Plop-plop, fizz-fizz Fellow Ruggers,

Oh, what a relief it is! The first leg of the holiday Tri-fecta is in the books. With Christmas nigh upon us, Hooker Rugby Supply Co. is here to do their share of the "in your face" marketing that we've all come to know and love during the Holiday season. We view it as providing our customers with top quality products at the lowest possible prices. Before we get to our Holiday gift ideas, you will (of course) have to endure the incessant ramblings of the rantster.

Forgive me- it's been a while since I've stepped up to the podium, so I may be a bit rusty. I've been resting my carpal tunnel as of late because I've been participating in some pretty exciting rugby events! On November 12, my second favorite NFL team (any team that's playing against the Cowboys), the Cincinnati Bungles, fell to the Dallas Cowboys by a score of... I don't remember and I don't care. I was there, sitting in the freezing cold rain, waiting anxiously for the final seconds to tick down. It was not the post-game victory party, or escaping the freezing cold that I was looking forward to. I was anxiously waiting to take the turf of Texas Stadium and do battle against the Dallas Harlequins, in an exhibition rugby match. I'd been asked to play for the Texas Select Invitational side for reasons that can only be explained as comic relief. We really didn't have to worry about turf burn. It had rained so much that the turf was just one giant puddle. The game itself was fun!

We played for about 40 minutes. In an effort to keep the game flowing, we had un-contested scrums and line-outs, and the usually precise Richard Prim conveniently lost his whistle and was unable to make many calls (except for crucial scoring opportunities against our team). Hats off to all of the players who battled the cold and hit ferociously in the name of promoting our sport. Even though few spectators stuck around after the Dallas game, the Cowboys and Harlequins have agreed to expand their efforts next year. Chew on this: wouldn't it behoove all NFL cities to invite rugby clubs (at least once a year) to participate in half-time competitions? Add in a couple of NFL scouts in the stands and who knows, you may be playing against the next Walter Payton. Just a thought.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Hooker Rugby Supply Co. decided to travel to Florida and whore out our services in counting ballots. In between our dimples and chads, we were proud and honored to attend the very first of many Miami International 7's Tournaments. The organizers of this event are hoping to add Miami as a leg of the World Cup 7s Series. This year's participants in the Premier Division were the National sides of Chile, Jamaica, Emil Signes' Atlantis Sevens Team, and Eagle Coach Tommy Smith brought many of his 7s players to participate. Believe it or not, I tried (unsuccessfully) to whore myself out to Tommy Smith's team. I did manage to rend my hooking services to the Ft. Lauderdale Old Boys in competition against a spirited 15s team from Venezuela. The organizers of this event are definitely on the right track. Heed my advice now; get your 7s team or your Old Boys 15s team and make your way down to Sunny Miami Beach in Mid-November. You'll see some great rugby !

And, of course, some unique nightlife. Our last advice for this week is; don't drive south on I-95 in Florida at 5pm on a Friday.

Pat Laczkowski
Hooker Rugby Supply