I’m probably jumping the gun on building up hype for this game but I don’t care. It’s Labor Day, it was like 50 degrees last night, and I even saw a few orange and red leaves. Its fall, end of discussion. Now that college football is back in a big a way and the NFL is due to kick off next week, it is my sacred duty to remind people of arguably the biggest event in rugby’s history in America. On November 5, the All Blacks are set to take on Ireland at Soldier Field, right here in Chicago! For those that don’t know, the All Blacks are the national team of New Zealand, where rugby is the national religion. They say that they are “the most dominant team in the history of sport“. Now THAT’S some Ric Flair-esque smack talk but oddly enough, its true. Ireland, on the other hand, is no slouch. They have lost some senior leadership, most notably Paul O’Connell, but they hope their new blood can provide a much-needed spark plug to their offense. Ireland’s prestige has certainly waned over the years, but to the casual fan in Chicago, this is the perfect excuse to put on a green shirt (which you’ll undoubtedly take off at the game) and go tailgate at Soldier Field on a Saturday (!!). A couple of years ago, when the All Blacks played USA at Soldier Field, it was standing room only and that game wasn’t even close. After the main event, the Eagles will actually return to Soldier Field to play the Maori All Blacks, which is the national team for New Zealand for players of Maori descent, another stellar match. I can certainly guarantee my presence and if you want to take a picture with me, check out the east 200 level men’s room where I’ll be puking green beer for the entire first half. I’ll provide a better analysis of both these matches as we draw closer to the actual date, but until then, I’ll leave you with my favorite game to have inexperienced rugby minds watch to get a feel for the game, both on and off the pitch.
Also, make sure to follow me @ColtMcAdams to stay up to date on rugby and other sport news/jokes in poor taste.