On Wednesday, July 22, at 7 p.m., a group of outdoor industry rugby players, still unable to come to grips with diminished fitness and speed, have banded together in an attempt to relive former glories against a Salt Lake City "Old Boys" team in a friendly rugby match. The match will be held at Fort Douglas Field-- though in rugby parlance, we prefer to call it a pitch, not a field.
This is being described as a friendly match -- and by friendly, we do mean that if an opponent knocks out teeth or removes limbs, they will politely hand them back to the former owner with a smile. Rugby players may be closet hooligans, but they do have a certain code of etiquette after all.
It should also be noted that three women will be throwing down with the outdoor industry clan: Ellen Moran of EMS, Kerry McCarthy of Osprey and Megan Kress of Northstar Sales & Marketing. Rest assured -- the outdoor industry team is eternally grateful they will not be getting pummeled by any of these ladies.
The balance of your outdoor industry rugby side includes (and we apologize if we miss anyone here -- memory isn't what it used to be due to too many after-match parties): Stephen Barnes (former U.S. national team member), Osprey; Chet Cisek, Wild Moon Agency; Lindsay Coulsey, Crumpler; Scott Duer (team captain), Rottefella; Matt Enloe, Backcountry.com; Brendan Gibson, Backcountry.com; Dave Gellatly; Taylor Hall, Teton Village Sports; Michael Hodgson, SNEWS; Jon Jugenheimer; Bill Lockwood, Ferrand Assoc.; Josh Madsen, Free Heel Life; Tom McCarthy (team coach), Three Mountain Associates; Sean McCarthy; Duncan Roberts, 3.5; Gareth Richards, Outdoor Prolink; Tad Sommerset, REI; Jack Walzer, Jans; Bill Weber, Arborwear; and Jon Z, Treadz Shoes.
There are no tryouts for this team, other than a simple email saying, "Count me in on the inevitable rucks, mauls and blood-letting at Baliff Field," and we'll get your name to Coach McCarthy to add to the roster
We are especially in need of forwards -- big manly men (or women) who enjoy being at the top of the food chain.
For you football fans, the match on July 22 provides the perfect opportunity to come to grips with one very important fact: Rugby is your sport's daddy. The match also offers the ideal time, with beer in hand, to come out and heckle or cheer (either is encouraged) outdoor industry friends who hopefully realize they no longer fit into those same rugby shorts from 20 years ago -- hootchie-mama shorts on a rugby player are just sad, even if his fingers and ears are sporting athletic tape and he's clutching a leather rugby ball.