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

 

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Rescue Mission In Iraq

It isn’t often that unilateral US bombing raids within a foreign country can be supported, but the current US bombing campaign in northern Iraq is one such case. The fighters of the Islamic State (IS) appear to be intent on committing genocide against the Yezidis, Christians, Turkmen, Kurds and every other non-Sunni community in the region… More>>

ALSO:

Stuart Littlewood: What More Horrors Are In Store For Gaza?

I wonder what Hamas and Israeli leaders are thinking as they survey the devastation in Gaza and review the death-toll and casualty figures? Or course, neither has to live among the ruins and clamber over the devastation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news