Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


U.S Sevens Super Bowl event in Wellington

Super Bowl Monday

By Jamie Neikrie

The U.S Men’s Rugby Sevens team wants to watch the Super Bowl and I’m sitting in their seats.

Even when you’re invited, staring down 13 hulking men can be intimidating. Thankfully, the Eagles couldn’t have nicer, packing in to the table around me without a moment’s thought. Surrounded by at least 100 die-hard American football fans at the Chicago bar, we settled in to watch the game.

“We’re going to beat Argentina the way the Seahawks beat the Broncos,” remarked winger Nick Edwards. The Big Game may have been a big letdown, with Seattle blowing out Denver 43 – 8, but the team didn’t seem to mind. Most of the Eagles rooted for the Seahawks, cheering for every successful Seattle play like it was a game-winning catch. They might not have been so hospitable had I not been rooting for the Seahawks as well.

Many of the American-born players on the team are former football players, and they know a big hit when they see it. “These guys are crazy,” said Edwards. “To charge at a 250-pound behemoth with your head lowered is just looking for brain damage. When you have no pads, you’re going to be more aware.”

Not everyone was so invested in the game. “My mother in law lives in Seattle and she’s basically the Devil, and I hate Denver, so basically I’m just looking for as many injuries as possible in this game,” admitted one of the players, whose identity I’ll leave anonymous for the sake of his family dinners.

With the game out of reach early into the third quarter, the team started to trickle out of the bar. The dejected fans of other NFL teams were the first to leave, with little on the line. I followed them to Waitangi park, where the U.S Embassy had organized a community event with the Eagles. Basking in the sun of a glorious summer day, the team served hotdogs, signed autographs, and played a pickup game with the young fans.


Image Gallery: U.S Rugby Sevens team event, Wellington

With little fanfare back in the States, the players were understandably proud of the attention and adoration they got from the largely Kiwi crowd. “The game is continuing to expand at the collegiate level in the U.S, bringing more and more players to the game,” Edwards explained. The attraction of a sport like rugby, the winger said, is the amount of opportunities offered in comparison to such hyper-competitive American sports like football. “If you’re strong, fast, and you can pass the ball, there’s a home for you in rugby.” Edwards hopes that the team can qualify for Olympics next year, an opportunity that will bring new exposure and support for the team in the U.S. To make it to the game’s biggest stage would mean likely having to beat North American opponents Canada, whom the Eagles play on February 7. “No matter which way it goes, it should be a good one,” said Head Coach Matthew Hawkins.

The Eagles may be underdogs going in the upcoming tournament, but don’t tell them that. “We have a great mix of talent this year. We have a bunch of young, fast guys and some veterans that bring experience to the table,” said Edwards. The Eagles have beaten every team participating in the Wellington tournament except New Zealand. “This will be the year,” said hooker Zachery Test, a grin on his face.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: Why The New British Conservative PM Is Talking Inequality

In a major speech, May honed in on one key theme: an economy “that works for everyone”. It was strikingly like the language that the former British Labour leader, Ed Miliband, used in last year’s election campaign, as he put inequality front and centre of his – unsuccessful – political pitch. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news