Posted: Friday June 10, 2005 1:16PM; Updated: Friday June 10, 2005 1:16PM
5:00: I realize what it is I like about rugby. I've always liked the option play in football, and rugby is option football gone mad. The quarterback pitches to a running back, who pitches to another running back, who pitches to another running back and on down the line. The USA team would be a lot better if it could sub in Jarvis Redwine or I.M. Hipp.
13:20: Wales executes a series of laterals that leads to another breakaway touchdown. I've seen that play before -- it's Cal-Stanford, minus the "band on the field" element. The score is now 60-3.
22:02 I wonder: What will I eat on the way home? I passed a Taco Bell on the way in. Is this the day I find out what a chalupa is?
30 minutes: The attendance is announced at 8,027, up from 5,890 last year against France. That's hot. Some fans seeking some refuge from the glare of the sun collect in the shadow cast by the scoreboard. Memo to the stadium architect: good work.
37:01: Wales scores on another breakaway. It's 77-3. The score is still closer than the 2003 Texas A&M-Oklahoma game.
40:00: During the last minutes the USA team makes several valiant runs at a touchdown. A USA player fumbles the ball over the goal line as the referee's whistle blows.
Game over. Final: 77-3.
So, not a happy day for team USA. But I came away from the game convinced of several things:
1. Rugby could have a following here. The game was a blowout and I still enjoyed it.
2. Rugby is too violent to ever become a huge participation sport. Soccer moms will never throw their young charges into a scrum. They prefer to the see the kids running around and not inflicting too much pain on one another. They sure as hell don't give a damn about what I'd rather watch on TV.
3. The United States could own this game. If schools like Miami and Auburn and Michigan sent their backup running backs, linebackers and safeties into the USA Rugby program after college, Wales wouldn't be beating up on the American team for long.