There is a lot for the brothers to catch up on after the longer-than-expected hiatus. Top of Jake's list is the Women's Rugby World Cup and the USA Eagles looming semi-final. Ethan's list of what to talk about was notably short, having drifted away from rugby-thoughts during the hiatus. MLR, The Rugby Championship, and the USA Club 7s Championships all come up as Jake tries to catch Ethan up and blow life into the embers of Ethan's "real fan" status.
The brothers manage to get through a conversation about the London 7s without exploding in frustration, and Ethan's admiration for the USA 7s team only deepens. Some time is spent on the topic of the Hurricanes, but the bigger reaction was about a newly-announced television deal for World Rugby events in America. Jake very bluntly steers the conversation to a piece he recently posted on Rugby Today. And Ethan makes it clear that he has no interest in being a "former rugby player."
Both brothers watched a Life v St. Mary's D1A champioship match, but it isn't clear at the start that they watched the same one. One of the brothers traveled back in time without realizing it. However, Ethan and Jake still talk about the idea of college rugby being a marketable rugby product in the US. There is also some nostalgia, some excitement ahead of the Paris 7s, and a renewed desire to become a Hurricanes fan from Ethan.
When the brothers first started these conversations, the first test was to see if Ethan liked the rugby. He did. The next step was to get Ethan involved with a team or league. He was interested in the end of last season's Super Rugby--and, specifically, the Hurricanes--but that interest did not stick long enough to last into this season. However, we have now found a team that has sucked Ethan in: the USA 7s team. Ethan and Jake talk some about the Singapore 7s, including the potential star power of the current USA squad. Ethan also asks Jake about how he is finding being an assistant coach for his son's team. They also touch on some European rugby, including getting their plans set for what to watch this weekend.
It's been clear for a while that to get Ethan even further into rugby fandom, he needed a team to follow. He has that now: The men's USA 7s team. He still needs help figuring out how to watch, which is not a good sign for anyone. Fortunately for Ethan, he has a personal rugby concierge in Jake who makes sure he doesn't entirely miss out. This episode involves a bit of fawning over Madison Hughes, as well as touching up Super Rugby, Aviva Premiership, and the potential of Major League Rugby.
When we took a break, the podcast feed was deleted from iTunes, so re-subscribing is necessary. We'd also love to get some feedback, include reviews!
For Ethan's benefit, here are the times for the USA 7s pool play matches on Saturday in Singapore:
v Wales at 1:36am EST
v Scotland at 4:34am EST
v New Zealand at 8:50am EST
Finally back, Ethan and Jake talk about the USA 7s from Las Vegas. Jake was actually in Vegas, while Ethan watched on tv from New Hampshire. However, both brothers were excited by what happened and have fun sharing their reactions.
After a bit of a break, the brothers are back. Turns out, that without the push from the podcast conversations, Ethan found it easy to slip into old, non-watching habits. There is a lot to cover, so no single match gets too much attention. They also look at a graphic Jake created. And, of course, plans to see Rogue One are mentioned.
One way to think about why we find watching sports interesting is that the games, seasons, and tournaments are good stories. The athletic spectacle is nice, but we need more than that. Ethan continues to think that rugby looks good when compared to American football, but he's still more excited about the NFL season than the rugby championship. The task now is to give Ethan compelling stories, or the right information so he can find his own narratives.