Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rugby and Football - Fraternal Twins

Rugby Ball Used Down Under

You can trace the roots of American Football and modern rugby to England during the Victorian Era.

But fate has a weird way of ensuring that things manifest two parallel ways of doing it.

Football Ball used in America

Excellent examples are metric vs 'American Imperial', driving on the left side vs right, Celsius vs Fahrenheit, Bible vs Koran, Mac vs PC, Pepsi vs Coke, and finally Democrat vs Republican.

Why not a third gender? Or maybe a third way of keeping track of temperature and measurement? Why do things eventually get polarized into two camps? Like the electron vs proton or the strong force vs weak force?
Logo of the NRL

It seems sport also repeats the fundamental echo of making things balanced by two.

Out of all of the languages to form in Europe - the most irrational language of English - would dominate the two new worlds 'discovered by Europe' - America and Australia.

Likewise the NFL would become the dominant ancestor of handball-soccer in the Americas while the NRL did the same down under.

Logo of the NFL

The rules differ but scoring is analogous. Essentially the goal is the same for both games - it is to carry the egg shaped ball to one end of the field. When this happens this is called a touchdown in football or a try in rugby.

The major difference is that it is illegal to make a forward pass in rugby but it is legal in football. This has caused a divergence in their evolution.

Basically...NFL players are specialized - linemen, backs, receiver, kickers, and the thrower-quaterback. But in the NRL all the players on the field can act as a running back, thrower, receiver, and kicker.

After making a try or touchdown the team that scored is allowed to kick the oval ball through the goal post. In America this is called the field goal kick but in rugby it is known as the conversion. But in football after scoring a 'proverbial try' - there is option to make a try for another touchdown that is called a conversion!

Visit the NFL Here
Visit the NRL Here

NFL Commercial with flags

up next... NFL FLAG SYMMETRY! Link to next post - Cincinnati and guess who?

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