I have been thinking about my role in this life and some of the things that I hold dear. High on that list is the game of rugby. I thought I might share with you a few of my thoughts on the role that each individual part plays that makes up a cohesive rugby team. While some of you may disagree with the message, I feel it is important to share with you all the knowledge that I have gained in my years of playing rugby.
Front Row - Without a doubt the manliest men on the pitch. Large, often hairy, beer swilling carnivores that can and will smash anything in their path. Reveling in the violence inherent in the scrum, they are rarely considered "nice" people, and in fact to some they aren't even considered human at all. This attitude is tolerated by front rowers far and wide because they recognize their role at the top of the food chain and are used to suffering the fools that surround them. Accused by some of simply being dumb, I prefer to think of this group as "open to unconventional ways of thinking".
Locks - Slightly below the front row on the food chain. As with front row players it is inadvisable to put an appendage you wish to keep near this group's mouth when they are in the feeding mode. This group of large, often foul smelling brutes is also more than willing to relish the finer points of stomping on a fallen opponent's body and will gleefully recount the tale ad infinitum. While they tend to take the tag "Powerhouse of the Scrum" a little too seriously, they can be useful if inured with the proper hatred of their fellow man. While members of this proud fraternity like to think of themselves as "open to unconventional ways of thinking" - they are usually just dumb.
Back Row #'s 6, 7 & 8 - These are fine fit fellows who, like a bunch of hermaphrodites, are confused as to what their role in life should be. While they know they are undeniably linked to the forwards, there are those among them who long for the perfect hair and long flowing gowns that come with being a back. Some relish the forward role and will do anything to win the ball and there are others within this group that will break the prime directive of the forward and do anything to prance foolishly with the ball. Generally, these guys are not all bad, but I, personally, have to wonder about any forward who brings a hairbrush and a change of clothes to a game.
Scrum Half - Some like to think of this back as an honorary forward. I myself tend to think of the #9 as half a fag. While this position is almost always filled by the toughest back, this idea is almost laughable - kind of like the hottest ugly chick. The scrum half's presence is tolerated by the forwards because they know that he will spin the ball to the rest of the girls in the back line who will inevitably knock the ball on and allow them the pleasure of another scrum. The #9 can take pride in the fact that he is the lowest numbered back and that as such he can be considered almost worthwhile.
Fly Half - Primary role is the leader of the backs - a dubious honor at best. Main responsibilities as far as I can tell is ability to throw the ball over people's heads and to provide something soft for opposing back rowers to land on. Expected to direct the prancing of the rest of the back line - the fly half, like any good Broadway choreographer, is usually gay. While some may argue that these girls must be protected, I find it hard to support anyone whose foot touches a rugby ball on purpose.
Centers - Usually come in two varieties - hard charger or flitting fairy. The hard charger is the one to acquire as he will announce his presence in a game with the authority rarely found above #8. The flitting fairy is regrettably more common and will usually attempt to avoid contact at all costs. The flitting fairy is also only one good smack away from bursting into tears and leaving the pitch to cry on the shoulder of his inevitable girlfriend. Both types will have extensive collections of hair care products in their kit bags and will be among the best dressed at the post game festivities.
Back Three - While some people refer to this group as 2 wingers and a fullback, I swear to God I can't make out any difference between them. They are all fucking homos if you ask me. How these three guys can play 90 minutes of RUGBY and stay clean and sweat free is beyond me. I know for a fact that their jerseys sometimes go back in the bag cleaner than when they came out. These ladies are fond of sayings like "Speed Kills" and "Wheels Win", how cute. These guys will be easy to spot after the game because they are the finely coifed, sweater wearin', wine sippin', sweet talkin' homos in the corner avoiding the beer swilling at the bar. On the whole, I really don't mind this group because in the end, they sure are "purty" to look at.
The lower the number - the better the man
Rugby players all have specialized positions. On each side there are eight players called forwards who push, charge, wrestle, barge and very occasionally go forwards carrying the ball under one arm. Sometimes, they move in a knotted group, hiding the ball, and this is very clever. The other seven players are called backs, so called because they run sideways, throwing the ball backward to each other. Sometimes, they manage to run right across the field and this is very clever. Most of the time, the backs drop the ball, run after it, stumble and fall over. When this happens the other side picks it up and runs the other way. The player who dropped the ball must now think of an excuse, it was the sun, the wind (sometimes their own) the moon, I wonder what's for dinner, I pulled a muscle, it was a bad pass, etc. etc. Thinking up an excuse is usually the cleverest move a Vintage Whine can make.
