Hasn't the rap on rugby always been that it's the manliest sport that a sport can possibly be, what with the lack of protective equipment and heavy emphasis on "scrumming" making American football look like a little girl's tea party by comparison? Add Australians to the mix and you've got to figure that it's time to hide the women and children, right? Make it an Australian rugby team owned by Russell Crowe and, well...it's reasonable to assume that the women and children have no chance and it's time to save yourself. Isn't that what fans of rugby would have the world believe?
If the fans in question are fans of the South Sydney Rabbitohs club (see? rugby's ostensibly so manly that teams are called "clubs"), which is part-owned by Russell Crowe, they don't have a leg to stand on. The club has cut its cheerleading squad due to a conclusion by Crowe and the rest of the ownership that skimpily clad cheerleaders detract from the game and "make spectators uncomfortable". And with that decision, nearly 200 years of manliness associated with the sport have been flushed down the toilet in the inappropriate, non-swirling way. (Do the wussifying effects of Crowe starring in A Good Year know no bounds?)
Scantily-clad gyrating women make you uncomfortable, do they, rugby fans? So brutal violence is something to be celebrated by the whole family, while sex is something to be afraid of and hide from. Not only does that not sound like a particularly masculine point of view, it doesn't even sound Australian.
As a matter of fact, it sounds strangely...American.
[Ed. note: This blog's not even two weeks old and I've already twice posted an image of Russell Crowe on it. What's my deal?]