Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Gheorghe, Ghenius, America

The revolution we predicted may not be televised, but it's underway. (Actually, it'll certainly be televised. It already is, thanks to FOGTB Beans Hightower.)

We've already seen Aussie rugby star Jarryd Hayne make the leap to the NFL, offering an object lesson in the uni-directional transferability of skillsets from one sport to the other. And we've seen speedsters like Carlin Isles and Perry Baker transition from football to rugby, at least the sevens version. The Seattle Seahawks made news two years ago as they publicly adopted rugby tackling techniques and fielded one of the NFL's most effective defensive units.

Now, one more step towards assimilation, as New England Patriots safety and erstwhile Ohio State rugger Nate Ebner is taking a summer break from the NFL to train with the USA Eagles in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

I find several things about this news interesting. First, Bill Belichick and his staff are obviously readers of this blog. More importantly, the Patriots clearly see benefit (or at least limited risk) in allowing one of their key players (New England recently re-signed Ebner) to participate in a non-football contact sport. The Patriots are widely known as one of the more creative NFL teams - this move may well open the eyes of other teams, and open doors to other potential cross-sport athletes. Also, while Ebner's clearly fast, he's not in the Isles/Baker mold. He came up in rugby as a 15s fly half - he's not a dilettante by any stretch. Finally, if Ebner makes the Olympic team (which is by no means guaranteed), this will be one more high-visibility story for rugby in 2016.

The ball, oblong as it may be, is rolling. Our genius is soon to be so obvious to the masses that we'll be unable to go for a beer in public without disguises. I'm planning to get tattoos all over my body and pretend to be Mark.


zman said...

rob is the Nostradamus of sports. Merrick Garland is about to become a human rugby ball.

Clarence said...

Beans for President.

Will Republican legislators go through the facade of pseudo-analyzing this nomination or will they just refuse to confirm him outright on principle?

rob said...

sorry, i was laughing at clarence's question for an hour so i couldn't respond.

mayhugh said...

To address a comment from the last post's comments, I too am enjoying People vs. OJ Simpson, but since that made up heart attack I find myself questioning the authenticity of the content. Just a few more times per episode where I'm like "Wait, did that actually happen like that?"

Sara Paulson and the guy that plays Darden are rock solid.

Travolta had his best episode. And I got caught up for just a moment in the "This team of defense lawyers is coming together" angle they presented.

zman said...

Ted Cruz promised a filibuster preventing the Senate from ever voting on the nominee, which I guess falls into the "on principle" bucket.

TR said...

They make Darden out to be a pretty wimpy guy. The real guy can't be happy how he's portrayed - tentative, barely competent and focused on his goofy-looking, permed up coworker.

I wonder if the fax scene from the last episode actually occurred. That seemed a little convenient.

Mark said...

Spoiler Alert! Jeez, guys!

No, I don't really care. I do thoroughly enjoy the show though.

TR said...

Suarez' golazo will steal headlines today, but Bayern Munich's amazing comeback against Juve is more impressive.

Juventus was up 2-0 at the half (or just before it) of the second leg (up 4-2 in aggregate) of the Champs League series. Bayern came back for four unanswered goals.

Means no more Paul Pogba watching in the Champions League, unfortunately.

rob said...

it was worse than even that: juve was up 2-0/4-2 at the 72 minute mark, and 2-1/4-3 in stoppage time. gut punch loss.