A road trip, Vail RFC style
Trips, like the one that the Vail Rugby Football Club is taking to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for a Saturday game, provide an opportunity for a club to bond on and off the pitch through assorted organized, wholesome activities.
OK, maybe not.
But road trips are the stuff of great stories, great fun and a lot of laughter with, yes, some rugby thrown in.
And with that, there come some very important rules. While still keeping in mind the rule, “What goes on tour, stays on tour,” from the home office in Dotsero, here are the Vail R.F.C.’s Top 10 Rules on Tour:
10. The Iron 15 Rule – With injuries depleting the ranks of the Blue and White, Vail is taking just 15 players. That means only a death in the family – yours – can keep you out of the lineup.
9. Getting off social security – A road trip often means the return of familiar faces. This year, that means the return of club president Scott Marino to the pitch to make sure Vail has 15 players.
“Back in action. He’s coming out of retirement for the 10th year in a row,” coach Fred Waititi joked.
So, Will Mansour, when you think of Marino do words like “athleticism” and “grace” come to mind?
“Nothing like that really comes to mind, actually. We trying to see if “a full game” is a phrase we can connect with Scotty.”
Marino, for one, is realistic about his comeback.
“I’m already taking Monday off from work,” he said.
8. Be in good voice – Singing is just as much of a tradition on tour as drinking.
“Singing. You’ve gotta sing. It’s got to be off the Top 10 from 30 years ago,” Waititi advises. “Credence Clearwater Revival. All that sort of stuff. Elvis also comes out a few times, especially when (coach Nick) Trimble’s about.”
7. Pick the right car – Knowing that you’re going to be in the same car with the same guys singing for 12-plus hours, it’s best to make sure that they are musically-inclined.
“Picking your car mates is something that takes a little foresight,” Mansour counsels. “I’m probably not a very good one to be with. The English tend to have a good sort of tone. The Americans are normally tone deaf.”
6. Once you arrive, make sure to have proper accommodations.
“We’re camping on the field,” Marino said. “Jackson Hole said we could have their rugby field to camp on to save money on accommodations. We hope it’s not raining up in Jackson Hole. So we probably won’t be showering much this weekend.”
With that odoriferous thought in mind, for the trip back from Jackson Hole to Vail, we refer you again to Rule No. 7 – pick the right car.
5. Worshiping the Porcelain Goddess.
“No puking in your place of residence,” Dalrymple admonished. “That would be either in the car or in the tents that we will be sleeping in.”
Thank you for the clarification, Brian.
4. Fouls – Contrary to some people’s perceptions of rugby, there are explicit rules of gentlemanly conduct to which one must adhere.
“People don’t know, but we are gentlemen,” Dalrymple, who is from Tennessee, said in his Queen’s English. “We are not the Gentlemen of Aspen. But we could be considered the Gentlemen of Vail.”
Those who break the rules, commit fouls. And fouls mean “shooting the boot,” as in filling your rugby shoe with bear and throwing it back.
“A foul is spilling your drink. It is drinking out of turn. It’s being rude and unsportsmanlike,” Dalrymple said. “A lot of fouls will be things we pick up in the game – dropped balls, knock-ons, just being fat and lazy and not being able to catch up with the ball. Marino’s going to drink a lot.”
3. All rise, the Court is in session – No road trip would be complete without a Kangaroo Court, where it’s likely that everyone will be fined for any offense in the name of a good time.
“Anybody who does anything stupid, they get severely fined,” Marino said. “We’ll get ’em. Come to think of it, we don’t really need a cause.”
2. Have fun – This would seem to be restating the obvious
“Normally, it’s a pretty festive atmosphere. You try to encourage that,” Mansour said. “When you do a trip like this, sometimes you’re undermanned. But you always seem to get the guys who want to have a good time. I’m sure Marino will come around and regale us.”
“We trust that Jackson Hole, it being the first time we’ve traveled up there, are going to show us a good night,” Marino said. “They’re a bunch of good guys.”
1. Oh, yes, don’t forget to play rugby.
“We sort of plan to have a game on Saturday,” Waititi said. “That’s one plan. Can’t forget that.”
Breakdown Balls: Aspen won the Ski Town Tournament title over Vail 33-8 Sunday. Apparently, the Gents were not too pleased with the media coverage Vail received after the Blue and White’s 40-21 win over Aspen on July 6. Richard Dyer, Aspen’s summer coach, was quoted in the Aspen Times as saying, “They really tried to rub our noses in that loss to the extent where I think we’ve promised ourselves it will not happen again in our lifetime.” Aspen visits Vail on Aug. 24. … Happy birthday wishes go out to Leyton Purchase, who turns the big 1 on Tuesday. Leyton is the son of proud parents John and Lara Purchase.