It’s time for the main event: Saracens vs. Harlequins (or “Sarries vs. Quins,” for you real rugby heads out there). It’s safe to say that I know less than nothing about rugby, but hey, it’s the type of thing that someone visiting London should go check out, right? I’ve also enjoyed watching soccer games in the past, despite not knowing who any of the players are or what’s going on most of the time, because the energy from the crowd and the general spectacle of it all are fun to witness in their own right.
And lo, reader of this blog, was there spectacle to be found. Before the game began, dozens of youth rugby teams paraded around the perimeter of Wembley Stadium to the sound of rapturous applause. Multiple squadrons of hundreds of dancers of all ages then filed in, working through several synchronized routines, with a pop singer eventually arriving on the scene to perform an odd mix of original music and a Justin Bieber cover. To cap things off, a salvo of fireworks shot out into the sky, with the jumbo screen whipping the crowd into a frenzy by repeatedly flasshing “Wave your flags!” All of this was great!
When the actual rugby started up… well, I don’t know what was going on. It looked like they were throwing the ball backwards a bunch and kicking it every once in a while. “Scrums” are particularly baffling to watch from a distance, as it just looks like the two teams are standing around in a circle with their arms interlocked for a while. The local team won, though, which the crowd liked. Go Sarries!