George V. Reilly


I half-watched team sports twice today. We got up early to go to an Irish friend's house, to eat a full Irish breakfast and watch rugby. I no longer detest rugby with the virulence that I had growing up, when I attended a rugby-playing school in Dublin from ages 7 to 18, but I'm still not interested in the game.

This afternoon, I went to a Chinese New Year's party, which doubled as a Superbowl party. I trans­ferred my feelings about rugby to American football when I moved here. I have many problems with football culture: the worship of jocks, rape culture, homophobia, concussion. Even if all of those could be continue.

Football and Brain Damage

In Football, dog­fight­ing, and brain damage, Malcolm Gladwell writes of the rather startling findings concerning brain damage that American foot­ballers sustain over their careers.

The constant butting of heads leads to an enormously high rate of chronic traumatic en­cephalopa­thy (C.T.E.), which has symptoms like Alzheimer's. It's not just the con­cus­sions that cause it, but all the sub­con­cus­sive contact. It's almost as dangerous to one's long-term health as boxing.

I grew up hating rugby and trans­ferred that hatred to American football. I have no time for the game, which I find violent and repellent, nor for the jock culture that surrounds it.

Regardless of my feelings about football, Gladwell's article (as so many New continue.

Rugby Grand Slam

I grew up hating rugby. I spent eleven years at a rugger-bugger school in Dublin. I couldn't stand the game. I was a small, unathletic child with no interest in sports. Rugby, even the modified rugby that they teach seven-year-olds, was violent and unpleasant and involved running around cold, wet fields. I had a big operation on my feet when I was 10 and I parlayed that into an excuse never to play rugby again.

I can't remember when I last watched a rugby match, but it was surely back in the '80s, as I doubt I've seen one over the 20 years that I've been in the States.

So imagine continue.

Olympics: Razor-thin Margins

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have no use for organized sports. Watching baseball or basketball bores me. I seem to be con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly incapable of being a sports fan. I'm too much of a watchful outsider to want to throw myself into rooting for a team.

I actively despise American football. It reminds me far too much of the rugby of my youth. I spent 11 years at an Irish rugger-bugger school, so I come by it honestly. The ugly jock culture that permeates football repels me. The veneration of football in small-town America annoys me. The fans are obnoxious; the players, thugs.

I exaggerate, of course. There continue.