- The Fullback
- The Winger
- The Centers
- The Fly Half
- The Scrum Half
- The Front Row
- The Second Row
- The Loose Forwards
- The Referee
The last line of defense who is always blamed when the opposition score. Vintage Whine fullbacks however, position themselves with care to avoid being near attacking players or under high kicks. This is known as reading the game well. They also make great cheerleaders and will cheer everyone else on while clamoring about trying to keep up. They often gasp and wheeze while looking to the sideline for the nearest water bottle or opportunities to be included in the best photographs.
There is one of these on each side of the field, left and right. They are known for having a marked reluctance to take responsibility and a tendency to panic under pressure. They are always the first to pull a muscle. On the Vintage Whines, rather than allowing any true wings to pull up lame before the match, forwards, especially slow and exhausted front row types, are usually deployed to confuse the opposition, resulting in opposition players avoiding the stench and odor of our outer flanks.
Two again, one inside the other outside. When attacking, they are the ones who run quickly toward the nearest opponent and collapse into their arms. When they try to kick the ball it is always an adventure. Center's traditionally have high sperm counts but on the Vintage Whines we use forwards as center's so this tradition is threatened. Centers are usually known for speed and Vintage Whine centers are no exception. They often sprint off the field to the toilet or to the bar to reload. They have an uncanny knack of tripping over themselves or being flattened by opposition players whom they were trying to run through.
The Fly Half...
In Golden Oldies rugby this is the big laugh position reserved for aging trendies who think they can still cut the mustard. They act tough by striking various poses, snarling, blowing snot, hoiking boogers, and wearing Velcro inside their jockstraps. If someone comes near them they usually do one of three things. (1) kick the ball anywhere (2) run anywhere (3) assume the fetal position. On the Vintage Whines, the Fly Half position is reserved for those able to consume two pints of beer and a double cheeseburger 10 minutes prior to the game
The Scrum Half...
A small knotty type person who usually does exercises on the day of the match. Spends the whole game trying to keep out of the reach of opposing forwards. Usually becomes cocky in the last fifteen minutes and gets battered. On the Vintage Whines, the scrum half traditionally talks to the referee, the forwards of both teams, backs of both teams, supporters and other teams playing close by. The current Vintage Whines scrum half has been known to keep talking in a style similar to shorthand dictation even after the match and right up until close to 1 AM the following morning.
The Front Row...
The vice ring of the scrum. In Golden Oldies rugby they play a separate game with the opposing front three. Often their game is played in one part of the field, without the ball, while the rest proceed elsewhere. After 15 minutes they are always completely shagged and, like all alcoholics, vow this is the last time. Multi colored belly button lint is a prerequisite. On the Vintage Whines, all of the above is true, but the same qualifies one for a position on wing or at center. Vintage Whine front rowers are reluctant to move any body part at all. However, some have been seen to give a small jump or squirm as those in the second row grasp and clutch between their legs feeling for something to grip firmly on.
The Second Row...
This is the most restful position. To be able to rest one's head between two well-cushioned thighs, clutching on to each others love handles can put some second rowers to sleep. They are known to enjoy the comfort of being comfortably tucked up at the bottom of a pile of players. An experienced second row can go through a complete game without making any contact with the ball whatsoever. Usually distinguished by a magnificent pair of ears and a nose the shape of South America. Second rows types have an uncanny ability to sustain regular breathing amidst putrefied, nauseating odors. They love scrums and the mysteries associated with slipping ones arms through the legs of the front row. The art of this simple act has usually been passed down from father to son or mother to daughter. Second rowers have been known to run in circles and blow kisses to the supporters when they are in fact meant to be playing.
The Loose Forwards...
Golden Oldies loose forwards are basically nasty people who have never grown up. They have learned however, to get younger colleagues to do the actual tackling. The number eight loose forwards usually believe they could have played one more season in the competitive grade and always get conned by the other flankers into doing dirty work. The main goal of the loose forwards is to complete the game with their hair still in place, and be in the front row of exotic dance establishments. They are also apt to remember plays in which they were involved, even though no one else who played in the same game has the faintest recollection of their participation. Some are known to shave their legs and the soles of their feet.
Easily identifiable because they are always forty yards behind the ball, even at the kick off. Usually played in the lowest team in the lowest division before moving on to Golden Oldies. Most retire from playing Golden Oldies with a minor injury and are known to drink a glass of wine after the match. Referees recently petitioned the International Rugby Union to have the inside of the ball lined with tin. Pebbles would then be placed inside the tin and the ensuring rattle would enable them to at least be aware of the general direction of the play. The tradition of having separate changing rooms and showers for the referees does not exist in Golden Oldies rugby. This sometimes makes for exciting scenes in the showers should the referee be a woman.