Archive for the 'Sports' Category


Greek foot

His feet look strong. Rigid, you might say, sinewy. But not bony. They are feet well-used, but not calloused or dirty.

It suggests a lot of time spent barefoot. He has the sand-scoured soles and suntanned top skin of feet that spent the summer months on the beach.

Under the skin across each foot curves a pattern of athletic veins. From ball to heel, a graceful arch slopes high and tight, like the loaded spring of a catapult.

His toes spread wide at the broad, flat, flipper-like ends of his feet. They are each distinct and squared at the tip, not a one crushed against another or mangled by years of too-tight shoes. His big toe is neither bulbous and vegetal, nor stunted and incomplete, just the next step up in a natural progression from this little piggy to the next.

The toenails are clean, neat, but not meticulous, not manicured. Maintained, you might say, but not “cared for.” Not shiny. Rather, appropriately dull and masculine, but glowing at the same time with effortless, thoughtless health.

The flesh of his heel sinks in around the Achilles tendon, taut as a drawn bow. His ankles, stony and firm, yet vulnerable, look mechanical and ready. And the region just above, at the base of his calves where the leg hair starts to grow, peeks out from the turned-up cuff of his jeans like a hint, an innuendo, a suggestion.

These are among the things you’re likely to notice when you’re a college freshman, in circumstances foreign and uncomfortable and exhilarating, suddenly free to look—in fact, encouraged to look—at the world with new eyes, meeting the guy across the hall who, like you, is sitting outside the door of his room with a book while his roommate is on the phone. Continue reading ‘Greek foot’


Can’t Win for Losing

Some people are naturally competitive about everything they do. I am not.

That’s not to say I want to lose, or that I don’t like to be my best. I get jealous when someone is good at something I want to be good at. I want to be a success, and I want people to think I’m successful, but my goal is merely to be accomplished. I don’t necessarily want to be better than anyone. I just want to be as good as they are.

I don’t need to win. Sometimes I don’t even like to win, because I feel bad that someone else had to lose. I just want to be evenly matched. And then if I should happen to win, its not my fault that someone else lost. It’s just down to a good hand. Luck. Fate.

And I don’t like to celebrate and carry on. I don’t like to stand under a spotlight as draw attention to myself as “the winner.” I definitely don’t like to put it in anyone’s face.

But then sometimes, when I drink a lot, I behave much differently.

Continue reading ‘Can’t Win for Losing’


The Toke of Hope

  Michael Phelps
His abs still go on for days. Clearly he’s not a pothead. Who cares?

Michael Phelps has smoked pot.


His swimming career will be unaffected, but he will probably lose endorsement money on this, which is a bummer, but only a temporary setback.

We’ve hung the hopes of a nation around his neck, weighing him down with each gold medal (as if his success has anything at all to do with me or you). How dare he betray us? How dare he be capable of error?

Whatever. Speaking of him strictly as a public figure, I’m glad. He may be a genetic freak marvel, born to torpedo through chlorinated waters and mug for the Wheaties box. He may have more focus and drive in one day of training than you or I could muster over a lifetime. But in a backward sort of way, his one-time-only (as far as we know) toke should give us all hope. It is proof positive that he is human — and that maybe we all have a shot. Any other attitude suggests staggering hypocrisy to me.

Barack Obama is another one we have built up to impossible heights. And he’s a smoker. Dirty, dirty smoker! A producer for This American Life recently begged the American public: Please do not, by public outcry and hypocritical posturing, drive those American Spirits from his lips! Barack Obama is a hero, a savior, an untouchable. We adore him because we are not like him. He is better than us.

Bullshit. He is us. And his clandestine tobacco habit proves it.

As our friend Judy Bernly once said, “I smoked a marijuana cigarette at a party once. I could never figure out what the big deal was.” One thing’s for sure: Phelps is a man, not a mouse. Well, he’s definitely not a wouse.


Blood, Sweat and Queers

Logo is premiering a documentary about the rivalry between the San Fransisco Fog RFC and the Sydney Convicts RFC leading up to the 2006 Bingham Cup.

I can’t embed it, but here is a link to it: Walk Like a Man

The tournament was hosted by my team, the mighty Gotham Knights RFC of New York City. A lot of B roll footage is from that tournament, and you can see us in our yellow-and-blue jerseys running around with that silly white ball kicking up dust across the abominable rugby pitches on Randall’s Island. Oh, it was hot that weekend, and it was still only spring!

Everything the Fog and Convict players say about their teams, their teammates, their own experiences, the ideals of the sport itself, and the way the game is coached and played is mirrored absolutely equally among all teams around the world.


