Apr 262005
Authors: Ryan Chapman

As many of my regular readers know by now, I enjoy occasionally writing about my escapades with the CSU club rugby team. This occurs most often when we travel out of state and when I can't think of anything of any real importance to write about.

This past weekend the team traveled to California for what has become an annual end-of-season tournament. It wasn't until we were actually in Los Angeles, however, after four hours in Denver International Airport and two hours of flying, that we learned that the tournament had been cancelled because of excessive rain. Now, for those who don't know anything about rugby culture, 39 players halfway across the country with four days of nothing to do is a recipe for disaster or a lot of fun, depending on how you look at it.

Regardless, we scraped together three teams that had also been planning on attending this tournament and scheduled scrimmages, hoping to make the most of our time there. We set out Saturday morning with directions in hand for the field where we would play California Polytechnic and Southern Utah that afternoon. The first sign that things would not be going as planned that day should have been when the directions said "turn right at the dirt road."

The field we had been scheduled to play on was not so much a city recreational field, as I had expected, but a farmer's pasture, complete with chickens and a cow. One van got so lost the people in it ended up asking for directions at a sorority house and then staying for drinks – that's a true story.

Once the other teams arrived, however, we realized this wasn't going to be any light-hearted scrimmage. Southern Utah showed up with about 10 guys weighing more than 300 pounds, while our team wasn't as balanced. I can personally attest to the size of these gentlemen because one of them stepped on my head, and the local hospital had to close the tear in my scalp with four staples. Despite the obvious disadvantage in size, however, we made a good name for Colorado rugby that day and left the field with either a one-point loss or a two-point victory (the referee forgot to keep score).

Very early Sunday morning we traveled south, back to Los Angeles to play the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) on its home field. Nestled in the hills of Beverley, UCLA provided an interesting insight into exactly how large and pristine a university campus can be with the right amount of money.

We suffered a rather disappointing loss in that game after arriving too late to have any kind of pre-game warm-up. In an amazing display of veracity and heroism, our second team came out in their game and put the hurt on those sissy California boys, earning a last second win.

As for a moral of this story, I don't think there really is one, other than you can learn things and bond with people even when things don't go as planned. Oh, and In-n-Out Burger is an amazing establishment that should find a way to expand to Colorado. So, for those who are not yet inspired to come out and play rugby, I'll be sure to keep you updated on our on-goings in future columns.

Ryan Chapman is a junior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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