focus – yarsPosted: August 14, 2012
We were a good rugby team, the Chicago Lions were elite, the best in the nation. The previous year we had nearly beaten them when they came to play us. Now we loaded up on the bus for the trip four hundred miles west to return the favor.
I was the youngest on the team, small town boy. To me Chicago in 1976 was the big city. We piled off the bus, checked in and a group of Lions met us, said “Lets go, we’ll show you the town”. What a great idea. We drank, and danced, and drank some more. I remember Billy M, a scientist in Cleveland who had gone to college at Northwestern lying in the gutter on Rush Street saying, “my professor always said I’d end up here.” We partied the night away without incident, well except for that one thing with the exotic dancer, ( did I mention I was very young and naive), and we rolled back to bed at about five in the morning for a noon game.
We stumbled off the bus next morning, squinting in the sun, trying to move slowly due to our aching hangovers. All our drinking buddies met us, in just as bad shape but wearing jeans and jackets not rugby kit. Where’s your uniforms we asked? They smiled, pointed to the pitch where fifteen hard fit fellows ran up and down crisply warming up. “You play them, we’re the B team”.
They beat us fifty-six to six, but it wasn’t that close.
Moral: If you want to party, party. If you want to play to win, play to win. Mixing them doesn’t succeed. Oh — a little street smarts go a long way…
May you choose to work hard, and still find time to live, and love, and laugh.
yars — yet another rugby story…