Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then it should be painfully obvious that rugby is taking center stage in Chicago this coming weekend of Nov 4-5. On Friday night, Team USA is taking the Maori All Blacks at Toyota Park and the next day, Ireland and the All Blacks square off at Soldier Field. That last sentence may seem confusing but I’m going to do my utmost to unpack all of the major concepts of rugby. The way I see it, if I can explain to my dad, then just about anyone can understand what I’m saying. Right then, boot up and let’s get it.

Teams

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First of all, just about every country has a nickname that is used interchangeably with the name of their country. USA = Eagles. Same thing. Anyhow, I’ll get into a more advanced break down of the players and teams themselves but this is just a bare bones summary…for now. So this is the national team of the US, nothing fancy here. On Friday, they’ll be playing the Maori All Blacks.

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These guys are A national team of New Zealand but not THE national team. They’re kind of like a B side but in order to play for them, you have to have Maori ancestry. The true OG’s of hakas. More on that later. This will for sure be a good match up but isn’t the main event by any means.

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Above are the All Blacks, New Zealand’s primary national squad (note the white guys). They’re the winningest team in all of sports as in a better winning percentage than the Yankees, Alabama, the Chicago Sky, you name it. The All Blacks are also on 18 win streak in international matches, which is insane if you think about. All of these guys also play on professional teams all across the world but they still dominate on the international stage. Mind bottling stuff. They’ll be opposed by the Boys in Green, the Emerald Isle, and in all likelihood, the “home” team, Ireland.

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Lots of new faces here but a sport that revolves around street brawls and its mandatory to get a beer with the other team after the game couldn’t be more Irish if you tried. Its in their blood (mine too, shouts out to the 8-0 Toledo Celtics led/slowed down by yours truly). Win or lose, Saturday will be a piece of Chicago history and I can’t wait to be a part of it by fighting people in the parking lot and blacking out on Irish car bombs.

So that’s all who’s taking part of the Chicago Rugby Weekend, make sure to follow me on twitter @ColtMcAdams to stay up to date on all things rugby for the weekend. I’ll RT some stuff about viewing parties and stuff is that’s more your speed. Check back to LMBF for part 2 so you can impress a girl by looking knowledgeable about rugby!*

*There’s exactly 0% chance a girl will be interested in you knowing stuff about rugby. 4 years of college proved it to me.