Weekend rugby

21st April 2008 – 7.15 am

The Gemote got together at the weekend again and amongst the fun of console games, RPGs, and eating more sugar in a day than I normally do in a year, we headed out to watch London Irish play host to the Harlequins. This is quite possibly the first rugby match I've been to, although I enjoy watching games on the TV whenever I can and think I have a good enough idea of the rules and strategies to follow the game without needing commentators.

Without going in to much detail I thought it was a rather good game, despite it lacking many scores. Instead of passages of play failing to score because of handling errors or silly fouls it was a strong defence that stopped the teams from scoring, and that meant there was an entertaining contest to watch. I was a bit baffled as to why London Irish elected to take a scrum from a penalty early in the game, because the Harlequins had already shown that they had a competitive and potentially overpowering presence in the scrum. Unsurprisingly, London Irish could make nothing of that scrum, and lost the opportunity to score from the penalty. Harlequins balanced out this bad decision with their own, throwing long in the lineout several times, and it never working to their advantage.

It was an entertaining game, then. There was something odd happening in the crowd next to me, though. I was sat next to a couple who were supporting Harlequins, and every now and again the woman would shout 'come on, 'quins!' and nothing more. It seemed really odd to me. The two of them barely spoke to each other about errors, good passages of play, or the referee's decisions, and yet she continued to shout 'come on, 'quins!' at random intervals.

I can fully understand supporting your team, and getting involved in the game by calling out at times, as it shows some emotional engagement with the game. I don't really do it myself as my painful shyness prevents me somewhat from making such displays, but I can appreciate those who involve themselves. This woman didn't seem to be emotionally engaged, though. It seemed like she was programmed to call out occasionally, if only to fulfil an expectation of her from the micro-society of a rugby ground's audience, so that she could convince others, or maybe just herself, that she was a being a supporter.

She loosened up a bit near the end of the game and shouted out some slightly different phrases. Before that I found it quite an odd display of assumed duty, and it became a little distracting. I wonder if my being quiet would distract others in a similar way, but because I wasn't being vocal at all. I am sure that it can affect other people's perceptions of how much I am enjoying myself and perhaps feel I have to be more convincing after the event than I would had I been shouting myself.

  1. 2 Responses to “Weekend rugby”

  2. Sounds like you were sitting next to a QuinBot... had her "partner" perhaps opened an inspection panel and adjusted some DIP switches prior to the different phrases being shouted?

    By Zoso on Apr 22, 2008

  3. I didn't see any access panels being opened for button twiddling. And I hope I would have noticed that.

    By pjharvey on Apr 23, 2008

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