I love rugby, but it’s a shame I suck at it. It’s not as bad as the time I tried water polo. Ten minutes treading water and getting half-drowned and I decided it wasn’t my sport. I’m a natural at hockey – it feels so good skating on the ice that I wish I care more to practice and get really good at it. But rugby is hard work, and I always feel like I’m on the edge of being an embarrassment to the team.
I’m having more fun tackling. I’m remembering to get low, but most of the time I’m just too fat and slow. The quick little guys run past me, while I lamely try to tackle with a flopping arm. They run through me like I was an open swinging gate. Open field tackling is worse. I like the breakdowns, and on a good game I can find the rhythm of going into a ruck or maul, getting up and finding the ball again like a happy puppy. In a bad game I look like a five year old playing soccer… running every-which-way after a guy who is long past me.
I’ve been trying to lose weight (down to 210), but for some reason I’m one of the biggest guys on the B-side. So, I’ve been promoted to the front row. I haven’t been a prop since I started playing two years ago, and I’m a bit terrified. Going into a scrum last night against the A-side 250 pounders mashed up my should and my neck. I’ve never had the best scrum stance to begin with, and I really doubt I’ll survive tomorrow’s game.
It’s weird playing for a straight team, and I still wish there was gay rugby in Denver. With a population of 2.5 million, you think we could field a team of 15 guys. Or even *two*! As it is, I’m the only gay guy playing rugby in this town, though I’ve put up posters and fliers in every gay bar at the start of the last three seasons. Well… at least the only OUT gay guy. I have some suspicions about a couple of the forwards – I bet if you got a few drinks in them, they’d loosen up.
Wish me luck… and if you want to see a game, it’s 1:00 pm tomorrow at Jacobs Park on Mississippi and Quebec against the Fort Collins team.