The commercial air time during the super bowl is a valuable commodity

October Fall Behind Summer stole a month from autumn this year, giving those of us in the Northeast a lyrically warm September. I swam in the ocean three times in its final week, the current bearing me along in a rush of pinpoint effervescence like a fine Champagne. October swept in with a vengeance, bringing biblical rains and floods to South Carolina. Poised for harvest on a plantation outside Savannah, our Carolina Gold held strong, but elsewhere along the coast, ancestral rice lands simply floated away.

The commercial air time during the super bowl is a valuable commodity

A field outside Roscrea, an unremarkable town in the midlands of Ireland, a rugby heartland, where men are men and pride in a jersey comes before all else.

The commercial air time during the super bowl is a valuable commodity

Thirty men on a field chasing an oval ball with maybe the same number again on the side-lines watching. Supporters of a certain size and gender dare not get too close to the team manager for fear that if a substitute is needed they could be drafted in.

There is no stand, no television cameras, no TV match official just the players, the officials and the supporters, maybe 60 sets of eyes follow the ball as it slips from muddy hand to hand weaving through the players.

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The jerseys are faded, the lines on the field are smudged but the passion is evident with every run, every tackle, and every kick. This is a religion in itself and this scene is repeated across the country every weekend throughout the season. Suddenly a shoulder collides with a head, a man drops to the ground, he touches his hand to his head, and the team doctor who incidentally doubles up as the kit man runs on, glancing over his shoulder to see who is on the side-line potentially ready to enter the field of play if needed.

He asks the right questions but is reassured by the player that he is fine. The doctor scurries back to relative warmth of the side-line the game continues on.

This is amateur rugby. This is the heartbeat of the game. This is the reality. A different picture unfolds before our eyes. Eighty-three-thousand-seven-hundred-and-four sets of eyes will watch every movement, will feel every hit from their seats, will discuss every blow, will follow every movement as fifteen Lions take to the field with the intention of mauling, both literally and figuratively, the Australian Wallabies.

Millions of eyes across the world will follow the ball on their TV screens, watching not only the live action but the replays.

Four minutes in and pulses are already racing, Wallabies legend George Smith who incidentally returned from retirement for the game has the ball in hand and collides with pounds of Welshman in the form of Richard Hibbard.

The medics race on, the spectators hold their collective breath, on the side-line Michael Hooper throws off his training top and races onto the field as the replacement.

Too Much Magic

The supporters are still discussing how sad an end to his career it is for Smith and hoping his injuries are minor when he emerges from the tunnel before running back onto the field. One could be forgiven for questioning whether the team doctor had himself suffered a blow to the head in allowing Smith back on.

The commercial air time during the super bowl is a valuable commodity

This is professional rugby. This is the elite. The is with the eyes of the rugby supporting world watching. In the wake of the game Smith himself acknowledged the severity of his injury, It obviously affected me. You saw me snake dancing off the field.The end of summer is a bittersweet time for the students here at Green Venture.

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