Angry Little Tank

Rants, chants and cants....all written while wearing no pants!

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday May 28, Final day of Bingham competition

The first game of the day was going to be against Boston around 10am. Newly schooled on how to take NYC transportation to the event, we all walked to Grand Central Station from the hotel and waited on the platform with the Ireland team. There was a little saltiness between the sleeping/non-sleeping factions of the room from the night before, but it generally worked itself out by the time we got to the pitch.

On the train we joined in with the Irish to sing an incredibly handsome member of their team "Happy Birthday". He was wearing a bright red shirt and soon his face matched it. A quick bus ride after the train and we arrived at the pitch with little fuss. It made me feel kind of stupid paying for the previous two days worth of cabs actually.

We didn't have much time when we got to the pitch so all the players immediately starting warming up. The match against Boston was a test of wills. Both teams seemed to be evenly matched. Going into the half the score was 3-0 Boston, who managed to kick one through the uprights about 5 minutes before halftime. Unfortunately neither team scored in the second half and the win went to Boston. While visions of winning our division had fueled the previous night's mayhem at Dallas BBQ, nobody was disappointed in our performance. That match, and indeed the entire tournament, could have gone either way at that point.

One small comment though, when you have a referee who is setting up a scrum after both teams and sidelines have been screaming at her "MAN DOWN!!" and pointing at the guy who's been knocked out for 90 seconds on the pitch, you kind of realize you're not getting the highest quality of referee. I'm just saying.....

Shortly after our match we learned that we would be playing Austin for third palce around 1pm. We had enough time to grab some lunch and soak in the last day of Bingham competition. Everybody was dirty, beat up and dead tired but we were still having a lot of fun.

Some weird initial drama about our respective uniforms resembling each other too much gave way to a great final match of rugby. We picked up one of the guys from the LA team who had gotten knocked out of the competition early. His name eludes me at the moment, but he's the one in the lineout in the attached photo. Thanks again mystery LA dude!

Everyone on the sidelines gave whatever was left of their voices screaming during this match. It just seemed like we always had a forward pack 5 meters before the try line inching forward. What do you do in this situation? Why yell "DRIIIIIIIIVE!!!!!" until you almost pass out and fall backwards (thanks again to that big red bear who caught me).

The game was close but the Gryphons ended up winning the match. Afterwards everyone gathered together to end the season and say goodbye for the summer. Much to my shame I started to cry. It was mainly because I hadn't gotten to play. I think the reality set in at that point. If only I had gotten my knee checked out by competant doctor sooner when I first injured it last fall. Maybe more physical therapy could have helped. I'm sure I could have done something on the pitch to the help the team and felt awful that I didn't.

Ehhh...whatever. You can box yourself in with that kind of thinking and to quote Arnie when asked why he was standing outside the smoking section at a bar "I'm better than that".

At least the New York Times photographer was there to capture my moment of shame. I mean nobody reads that paper....right?

I composed myself by walking to the beer tent with Malcolm. By the time we got back to the Gryphons tent I was okay. Everyone made plans to go watch the final match for the cup between San Francisco and Sydney. They were playing on the astroturf field we played on last fall for the East Coast Invitational. I enjoyed this field better than the crack whore nightmare that is the grass pitch NYC provides, but again I heard many complaints from the Europeans. I'm really curious to see a European pitch actually after hearing how nice they are.

In any event, the sun was brutal in the stands. The match was spent admiring the level of play that big clubs like SF and Sydney bring to the sport and trying to not die of sunstroke. When Sydney scored their first try, an Aussie streaked across the field wearing their flag. Nothing we hadn't seen at a hundred or more rugby games.

Then the drama came. An NYC queen with a high voice and an even higher sense of self importance got on the microphone and in the most impertinent tone she could muster started to soundly berate the Australians for their streaking. "I'm going to call the cops if I see any more nudity!" "I want an acknowledgement from that side of the field" "Hello?" "I said I want an acknowledgement" "Stop the match until I get an acknowledgement"

This went on for about ten minutes with the heat stroked crowd getting angrier all the time. It was around this time that I developed what had been an annoyance towards the city of New York into full blown hatred. This tired queen didn't care that the crowd was hot and getting burned. She was going to have her 10 minutes in the limelight on the microphone wielding whatever power was bestowed unto her by the tournament. Forget that every team there was running zulus all weekend. Forget that the event itself lasted like 10 seconds and was in front of a rugby crowd. No, scratch that, a GAY rugby crowd.

