It is I, Porce-Cat, a sweary porcelain cat, the one true Dog.
Normally I am apathetic about the banal ramblings that comprise your nonsense interactions. I created your universe as somewhere to house rugby; humans merely so there was someone to play.
However, with the Lions tour approaching and excitable chatter on the rise, it has been impossible not to notice that most Homo sapiens have no fucking idea what they’re talking about.
On other topics, this is OK, but not rugby. It is in my interests to cast aside this ignorance (as far as possible, given your monkey-plus mush-brains) in order to improve the quality of play on offer. Your universe is effectively my Sky Sports 1; the human race a 7-billion-headed Stuart Barnes.
As I am now confident the New Zealand intervention has gone well, it is time to roll out the programme. Pay attention.
Members of your species, left unattended, are basically fucking useless. It has taken millennia for society to evolve to the point where, in some of the luckiest nations, an average person can expect grow up without hating people whose skin happens to be a dissimilar hue, or whose sexual preferences are slightly different from their own. Across your world racism and other forms of arbitrary intolerance abound.
So it is proven that individually, in the absence of extreme social engineering, you lot tend to be total wankers. Think about that; think about just how fundamentally fucking shit you meatbags are, think about the high irony of your scathing judgemental attitudes. The enlightenment? No more than a match flickering in endless dark space. You exist only to play rugby. Don’t try to be clever, most of you are really bad at it (with some notable exceptions).
Thus, this will be the first in a series of idiots’ guides to rugby tactics. Start slowly, build gently. Softly softly, teachy monkey. Today, we will barely consider rugby specifically. Our analysis is mathematical. We begin where it all began, with field sports.
Many games are played on a flat rectangular surface, most often grass, roughly two-thirds as wide as it is long. They have much in common. Opposing teams of equal numbers play literally against each other, long-ways, defending their own end of the field while aiming to attack the far.
Each involves a single object of attention – ball, sliotar, puck, whatever; though how you stupid fucks think something as regular as a sphere is appropriate in your wonky universe, only you know – that a team tries to move this object towards the scoring area (end zone, goal, net, hoop, whatever) while the other team try to prevent them, and vice versa.
Restrictions are placed on both how the object may be transferred between players and moved throughout the field of play, and on the physical interactions between players in opposing teams, with infringements of game laws resulting in a specified disadvantage to the offending team.
What do all these games have in common? Defenders react in reasonably predictable ways. Moving the ball around will move the defenders. Changing the position of defenders also changes the position of not-defenders. Not-defenders is the magic currency: space.
But space is not alone.
A player in possession of the object must make decisions, then act. Decisions and actions take time. The greater space they enjoy, the more time they have. Find space and, as the defenders close in, you trade it for time. Space and time are not so different. In truth, they are part of one whole.
We near the end of our first lesson. As I said, we go slowly. However, we have come to a natural break, the end of the prologue, for before we can say much more about the importance of space, and its manipulation, we must move from this general theory – covering ice hockey and handball and other bullshit – to something more special: rugby union.
One final general observation. Players inevitably have different strengths and weaknesses. The key variable is the abstract notion of ability. To over-simplify, a player with greater ability can achieve the same as one with lesser in a smaller pocket of space.
The higher the speed of your mind and deed, the less space, or time, you need (go faster, time moves more slowly). Spatial requirements change from player to player. Remembering our earlier reasoning, this spacetime equivalence, we conclude:
Time is relative.
Clever boy! Yes, not only did I, Porce-Cat, create this universe as a forum for rugby union – I created it in the image of the game itself.
And thus it came to pass that a supreme Swiss egg-chaser, noticing these similarities to the sport he loved, knocked together a few observations about his surroundings in the spare time between watching matches.
Rugby’s greatest thinker, rugby’s greatest fan, rugby’s greatest innovator – who also changed the scientific landscape by exploding the nice, cosy Newtonian notions about a well-behaved universe that’s neat and tidy and blah blah bleurgh! Idiots! You think I would be so boring? Wave-particle duality, bitches! The double slit-experiment – a single photon in two places at once. Get your fucking minds around that one!
But we all know what’s most important, as did Albert.
Larry would like it made clear that he actually likes Stuart Barnes. Thinks he’d be a good man with whom to talk over a beer. No, really. And the base bass Ulster aul han believe’s the man’s rugby knowledge is pretty good. There are definitely plenty worse.