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21 November 2011


1920 and 24 Olympics was a joke when it came to the rugby competition. The rugby nations didn't attend and I think there were only 3 teams at the competitions, with France putting in a side not representative of the sides they played in the 5 Nations during the same period.

Should USA use it to market the game? Sure. Should it be some kind of simple that the USA was a world power in rugby? Not a chance.

The Obama-voters/Anti-American/OWS crowd sure like to visit Kurt's site and smash anything resembling American Exceptionalism.

The success of these American sportsmen is a fantastic story that deserves to be told and admired.

Can't wait for the B and C side players to reply to this...

bringing politics into the discussion...what next, religion?

He's got a good point though. Only those players good enough to be on their club's first team (and presumably he is restricting that to D1 and RSL clubs, and maybe a handful of colleges) have the mental capacity and understanding of the sport to have any worthwhile insight on the subject.

Kind of sucks being 40 and no longer knowing a damn thing. But when I was a younger man, I knew quite a lot about rugby.

I blame the Jews.

The older I get, the better I was...

Not fair. Our Maccabee team does pretty well.

I never said I was all that good...just another A-side player. But I did know a few things.

Does anyone know anything about the proposed 6 team pro comp with 4 in USA and 2 in Canada? Where are they playing? Who are they paying? Etc.

There is another proposed comp where USA rugby gave exclusive rights to pro rugby (essentially for free, they get a piece of a league that will never profit in the model used)
Does anyone know of this comp where you can get franchises in Columbus, Philly, and other great spots for a 2 mill buy in before any expenses like stadiums, players, etc.

Oddly after giving rights to one group, another group is talking about a pro comp in USA and SA with USA Rugby blessing.

From my understanding they are 3 completely different things with completely different groups all supported by USA rugby, I do know the buy in one was given an exclusive so if 10 folks were dumb enough to waste 2 mill before anything and someone wanted to buy a league where you own about 40% for another 3.5 mill this deal may fly (no one could seriously consider this as an investment could they?)

Just wondering if anyone could shed light. Seems like a lot of secrets going around and just wondering if anyone had clarity. Thanks in advance.

They keep these plans secret, because deep down they know they aren't ever getting off the ground. We've been hearing inklings of "pro rugby" for what? Over ten years or more? Getting everyone's hopes up and then failing just leads to even more malcontent. Then again, after all these years it is getting harder and harder to get the hopes up of the American rugby community.

That said... I'm officially excited about this new pro rugby development that I have no idea about. I'm a sucker for any notion of advancing the game in America.

This will reply to the book review of “Try For the Gold” with two relevant points. I was the person in charge of bringing Mark Ryan’s book from the U.K. and stewarding the work for its USA printing.

1. The book was originally published three years ago in the U.K. under the title “For the Glory.” As it was written for a British audience, Ryan had to explain some “Americanisms,” some of which remain unaltered in the U.S. version, retitled “Try For the Gold.” Our goal was to publish this stirring historical story of American rugby players and not to change inconsequential adjectives like “influential,” that modified Stanford and Cal, which Kurt finds so offensive. (Is this the example of “sloppily edited”; another blanket criticism that Kurt never substantiates with specific examples?)
2. Kurt’s statement, “In Try for the Gold, Mark Ryan breaks little new ground…” is false in its entirety. Prior to this book, the totality of what was written about the 1920 and 1924 Olympics appeared as long articles in a Chuck Lyons’ “Rugby USA” magazine in the late 1960s, a Paul Andrew’s piece in a Bohemian Club newsletter, and a short magazine article in “Rugby Magazine.” How can Kurt compare these condensed versions with a well-researched and detailed 240-page book, and, mistakenly affirm no “new ground” was broken?

“Try For the Gold” narrates an epic rugby tale of Americans overcoming great odds to win two Olympic gold medals against France. The story, the book, and author Mark Ryan deserved better than the shoddy appraisal in Kurt’s highly negative review.

Allyn Freeman

"epic" is hardly the adjective to use for an Olympic event that had 3 teams in the competition and didn't include England, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Scotland, Wales or Ireland who where the rugby powers at the time. The tale of the '20 and '24 Olympic victories by the USA in the rugby competition is comparable to Brazil saying they won the gold medal in hockey at an Olympics that didn't include any of the traditional hockey nations, but was made up of Brazil, Estonia and a Ukrainian team thrown together by a bunch of guys down at a the local bar. It is a joke.

To Olympic Shame,

Read the book and then even you will realize that the US win in 1924, especially againt a Five Nation team, was an epic battle.

I defer from ad hominem remarks about your post other than the obvious cowardice to sign your name.

Allyn Freeman

Allyn, don't worry about Olympic Shame too much...he's still smarting over voting for Obama and catching TB at Occupy Oakland even though the chick told him it was "allergies".

@Bruce McClane

Nigel Melville hinted at one of those groups in a conversation with him about 4 or so months ago. A small ten team comp. During the RWC former Wallaby great turn commentator Tim Horan alluded to a competition blueprint with again 10 teams.

It's a believe when I see it situation but having 3 working groups is a positive, maybe they could all combine their resources and get something up.

Yeah the Fox News Tea Party red state crowd has done so much for rugby. The best quality and administered rugby comes out of the blue regions of the West Coast and New England. USA Rugby is basically shooting pepper spray in the face of college rugby, which the Fox News crowd enjoyed in real life this past weekend, and handing funds over to EOS and Melville like they are bank CEOs and not the CEO and coach of a member funded organization.

USA is the village idiot or world rugby regardless of beating a bunch of Frog scrubs in 1920 and 1924.

Blue & Red States...Tim Russert's corpse can go fist itself for the disservice he did to this country 12 years ago.

To 1%,

I do not know why posters to this important rugby-centered forum place political screed on this site. It is a testament to Kurt that he allows open discussion, which, in the full and proper understanding of the First Amendment, allows all voices to be heard.

I do know that the OWS and the Tea Party are people who, although mainly nameless, show their faces to the public in full transparency. This contrasts with many who make comments on "Gainline" and opt always to hide their identities under the cloak of a pseudonym.

Allyn Freeman

To be clear, the first amendment only protects people against government restrictions on free speech. If I own and operate an online forum, I can restrict people's speech all I want, because I am not the government. It may not be in the "spirit" of the 1st Amendment but it certainly doesnt violate that constitutional right.

@Allyn, it sucks your book got whacked on this site. It was completely unnecessary and pretty much unfounded. It is a fine story and considering how few books concern American rugby history, it should be praised and not dumped on.

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