the funniest thing – yarsPosted: June 4, 2013
He was relentless, elbowing me or sending me tumbling to the turf again and again, but each time he was just a hair too late for the ball was passed to the next man or kicked into touch ( out of bounds ) successfully. Twice I lured him into over-pursuing and cut inside, dancing past his flailing arms for long scoring runs. I felt the anger in his pursuit, toyed with it, as we attacked again and again moving the ball quickly down the field.
I was a guest player for the Atlanta Anglers in Savannah Georgia at the St Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament. We had won our first match and after this we had one more match to play that day. Our current contest was almost over, we owned a comfortable lead and I should have kicked the ball away to space, forced everyone to chase it as the minutes wasted away.
Instead the ball spun out toward me and I caught it in stride, sold a dummy ( faked a pass to my right ) and ducked my shoulder and stepped hard inside, when oooph, his should barged into me. He wrapped his arms about me like vice-grips and lifted me into the air with the ball and my arms trapped between his shoulder and my stomach. My mind went into overdrive, this is bad. I struggled to turn, to get an arm free to break the impending fall, to get some traction but my feet were dangling marionette legs as he snarled and drove me back to earth.
I was on my back, I remember a little tunnel with a light, and then a croaking sound like some bizarre exotic tree frog mating ritual. The rest of the Anglers in their powder blue rugby shirts with the gold martini glass and fish-hook monogram circled around. Some were covering their mouth with a hand, some were looking away. I thought I heard giggling, but I focused on getting a breath of air inside me. After about a minute I could crawl, and then my buddy Frank pulled me up and helped me stagger to position.
I snapped at him, “What are you giggling at?”
“I can’t help it, that’s the funniest thing I ever heard.”
I tried to laugh too, but it hurt too much. We finished up the game, and I must admit I didn’t do much for that last ten minutes.
The Moral: Just when you think you have things figured out, life has a way of deflating you.
YARS – yet another rugby story