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POLL: Is America Warming To Rugby?

Certainly lots of Americans were tuned into another popular European sport on Sunday—the European Championship soccer match.

 

Whether you're into football—or soccer—or not, an awful lot of Montclair residents were watching TV on Sunday afternoon as Alessandro Diamanti scored the decisive penalty kick to give Italy a 4-2 shootout win over England and a place in the European Championship semifinals.

London newspapers, of course, were filled with news of the game. But that's not all they were filled with.

On Sunday, the headline on the front page of London's popular Guardian newspaper asked "Are Americans Warming Up To Rugby?"

Good question. Are they?

According to the article, "The Olympics will bring fame, funding and the chance to produce a team successful enough to seduce newcomers. Vitally, television coverage is expanding and a 2010 survey by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association found that rugby was the fastest-growing team sport in the US.

"There's something stirring here, in a country with a gluttonous appetite for sport. Rugby's advocates argue its principles mesh perfectly with the American disposition: individual talent in a team context, fair play, and respect in an aggressive, dynamic and tough environment."

In Montclair, the Rugby Club is a member of the New York—Metropolitan Rugby Union. Indeed, Montclair has been a member in the union since the team's inception in 1976. There's also a thriving rugby team at Montclair State University.

"I watch soccer or football, American football, rugby, baseball, basketball, all sports ... I think Americans are certainly watching soccer more ... not so sure about rugby," said Montclair resident Dan Latimer.

So what do you think? Can rugby ever become as popular in the United States as football or baseball?

Vote in our poll and tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Louis Fontana June 25, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Forget rugby. I'm not entirely convinced Americans are warming to soccer -- er, football. Here's what I want to know: which drew a higher TV rating, the U.K.-Italy soccer match, or the Travelers golf final round (with no Tiger, no Mickelson, etc.)?
Shelley Emling (Editor) June 25, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Good question.. will try to find out.
Dan November 13, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Rugby is alive and well in Montclair. The university team is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in division III. They will be competing in the national playoffs this Saturday. The men's club is solid and compete at a very high level against other clubs in NY and NJ

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