Minneapolis to Host Bingham Cup 2010

Taken from the Bingham Cup 2010 Facebook group page:

Bingham Cup 2010The International Gay Rugby Association and Board (IGRAB) announced today that its 2010 world championship tournament, the Bingham Cup, will take place at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. The Minneapolis Mayhem RFC won the rights to host the tournament, currently scheduled for June 17-20, 2010, in a vote held among IGRAB member clubs.


Not So Sporting

From the BBC: Northern Ireland’s only gay rugby team is promoting a form of sporting apartheid, Sports Minister Edwin Poots has claimed.

Mr Poots said he could not understand the motivation behind the founding of the Belfast-based Ulster Titans.

“I just cannot fathom why people see the necessity to develop an apartheid in sport,” he said.

However, one of the team’s founders, Declan Lavery, said everyone was welcome to join the club. “When the club was set up it welcomed members regardless of their age, creed, religion, sexual orientation or whatever, and that’s how it continues,” Mr Lavery said.

However, Mr Poots said: “It would be unacceptable to produce an all-black rugby team or an all-white team or an all-Chinese team.

“To me it’s equally unacceptable to produce an all-homosexual rugby team and I find it remarkable that people who talk so much about inclusivity and about having an equal role in society would then go down the route of exclusion.”

This is just willful idiocy.

The facts are plain:

  1. The team was founded by gay men.
  2. Everyone is welcome to join whether they’re gay or not.
  3. It is not a gays-only team. There is no exclusion.

Yet his response is to call this apartheid. Is he even listening? Maybe he’d rather have the pootfers just keep their traps shut.

To call this “apartheid” is not only an insult to all the gay men who joined that team because they felt unwelcome elsewhere, but also to all people who really do experience exclusion. It’s precisely this kind of hostility that leads to the formation of gay-friendly sports teams in the first place.


New York Gay Rugby Team Reaches Milestone Game

UPDATE: The game will be at Wassening Park in Bloomfield, NJ, at 1 p.m. on 10/27. See for directions.

Following their defeat of Fordham University’s Old Maroon RFC 41-5 on Saturday October 20, 2007, the Gotham Knights will advance to the the final round of the New York Metropolitan Rugby Union Division III playoffs this coming Saturday.

This is unprecedented for a gay rugby team in New York, or rather, a gay team that plays rugby. But since we’ve got a few straight guys on board, we can’t really say that, so we say “predominantly gay.” Which is fine by me, because even that is unprecedented. The win last weekend also makes us the first such team to play in the Northeast Rugby Union championship tournament in he spring, the first stage of the USA Rugby national championship playoffs.

And, wouldn’t you know it, this happens during a season I happen not to be playing. (Maybe these two things are not unrelated…)

The championship game will be played at Brookdale Park in Montclair, NJ. I won’t be there, because I’ll be cleaning house for my husband’s birthday party. But I will be on pins and needles waiting for that email from someone’s Blackberry. Stay tuned.


Three Cheers for Madison, Wisconsin!

    Upside-down tackle
Dangerous play. Do not tackle like this. Do not get tackled like this.

My 9th grade world history teacher said the most basic sign of civilization is plumbing. He proposed that, looking back on world history, we cannot consider a people to be civilized unless they had devised a way to pipe poop away from where people lived.

I propose that a people cannot be considered civilized until they have a rugby team. Before Rugby, England, 1823, we were just sort of messing around. Wheel. Fire. Feh. Rugby? OK, now we’re getting somewhere.

The Madison, Wisconsin, LGBT community is stepping up to join the world with a new rugby team. So far unofficially named, Madison Gay Rugby had their first team meeting on March 10 with the help of the Minneapolis Mayhem and the Chicago Dragons. They got an impressive 23 men to show up, which is good for a training session on an established team. (According to Madison team spokesman Shawn Neal, the Dragons saw 13 at their first meeting, and the Mayhem drew only eight.)

An auspicious beginning, Madison. Best of luck to you! Can’t wait to meet you on the pitch!

Read more (scroll to the bottom)


Rugby 101

For those of you who may wonder:


Black Eye

No one at work has asked me about my black eye today. I wonder if they think I’m being beaten at home and they’re afraid to ask me about it because it might reduce me to tears or fits of hysterics. Or maybe they don’t want to force me into a corner where I begin to tell lie upon lie to maintain the status quo and avoid embarrassing myself or the person who hit me.

But I work at a social service agency. Surely if anyone is going to care enough to ask, that person will be right here.

Of course, I’m not being beaten. I injured myself at rugby practice last night when the guy running in front of me slammed into a goal post and I slammed into him.

It’s just a wee thing. Just a little bruising on my cheek.

I think it’s funny that I should get my first rugby shiner at my last rugby practice. Well, my last practice for a few months, anyway. Most of my teammates don’t know I’m taking this next season off.

the untallied hours