The rugby world cup is electrifying Ireland and Britain and Australia, New Zealand France and South Africa.

Everywhere else, in about 90 per cent of the world's land mass, it is a non event.

Compared to that other British game, soccer and its' world cup it is about 5 per cent the size and scope.

If should really be called the former British colonies, plus France and Argentina and Italy world cup -- though most people in those latter two countries have no idea it is on.

We Americans are often criticized for calling our baseball game the World Series, but at least we have Canada and about 500 million people watching.

The rugby world cup has Ireland exploding in excitement. The top three stories on the Irish Times web site are all World Cup related because Ireland have made the quarter finals and have a shot at the final itself.


Rugby is an impenetrable game for most outsiders, memorably described as a 'thugs game played by gentlemen.'

Sure it can be exciting and good luck to Ireland, but it it is a measure of how insular the country is that they really seem to think the rest of the world is watching.

They're not and we won't.

I bet the final will merit no more than a few paragraphs in The New York Times, and not even get mentioned on major sports programs here.

So go Ireland, beat that other world power Wales next Saturday.

We won't begrudge you but hold the champagne please.