Back in college at Wake Forest, several rugby players begged Sammy Sportface to play this rough and wrong-headed sport. He went to one practice, whipped Birdman in a foot race, then quit because other fellas across the entire campus coaxed him to help them win an assortment of intramural sports championships.
But that’s now why we’re here.
This weekend those same rambunctious rugby rebels are rallying at a reunion in risk-averse Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Although Sportface wasn’t invited, he’ll be ripping through this raging reunion running his mouth reprehensively.
In his diligent pre-event research, it occurred to him that most everything about rugby, a word that begins with the letter “r,” also is about the letter “r.”
Back in college, the key players (or so they claimed) were Rex, Ripley, Razor, and Reiman. There were also two Robs, Gallicano and Silva.
How revealing and remarkable.
In a gesture of solidarity with these rebellious rug rats, Sammy Sportface has changed his name to Reggie Sportface.
When they played on Saturdays, they would always be taking riotous and some would say rude and rebellious road trips to random colleges such as Randolph Macon, Radford, Rollins, and Rider. They never went to Rice because it was too far a ride.
Before, during, and after all games – and on road trips – they would smoke rolled-up reefer while drinking Rolling Rocks, Rum, and Red Dog.
Overcome with the munchies, they would stop on the road at Roy Rogers, Red Robin, and Red Lobster.
For all the games it was the same women watching from the sidelines: Rebecca, Roxanne, and Renee, and sometimes Rosey and Help Me Rhonda.
At after-parties, these ruggers would always rock to REM, Rosalita, and the Rolling Stones. For away games it rarely The Ramones. They would also not root for Roger Ramjet or Rod Stewart.
On the field, they would rave about and repeat rituals such as running and ramming into each other. When they’d lose, they would ramble into ruts.
They played rugby to run away from the college rat race, and to feel rejuvenated, relevant, and raw.
At the gathering this weekend, they’re all reeling towards retirement.
Each in his own way rattled by rife rugby regrets yet rejoicing at all the reasons they ran with the ruggers.
This will be a reunion to remember that rugby rules and riles up but ultimately ruins.
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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