620. Jim hated rugby

© Bruce Goodman 22 June 2015


Jim hated rugby. He went to an all-boys secondary school, where rugby was compulsory. In a single season rugby would turn a boy into a man.

Jim hated the violent tackles, the scrums, the rucking. He hated the aggression.

“Make yourself angry,” said the coach, “and you’ll play better.”

Jim hated the culture that went with it; the brouhaha, the ruckus, the hubbub that excitedly surrounded those in the top teams.

“There’s one of them now! There he goes! Let me touch him!” It’s like everyone in the school except Jim was a latent homosexual, and yet the inference was that the gay life was Jim’s preference because he hated rugby. He hated rugby, the queer.

Jim hated the mud, the smell of liniment, the boots, the sprigs. He hated the showers after the game, fifteen young guys all crammed into the open shower unit. He hated the talk.

“Yours is bigger than mine,” like they wanted to borrow it or something. “Fuck yeah.”

Jim hated the whole damn thing. He loathed school because of it. He dreaded life for the fifteen weeks of the season. Boy into man… boy into man…


One day a scrum collapsed and Jim broke his neck.

The school was shocked, chastened, mortified. They consoled themselves. All teams wore black armbands the following week. Jim’s obituary read:

He died doing something we all love.

18 thoughts on “620. Jim hated rugby

  1. chrisnelson61

    Takes me back to my school days in the 70’s (although mine was a mixed sex school). Never quite knew why the focus was on rugby as it isn’t really our National Sport.

  2. Oscar Alejandro Plascencia

    Sports are gay. No really, I find them extremely homoerotic. So I do not play. I do not watch. I abstain in every way. Still somehow, without sports, I became a man. Don’t even get me started on the open shower unit.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      I gave up on watching professional sport. Why watch a group of people work? (In fact these days I don’t even own a tv). I always thought rugby in particular fulfilled the players’ homoerotic tendencies…

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      And unfortunately for those of us educated in the ’60s, very true! When I went to school the top rugby team were cooked dinner at midday with steaks and eggs and everything under the sun. We ate our dry jam sandwiches!

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      When I went to secondary school the soccer (football) posts would be destroyed in the dark of night by the rugby lovers… Soccer was for “pansies”.


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