Although we had to go without my friend Drew, who sounded appalled at the very idea of it, we saw Murderball the other night, a documentary about the sport of quad-rugby. This is one of those documentaries that gives you a window into a world you had no idea existed.

The movie followed the American quad-rugby team, which had built up an almost unbeaten track record, for about a year and a half, through international competition in 2003 and at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

The guys are all a bunch of characters. Joe Soares, a former member of the U.S. team who decided to take his trophies up to Canada and become their coach when he got cut, comes off like a towering asshole despite his seated posture. He also looks uncannily like Mussolini. Mark Zupan (of Austin!) seems like a custom-designed ambassador for the sport–heavily tattooed, prickly personality, passionate about what he’s doing. The other guys seem much more laid back, but all of them completely obliterate any impression you might have that guys in wheelchairs want or need to be coddled.

1 thought on “Murderball”

  1. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Zupan on the cover of the chronicle. I lost a girlfriend to a guy who was on his quad rugby team several years ago (yeah I got dumped for a guy in a wheelchair. amazing, huh?) but we all remained friends. So we’d end up hanging out on 6th getting trashed and playing pool. I haven’t seen those quad rugby guys in years though. Now Zupan’s a movie star. The world is a very strange place.

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