I was stunned to see rugby on my TV listings for today. The USA Sevens tournament is in progress, and NBC is actually broadcasting it. More tomorrow, too. The sport may show up occasionally on the depths of the cable lineup in the US, but seeing it on broadcast is highly unusual. My guess is NBC is hoping to drum up some interest in advance of the sport showing up in the Olympics.
Just watched Samoa decimate Australia. I’m surprised Australia isn’t any better, considering how popular rugby is down under. Guess all their good players are busy with union or league.
Well, there is another USA Sevens tournament later in the year (at the Home Depot Center), which will get top teams participating, even though it’s not a World Sevens tournament, because the top prize is one million dollars (winner take all I think)
((Also, there’s rumors that the Super Rugby competition would eventually like to add teams in Argentina, the Pacific, and the USA)
In the last match on today’s broadcast, the USA managed to pull off an advance to the tourney’s Cup round with a win over Spain with a 14+ point differential. Hopefully we’re going to see NBC covering a lot of Olympic Rugby Sevens in 2016. It’s a fast, high-energy game that’s fun to watch.
The 3rd place game in the tourney went to overtime between Fiji and Samoa. Apparently no one told the guy who was bringing the game ball for the championship match that was coming up right after, and he went ahead and brought it into the stadium. Which would normally be no big deal, except that he was bringing it in by parachuting…and so he came down on the field where two teams were still playing. I’ve seen a lot of strange things stop games, but that’s a new one on me.