Monday, April 03, 2006
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
About 1 month ago, Troy asked me if I wanted to get tickets to the Rugby Sevens. You can only guess my response. "Are you kidding? I know nothing about rugby. I don't even know what the ball is called they play with." (I found out later it is called a rugby ball, duh!) So that was the end of that discussion. Two weeks ago Troy's co-worker got tickets to the 3 day event and gave us tickets to one of the days, so my new response was "What the hell. Let's go!"
Just a little side note here: The Rugby Sevens is called the Sevens because of the number of players and the length of the periods. A normal match has 2-40 minute periods and 15 players each side (I think). In the Sevens, it is 2-7 minute periods and each side has 7 players, hence the title Rugby Sevens. There are over 20 teams from around the world competing and there are 3 titles to win at the end - the cup, plate and bowl. The cup being the best of the best teams. Because the periods are so short, it is a very fast moving game and quite entertaining. The stadium in the picture is a little empty because it's Friday and that is when no one goes.
This is the biggest expat event of the year and people talk about it for months prior to the game. They're deciding what costumes to wear, how many beer bongs to make and how they can cut calories weeks before so they can consume as much beer as they want that weekend. And yes, there were costumes everywhere. I saw grown men dressed as bananas, Queen Elizabeth, Big Bird and Flash Gordon. Only sports and alcohol will do that to a person. This is also the one time of the year that a 50 year old man thinks he is cool because him and his other big belly friends are wearing the same rugby team jersey! "Go Samoa!!!"
For rugby being non-existent in the US, we actually had a team at the Sevens. They got to the quarter finals (I have no idea if that is good or bad), but at least we had a team there. The sad part was when they came onto the field, the whole stadium booed them! It was so heartbreaking! But then the Australians came out and they got booed even worse. No one can explain it, but no one likes Australia. Everyone has their reason for not liking the US, but no one has a reason for not liking Australia. So whenever there was an opportunity to boo another team, Troy and I were right there booing them... only because they booed the US. Oh and of course the French were booed - but what do you expect?
Going into the Sevens and knowing absolutely nothing about the game, I walked away from it understanding enough to watch the game and not ask a trillion questions. I would also be willing to go to another game if someone offered me tickets.