It was a methaphor for how the entire tournament was run up to that point with bad pitches, lame parties and absentee hosts. She's just lucky she wasn't stamping her little foot in front of me during all this as I would have gladly risked arrest to shove that microphone straight up her ass.

She never got her "acknowledgement" but eventually the match got underway again. Sydney won by about 15 points. We made our way back to the city via the special buses that had been set up for Cirque du Soleil which was occuring behind the pitch. Once again we watched the bus zip past the people waiting in line at the rugby area. Poor bastards.

We showered/changed and went to the after party. Expectations were high, but we got cold eggrolls, stale chips and salsa and an open bar consisting of Budweiser. Someone needs to explain to me why this would entail charging $65 per person to get in. I could put that on for 2,000 for under $5K easily.

Once the open bar ended at 9pm I headed outside and stayed there. Between being sad for not playing, tired from partying, and heat stroked I was beat. I smoked cigarettes and mostly kept to myself. Mooney found me at one point and we went in to have a beer. Then back outside. I could feel that I was sullen, but what are you gonna do?

Around midnight a group from the Irish team told us about a bar around the corner that had $3 beers. An alcohol buzz sounded good at that point so we gathered room #735 and the guy from LA that played for us and headed over. I think I inadvertantly offended the Irish team with a comment I made about their ability to find cheap beer. Trust me guys, I meant no offense.

We hung out there for a couple of hours with the Irish. Around 2am it was clear that Edwin had been a little over-served. Casey was holding court in the corner with five Irish guys around him clutching beer in awe. Work it Casey. Work it. Mooney and I left him to that and poured Edwin into a cab to head back to the hotel. We watched him pass out and then did one last night of partying in the elevator. At 4am we called it a night.

The whole weekend was a blast. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen. I've never been prouder to be a part of this team.

Most fun event: Partying until 4am in New York City with my team

Least fun event: The closing party (ironically)

Best quote: "Ewww! Sore pussy, I wonder what that feels like" - Malcolm

"Yeah queen, like you don't know" - Martino

Final quote: "We'll always have New York"

Great job guys!


Blogger Casey said...

The mystery dude from LA is Alex aka Midol.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Caleb said...

You could do that party for 5K...I doubt it. Open bar for that many people (and hey...wasn't Budweiser the sponsor which is why you got Budweiser served to you? Just a thought) plus food, venue rental costs, venue staffing costs, and who knows what else is included in there, I'd be surprised to see you pull that off. Besides, I was there, I ate the food and it was more than chips and salsa. Apparently you missed the beef, chicken, hummus, and more that was there. Bottom line -- at the end of the weekend did you look back at all the fun you had?

7:50 PM  
Blogger Angry Little Tank said...

Caleb may have a point, perhaps this couldn't be done for $5K... in NEW YORK. And that's the rub isn't it? You weren't paying for the food or beer, you were paying to be in a fabulous NYC club.

I understand that people from all over the world would get off on seeing NYC, but having been there countless times I'm not thrilled just to "be" in NYC.

But you're right, the weekend was fun various NYC related aggravations aside.

Also - I did have some chicken on a stick. It was okay

8:00 PM  
Anonymous TeddyP said...

Now now, rugby players can't be sittin' around all night eating chicken on a stick!!!

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Cloverleaf said...

Looking forward to you guy showing us how to throw a opening night party at the Philly 7s tournament!

What's that?




1:04 PM  
Blogger Angry Little Tank said...

Uh right...because a ONE DAY tournament with an AFTER party that you weren't even going to pay for is the same thing as charging people $65 to wait in a long ass line for Budweiser.

And now that this thing's been cancelled due to a tournament already going on that weekend in Philly is...what exactly? Some sort of vindication for you after screwing everyone over?

Rock on I guess.....

1:24 PM  

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