August 23, 2001

Fellow Ruggers,

Let me be the fourth, fifth, or tenth person to welcome you to the 2001-2002 Fifteens Rugby Season. It has been a really long, hot summer, filled with great Sevens Tournaments. But, let's face it; the majority of us have been barbequing and getting fat! (I speak from experience.) Tuesday night was our first official training of the year. We had to run that cursed beep test (available for sale at Hooker Rugby Supply). Needless to say, I came under the wire of the coach's watchful eye, knowing that we'll have to do that test several times during the year and I will be expected to improve. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: pretty smart. I promised some of the boys from White Plains that I would try to keep my rants a little shorter. A few of the guys said that they really enjoy them but that I tend to drone on and on and on and on. God forbid, I don't want to be one of those people who don't shut up when you tell them to shut up. You know - the ones who go on and on incessantly about nothing at all. Do you know what I'm talking about?

I've brushed on this topic before, but I think it deserves a quick refresher. A few weeks ago, I was inundated with e-mails urging me to write a letter to Fox Sports World, pleading with them to keep their Championship Rugby Program on the air. I guess the rumor was that there wasn't enough interest, or ratings for the show and that they were going to dump it. Well, true to form, the US Rugby community came through and so inundated their e-mail box that it was continually crashing their server. They started sending e-mail replies back thanking the ruggers for their support and urging them to let their friends know to stop sending e-mail - the show would remain on air.

It used to be the power of the pen, but now it's the power of the PC - same concept, different medium. With about five minutes worth of work for God only knows how many rugby players, we were able to save the only quality rugby program on the air in the US. With all of the amazing common sense that my parents blessed me with, when I saw what happened, my head started going off like Michael Keaton's did in Beetlejuice. There are definitely a lot of rugby players out there who could spend 20 minutes finding the e-mail address of the program director at, say, ESPN, CNNSI or even Sports Illustrated, the magazine. Then, through the miracle of the Internet, we could spread those addresses around, and the rugby community at large could take five minutes and write the same letter to ten different people, urging their organization to put more rugby into their publication or program. A young rugby player named Clay, who is only 18, e-mails me on a regular basis telling me about his small-scale efforts to do this very same thing. Nationally, or locally, we can collectively get a lot done by, possibly, each rugby player taking five minutes out of his day to write a quick letter. So, the next time you come across a contact for ESPN, pass it on to your teammates and maybe they'll tell two ruggers and so on and so on...

Pat Laczkowski
Hooker Rugby Supply