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As a young man growing up in America, football is life. It’s what a man does. You play football. You watch football. You love football! There is no greater feeling than strapping on your helmet, under the lights on a Friday night. Then, all of a sudden, on a cold night in the late fall, it is all over. Very few will go on to play college ball, let alone ever seeing a paycheck to play the game.
So, what is one to do if you still have the desire to run, hit and score the go-ahead points with only minutes left in the game? That is exactly what I asked myself at age 28, out-of shape and a rather sudden breakup with a girlfriend. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. It was time for me to reevaluate my life. So I asked myself, “When were you at your best?” That answer was easy. “When you were playing football, running and hitting someone all week.” But playing football was out of the question. After weighing my options, and talking with some friends, Rugby was brought to my attention, and it deserves all the credit for bringing me out of the dark valley I was in.
Let’s fast forward five years. With controversy surrounding the NFL with major health and safety concerns, a new professional sports is born. The USA Pro Rugby League is here, and the hits are just as big, with fewer head injuries. Who is providing these hits you ask? Local boys from all over this country, surrounded by Aussies and Kiwies, Tongans, Samoans and Fijians, British, Irish, Scotts and Welch, Italians, French and so many more unmentioned. But this league, like most brand new organizations, is not without its flaws. Improvements need to be made to ensure the sustainability and growth of rugby in America. Make no mistake though, Rugby is here! So if you want to see the original contact sport from where football in America was created, make an effort to get out and watch a few matches. I promise you’ll walk away wanting more.