Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bruised Black and Blue + Controversy

aka I survived being homeless for a month, subletting in a house of angry vegan serial killer locals, scraped through five weeks of mind numbing summer school, and still managed to protect my few remaining brain cells from the paint fumes that I'm gassed with every day at work. I've lost 14 odd lbs from biking my ass off everyday, managed to find a reasonable place to live in the fifth gnarliest housing market in the US (people are paying 800 for a 10x10 room...1000+ can rent a living room for 550 a month plus 800 deposit I'm not shitting you), had to tow my car three times, and finally got enrolled in my senior seminar so I can graduate after fall quarter (FINALLY). Yea...I might just have scraped by another summer, holding on by my teeth and bloody half-torn off fingernails. Ah well, I'm two months from done. Then I have to deal with the real world. Ugh.

So, as much as I like CA it's too damn expensive for me. I've got an old teammate in portland telling me stories about how she's working 20 hrs a week for 10 bucks an hour, getting full benefits, paying 200 a month for rent and living fat as a cat! Now I love avocados, CA coastal weather, and the kickin' culture but frankly I can't stand this shit. I'm thinking about moving to Washington....I could play for the Mudhens/and or seattle or something and it'd be cheaper and coastal and my bff/inside center may be moving up there as well. what does this have to do with controversy? Heh...Goff of course! It was an interesting piece. I mean as a pretty longtime reader he hasn't said anything particularly's a mish-mash of his previous editorials whisked together and displayed like tasty carrion to encourage some bloodletting.

Now I'm not going to address it all....hardly...I just want to mention a point, a small personal opinion. Elite level isn't a cure-all for endearing the sport to the whole of the US. It's a significant chunk..yea...but we're going to have to come out with a mix. Developing an exclusive elite cadre of teams doesn't exactly encourage participation and support. I don't see why creating one has to cut the other out or in simpler terms why they have to be mutually exclusive. I can see why the goals might be separated but I don't see why everyone is witch-hunting women's collegiate (d2 *cough* *cough*) rugby culture. It's fun, and relaxed environment to learn the game. If someone is particularly motivated to become involved at the elite level there are age grade all-star teams to play on to get funneled into the serious athlete pool. Yea the collegiate level coaching is frustrating (and probably worse then the high school level at times) but it does spread the word and I'm kinda sick of it being reviled by every commentator and journalist alike (The Albuquerque papers at nationals and blogs like is chock full of mud, slung by certain insecure men at women's teams for even existing much less occasionally using a few cuss words around the pitch) . When D2 men's teams act up they're pretty much ignored... why can't those concerned with the women's game be equally courteous?

Yea 98% of college players have to be completely retaught in order to play at club level, but at least the interest has already been peaked, the hurdle of introducing them to contact has already been broached, and their bound to know more of the rules then the average rookie off the street. Yes clubs occasionally pick up that super-athlete from other sports who are chock full of athleticism and master the game immediately (and you don't have to deal with the cockiness of a kid who thinks they already know everything) but how often does that happen? One or two a season? Just appreciate the collegiate rugby that exists, the competition is getting fitter every year...(just look at Ship elevating the D2 game...they recently took a close loss to Penn State one of the perennial contenders in D1).

Oh sidenote on the elite club level...I really wish Berkeley/ would update their site more often, especially rosters. With USA rugby being as uninformative as ever it'd be really nice to have updated rosters. It wouldn't take too long and it'd give a heckuva lot more recognition for our women's Eagle heroes. Sidenote number two I really miss the blogs that the Eagle teams used to do when they went on tour and Jen Doan's photography being public and available. It brought the game so much closer then an itty bitty blurry streamed clip could ever do (I mean ideally both) but yea if someone could just screencap and torrent the games imagine how much help it would provide to the *crappy* collegiate teams to watch women's rugby done right. PS I'd totally be willing to do some web/graphic design gruntwork (don't just judge me by this site I can put effort into things if I want) into making a poster for the WNT or Regional Sides if someone would shoot me a handful of decent res photographs (+ permission to work with them). Cause hell yea I think a lot of kids would pick up an Eagle poster (even if it was mondoboring and just a roster WITH THE NAMES OF EACH PLAYER ON THE BACK). The World Cup WNT cards were hella awesome I just wish there was more uh...sports-ish stat info on the back...basics like height weight, what tours they've been on or something....

Alright enough rambling...I'm glad to be back...and with a vengeance...stories of my ass getting kicked last weekend by none other then the Berkeley All Blues to be posted soon...hopefully with pictures.