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Running Touch: All About the Movies

Tuesday Jul 21, 2009 in Columns Running Touch

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Rugby and Movies
I got my BYU Rugby Forever DVD and it’s a lot of fun. No talk really, just music and highlights of games. Maybe needed a few stats and scores, but it’s dramatic and nicely pieced together.

I personally found the DVD really enjoyable. It wasn't intended to be a piece of video journalism; rather it was supposed to evoke something just by showing the action, and it did that. You got to feel the physicality and appreciate the skill of the players, and it was just plain fun.

It’s something more teams might want to do. If you have anyone with halfway decent film skills and the software you can make the DVDs, and they’re a good fundraising source.

More on Movies
If you watched the ESPYs on ESPN you would have seen Nelson Mandela garnering the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. This was all related to Mandela’s support of the Springboks during the 1995 World Cup.

The video piece ESPN aired during the awards was well done and moving – narrated by Morgan Freeman, who plays Mandela in the upcoming film Invictus (in an obvious piece of product placement. But it was nice to see rugby portrayed at the ESPYs as a positive thing, and portrayed honestly as a tool of apartheid and a source of the country’s healing thereafter.

And More on Movies
The thoughtful documentary Try, which follows Dan Payne, Latu Puloka and Jarvis Albury as they push for Rugby World Cup glory for the Eagles is still available and currently trying to help clubs fundraise (see how this all comes full circle?).

Clubs can buy Try for a drastically discounted price and then re-sell to raise funds.

Check www.trydocumentary.com for details.

No Movie Here
We would have liked to have seen better film of Paul Emerick’s apparent kick to DTH van der Merwe’s head during the USA v. Canada game July 11. But we didn’t see it so we can’t comment on it specifically.

Emerick got 10 weeks, though, and that is partly due to the fact it wasn’t his first offense (remember the 2007 World Cup). It’s a big blow to the center, and to the USA team. It’s also a lesson – passion and aggression are good, flying off the handle is not. Emerick is not the only player to go too far in recent games, and in fact the trend of yellow card for USA players is a concern going forward.

If coach Eddie O’Sullivan wants more precise and disciplined rugby, he needs his players to be more disciplined as well.

Well He Looks Like a Movie Star Anyway
Have you been following the David Beckham saga? OK, he’s a soccer player, so maybe you haven’t. Here’s the deal. The world-famous English soccer maestro signed with the LA Galaxy for millions of dollars, kind of ho-hummed his way through his first few games (with flashes of brilliance), but made all his photo shoot appointments.

Then he’s loaned to Milan, and stays there for a long time. He finally returns to LA, and the fans, and some of his teammates, complain he’s taking the USA competition for granted.

Beckham gets testy, trots out the defense (paraphrasing) “I’ve played with and for the greatest in the world so how dare you accuse me of being unprofessional.”

But the fans boo him and tell him they don’t need to be condescended to.

That’s the lesson here for rugby. Don’t get me wrong, some of our best and most patriotic rugby players have come from overseas. But quick-fix mercenaries who think they are almost too good to slum with the USA we don’t need. You don’t get your best from them, and they are not worth the time.

The rugby players from overseas who are successful in the USA don’t lord their experience over others; they don’t revel in their arrogance.

It’s just interesting to see the same issue in other sports.

- An Opinion Column by Alex Goff

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