Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why Rugby Rules for All Eternity

I played for the Lost Lady Lions in Saranac last weekend. It was a bear of a drive, but in the end worth it because, as usual, the tournament reminded me of all that is good about women and this sport. Let me explain.

This year, three sisters who graduated from Penn State many years ago (like 11, 9, and 6 years ago) all decided they wanted to play at the tournament. About one year ago, they had all decided to get pregnant and have babies at the same time, so not only do they operate as a team, but they tend to have outrageous and ultimately good ideas. This year, we all showed up at the field to see a gaggle of craziness approaching: three husbands with infants/toddlers strapped to their bellies in those baby bookbags, limp limbs a-danglin, three mothers wearing rugby gear and holding the hands of D's oldest child. Throughout the weekend, the dads got drunker while they wore the backpacks, which is excellent.

In our first game, C actually played against us for her own team and tackled her sister, yelling, "You fat ass!" to P right in front of the ref! He looked like he was going to explode until P said, "Oh no, it's all right. She's my sister." It was crazy! We had our team huddles with babies--mothers holding babies in the circle. When another ref came over to review the new rules, she just sort of stood and smiled at all the babies and moms.

The best part of the day was our third game, late in the evening, when C realized she was lactating through her jersey. Mouse, another player we borrowed, could empathize. "I'm doing it, too!" There was lactation going on all around me, while babies watched their moms play rugby and internalized this idea that hey, my mom? She does cool stuff and can knock people down and be assertive.

Every time I go to Saranac I decide something important based on my discussions with PSU Rugby alumnae. One year I decided to quit my job and work at Rugby magazine instead. Another, I determined that rugby would be the focus of my graduate thesis and that I would go to the World Cup free of charge. This year, I have decided that I will be one of those women lactating during a game while Corey holds a baby dangling from his chest in a baby backpack (though the large cans of early morning beer are optional for this fantasy). This vision might take a bit longer than the others to carry out, though...

1 comment:

Valtastic said...

No kidding... you'd have to be prego yesterday in order to be able to play next year...