Esquire Magazine has put together a bucket list of things every man needs to do before they die. Kicking off that list, is play rugby!Tom Chiarella who wrote the article says
The grass, the sweat, the grunts belie that the game is deft and strategic, demanding occasional bursts of speed and a teamwide constancy of smarts. Large, small, quick, slow -- there is a place for every man on the pitch.
He's exactly right, which is one of the huge appeals of the game for most and a reason why the sport is the fastest growing in the nation. Big or small there is a sport for you. I meet people all the, time who when I talk about rugby tell me, I'm too small to play I'd get hurt. Not true because by the time you practice and go to your first game, sure you'll be anxious, but you'll know how to take that first hit nd NOT get hurt. We need the small guys and gals to get the ball out to and to take off running where the big players can't catch up to you. The article goes on to say:
The smears of blood, the skull-against-skull trash talk, ...the generalized requirement to drink beer with your opponents afterward... make this the last intensely male, broadly human team sport.
I know I have said it in the past but rugby is truly a brotherhood. I was at a rugby conference about two weeks ago where one of the presenters called it the largest fraternity there is. I know I have rugby friends all across the nation from playing, meeting people at socials after large tournaments, and just by sending out an e-mail to a team saying, "Hey, I'm traveling you're way is there a game I can check out or practice I can jump in on?" When I was in London one winter I was walking though a park, saw a group of guys playing asked if I could join in, took off my boots, played barefoot in the mud and had a great time that night with a new set of people.
I have found it to be the greatest team sport. Of course there's always someone you just hate from another team for whatever reason, however, I have never disliked an entire other team. You can't hold a grudge in an atmosphere where you all get together, sing songs, share a meal, and have some (or a lot) of drinks together. People from different teams all over Chicago are coming together to start the sport in the schools they teach at, or start youth groups like the Wapiti so their kids can play a sport their parents love. A high school girl from the Nobel Charter School at a meeting I was at said, if it wasn't for rugby she probably wouldn't keep up with school and her grades and that it's something that has united senior through freshman that play together, where at other schools upperclassmen wouldn't never talk to freshmen.
I also think rugby should be on everyone's bucket list because I know I would not have gotten to experience all around the Midwest and country the way I have with out it. I love traveling, getting away for a weekend, seeing somewhere new. Though when traveling for games you're first night is usually spent in a hotel or you're host team's place, post game you get to experience a city the way you can't traveling solo. Teams know where to check out, the best sports to grab a bite, a bar that fits your personality. You won't get lost, and depending on your team you may roam around town all night in a rookie shirt, or dressed like a zoo animal, Elvis, or some other theme. It's a sport that shows you, you are tough, you can handle anything and also unites people anywhere you go. So try it out, there's around 20+ adult teams waiting for you to lace up and come out! Spring season starts soon!