These days most sports are extremely competitive with very little respect and manners shown. Certain sports however have maintained respect and sportsmanship which shows the caliber of people playing. One only has to look at a football match where players are constantly trying to get other players sent off through play acting. In rugby we won't do that as we will try and beat the living daylights out of you instead. If you tried something like that your own team mates would teach you a lesson as it is just not the right thing to do. Injure someone and take them out the game with a legal play, but no cheap shots.
Best part of the game was having fun afterwards.
The team sports I knew were hard and fair on the field followed by some good banter with the opposing team after the game. That is what made team sports so fun as each team always had some real characters. Some games would be finished by 5pm and we would only leave the club around midnight as the hosts wouldn't hear of you going any earlier.
Sam Cane performing his duties handing over a bottle of wine to James Slipper after the game.
There are still some classy teams around though that continue certain traditions that we never get to witness. Today the Australian Rugby team played and beat the All Blacks of New Zealand. After the match out of the eye of the public and the press the skipper of the All Blacks Sam Cane handed a gift to James Slipper who was celebrating his 100th test match. It was not the item which will be a special bottle of wine that makes this but how it was done as this is more personal and shows great sportsmanship more than anything else. The All Blacks have been doing this for some time and is a tradition they have kept.
It doesn't matter if you take chunks out of each during the match as that is all forgotten when full time is blown. We never had any fights in the changing rooms afterwards even if we had punched other players during the games. It is true when they say it is a hooligan sport played by gentleman. I do think there is a difference in the caliber of people who play various sports. Maybe not so much today as football and rugby are both professional and you can have a decent career out of both.
Sam Cane 2 years ago recovering from neck surgery in hospital. Today he is the captain of the All Blacks and most likely cherishes the sport even more knowing how lucky he was.
Football is a working class sport and attracts a different type of fan. In rugby you can have two opposing fans sitting next to each other without any worries of rioting which has not always been the case with football. Not sounding pompous, but there is a difference in class between the fans and players of each sport.