Watching International Sports At Work Is Heavily Underrated

Watching International Sports At Work Is Heavily Underrated

This Friday brings the start of a magical time in the workplace: the Rugby World Cup in England will be starting at midday PST. While I’m sure you’re all snorting into your coffee, you need to hear me out. Where I’m from, rugby is a big deal, and the World Cup brings great joy to the next month. If you’re not sure about rugby, the best education you can get is from the Friends episode where Ross tries to play. It’s like football, but without pads…. And better. There are war dances between pacific nations that will give you goose bumps, and watching the Frenchies quiver is an added bonus. Also, England sucks, New Zealand sucks and South Africa sucks. Hate them all. Anyone else and you’ll be okay.

Because I’m a nice person, I’m going to give you some choice phrases to throw around, just so you sounds like you know what you’re talking about.

“God, Dan Carter is a pretty boy wanker, the fact that he’s so good only makes me hate him more.”

“Remember when Jonny Wilkinson kicked a drop goal to win the World Cup in 2003? Of course they couldn’t ACTUALLY win the game.”

“David Pockock. Legend.”

“I got so drunk at the 7’s tournament in Vegas a few years ago. Yeah, this 15’s is just such a different game.”

The only thing that makes this event even more exciting is the fact that I work on a mine site, and mine sites are notoriously international. And an international workforce during a world-sporting event is nothing short of pure beauty.

Now, in order to enjoy these events correctly, it is essential to engage in some friendly banter. During world sporting events, I personally believe that not much is off limits. You probably want to avoid being racist because that seems to get you into trouble these days. However, having a go at the whinging Poms when they don’t make it through to the quarterfinals in a home tournament (fingers crossed) is completely acceptable. Calling the Spring Boks a dirty bunch of cheaters is also encouraged and any anger directed against the All Blacks will win my heart.

Now this excitement of course isn’t limited to the Rugby World Cup, any world cup where my team features means having an extra screen refreshing scores. The Winter Olympics are the worst Olympics, but it’s still healthy competition. The Summer Olympics mean regularly yelling “swim faster you bloody bastard!” for a week. These are the days when the 9-5 grind becomes a little easier. During this world cup, I’ve hustled the entire IT department into the sweep. This could possibly be the most genius move I’ve pulled off since getting my boss involved. The only hiccup was when he drew Georgia; it was almost a career-limiting move until I picked Samoa.

An advantage of large sporting events is the timing of events. No longer do you have to wait until the evenings for some quality sporting adrenaline. Depending on the time zone, sporting events are often during the day. And there are multiple games or events in a single day. This means more time “excusably” watching games during the day, less time working on boring reports. This year, it means solid day drinking on the weekends as well.

I completely recommend getting involved in the Rugby World Cup over the next month. While I can’t guarantee your Eagles will make it through to the quarterfinals, you’ll probably still win more games than Canada.

Image via Paolo Bona /

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