the dancing is uncoordinated and only semi-professional. It seems irrelevant to the atmosphere in the stadium and the cheerfulness of the crowd.
Lastly, one more thing to note. There was a minute of silence for the victims of the Paris attacks, and while I thought the gesture was nice, it made no sense at all. None of the teams were French, the game was rugby, and this was in England. I appreciate the commemorations, but this was uncalled for, especially with everything else that happened that same weekend in Lebanon, Kenya and Japan. It was a thoughtless piggy backing of a terrible terrible act of violence that meant nothing in the circumstances of the game.