Do you know the first thing about Rugby? Do the phrases “scrum down,” “line out” or “maul” mean anything to you?

No? Unless your name is Hannibal, Lincoln or Pinecone, I didn’t really expect you to. I don’t really feel like teaching something to you – that’s what Wikipedia is for. However, I will prove to you that Rugby players are great artists who create fine shows, symbolic names (that’s art, right?) and excellent tunes.

First, I think I have to do a little explaining to you before this article can go any further. I don’t need you wandering away from this paper and getting trapped on Wikipedia for three hours, forgetting that you even started reading this piece.A lot of great art comes about during times of suffering.

If you don’t believe me, go into the Art and Music Library and ask around; someone is bound to know something about art there. That being said, rugby is the finest example of suffering ever conceived. Rugby is a 15-on-15 war. A standard match lasts for 80 minutes with a halftime thrown in there to give you hope or a chance to tape anything up that may be bleeding – and something is, more often than not.

A Rugby match is perhaps the longest 80 minutes I have ever endured in my life. I have been sent to the hospital twice in the past two years playing Rugby, both times with season-altering injuries, and I, like many others, continue to play.

My teammates have suffered shattered wrists, broken ankles and dislocated shoulders, gotten concussions and needed stitches. Simply put, it is sustained agony – mentally and physically. Nothing that I have ever done could possibly compare.It takes a special kind of person to put up with that kind of bullshit on a weekly basis, which brings us to the make-up of our fine team here at UR. Yes, we have a team here, and, might I say, we are a sexy bunch of men.

Next time you need a date, you should probably just go straight to the top and ask a Rugby player – you won’t be disappointed. That said, we have quite a group, from big to small, slow to fast, handsome to perfect. All makes of men can be found on the roster.

But the identity of a Rugby player does not remain consistent after he joins the team. It becomes lost with his sanity, and instead he becomes his nickname. We have nicknames like Shoe, Leprechaun, Stangles Jangles (this is what I meant by perfect) and Daywalker, Fancy Pants and Brick. These men are each absurd in their own way, and their names reflect that – Stangles Jangles is clearly hung like a horse and Daywalker, as anyone who watches “South Park” should know, is a redhead without freckles. Each name holds a special trait of the bearer. Just find someone on the team and ask about Pinecone. It’s a little bit of homework that’s well worth the effort.

As you should know, we do go to UR, so we all are intelligent people. Sadly, as you may have found out already, a lot of people operate at the same cognitive level as your average cinder block. Needless to say, other teams have certain “rituals” for their new players. One of the finest such rituals involves a lap after the match, with little – actually no – clothing.

If their lap is a victory lap, our team can still hold our heads high and walk away the bigger men. Pun completely intended. It is a chance to display your pride in your sport, and why you love it so, because only someone crazy enough to play Rugby is usually crazy enough to run around ass-naked.

These matches don’t end on a sour note, even if they do end in a loss for a team, which is bound to happen because we can’t both be winners – this isn’t the Special Olympics. After the match, the teams meet up at a predetermined location for a social. Now, these socials each have their own little quirks, but, for the main part, there is always drinking, and there is always singing.

Anyone who has ever seen the movie “Beerfest” will recall the scene early in the film when the tourists are prompted to share a drinking song but have none. Know why this is? The Rugby players know them all and the hell if many Americans know anything about Rugby. Our songs range from vile, singing about sexual things we would do to one another’s family members, to proud, singing about why we are so fine at each of our respective positions on the team. Truth be told, these songs are usually pretty vile, but, damn it, they’re fun.

Either way, Rugby proves to be a chance to build our creative spirit. Our suffering forces us to divert our attention away, channeling it into the arts, be it singing or showmanship (streaking). Either way, we Ruggers of UR, albeit an impressive bunch of the human race, are open to discourse with non-Rugby players, so if you see one of us about, be sure to say “hi.” We might just make you a better person.

Bierasinski is a member of the class of 2010.



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