August 20, 2003

Hear Ye - Hear Ye Fellow Ruggers,

The proverbial lights are back on. The fall season is within striking distance. I've seen a few trees losing their leaves; a sure sign that the Fall Rugby season is soon to arrive. This season, I am really looking forward to wind sprints, (*#&#ing) beep tests, gassers, up-downs, and other conditioning drills in general. I can imagine that right now, the Fraternal Order of Idiot Brothers is considering revoking my membership, but before they do, allow me to explain. I won't actually have to do any of the aforementioned tasks. I'll be coaching and making OTHERS do them. Yes, you heard it here first; I have accepted a position as the head coach of Canisius College RFC in Buffalo, NY. It has always been important to me to give back to the sport as much as possible. I've begged, preached and ranted for all of you to do the same. I realize that in this work-a-day world, we're all tremendously busy with commitments outside of Rugby. But, there's one very simple thing that you can take care of that will help ensure Rugby's popularity and growth with hopes of overtaking the popularity of Frisbee golf. You can vote for our USA Rugby Reps.

Just last week, I received in the mail, the ballot sheet for this year's USA Rugby Board of Directors election. To my recollection, I've received few of these, if any, in the past (though you can't get mad at me because the repeated bumps to my noggin may have fogged my memory.) I scanned it over and, to my delight; there were 10 candidates that I recognized with a few being, what I would call, close friends. So, I quickly filled out my ballot and faxed it in. Doing my Democratic duty made me feel somewhat warm and fuzzy on the inside. I can't tell you how many times, particularly as a former Teacher, I've heard the saying that "The only way to affect change is to vote for new and more effective leaders." Getting new people in office is how the system works.

To best illustrate my point, let's look at Michael "Buzz" McClain. For over a decade, he has served as a columnist for Rugby Magazine as well as a referee. His strong opinions and rapier like wit have, no doubt, gotten him into trouble in the past. His criticisms and stances even led to official sanctions against him last year. So, in a uniquely American Democratic way, Buzz has decided to do the right thing and run for office which will open an avenue for change. And, for this, Buzz has received Mother Rugger's official endorsement. For the record, when you're getting ready to vote, Front Row Outfitters has several other candidates that they are endorsing:

Military Rep- Michael Legg

Referee Rep- Michael McClain

Youth/High School Rep- Anthony Mattacchione

Men's Rep- David Pelton

Women's Rep- Danita Knox

Collegiate Rep- Nancy Ketchner

The people listed above are good people. Not only that but they are good Rugby people whom I've dealt with and witnessed a tireless cultivation of the game. So, if you've already voted, more power to you. If you haven't already voted, dig out that ballot sheet and get it done. It takes a couple minutes of your time and darn-it; it's the right thing to do.

Pat Laczkowski
Front Row Outfitters