Archive for the 'Sports' Category


Burn the Witch!

This just in from the Morning Herald in Sydney, Australia, where it is already tomorrow:

Who said Americans had a sense of humour? Our man in New York, Phillip McCarthy, went to see the Australian gay rugby team, the Sydney Convicts, take on teams from North America and Europe to win the Bingham Cup, named after a gay 9/11 victim, Mark Bingham.

When a couple of streakers from the Convicts section tried to cross the field, the hosts were not amused. Says McCarthy: “Americans don’t really get streaking at sports events — it’s considered an English peculiarity, like bad plumbing,” and the incident brought a swift public address announcement from arena officials threatening to stop the match if there was a repetition.

I missed this incident, but I heard from many people afterward about the streakers at half-time during the final San Francisco Fog vs. Sydney Convicts match on Sunday, May 29. These may have been the same guys who ran naked somersaults across the stage during the kangaroo court at the closing night party at Webster Hall later that night. If so, I’m sorry I missed half time.

I would like to state for the record that the source of the displeasure was not an entity affiliated with the hosts of the tournament, my rugby team. No, we know how to appreciate a well-placed naked man in rugby boots. The announcement came rather from a joyless official on the loudspeaker at Icahn Stadium, which adjoined the pitch where the match was being played, and which was hosting a high school or junior high track meet at the time. I guess the guy on the mic threatened to call the police, with all the humor of a 17th century Puritan preacher and all the authority of your meanest uncle.

Yes, with naked men and women dripping from billboards up and down Manhattan and bullets and explosions all day long on television, heaven forbid we should allow people to see a fun, non-sexual and completely harmless expression of nudity in real life. This shame of the human body in America is freakish.


Bingham Cup 2006

On Memorial Day weekend, my rugby team, the Gotham Knights, hosted the third biennial Bingham Cup, the largest international tournament of gay rugby teams in the world. (Previous hosts are the San Francisco Fog and the King’s Cross Steelers of London.)

Here’s our latest press release:

The Sydney Convicts Rugby Football Club took top honors on May 28 at the 2006 Bingham Cup hosted this year in New York City. Having traveled half-way around the world from Australia to compete, the Convicts’ victory against the San Francisco Fog in the finals closed out the international gay rugby tournament held in honor of United Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham.

Alice Hoagland, mother of United Flight 93 hero and gay rugby player Mark Bingham, presented the grand prize on Randall’s Island, the site of the tournament. More than 700 rugby players from teams around the world competed in 80 matches. Ms. Hoagland passed up screenings of United 93 at the Cannes Film Festival to attend the tournament. Instead, she presented the Cup named after her son to the winning team on Sunday. Players from teams all over the USA and from Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Holland, and Australia, flew in for the tournament.

In addition to the presentation of the Cup, Boston Ironsides won the second division competition with a 3-0 overtime victory against the Dallas Diablos to take home the Bingham Bowl. The Sydney Convicts also won the third division by defeating a Worldwide Barbarians team by 26-7 to take home the Bingham Plate. In the first ever Bingham Cup women’s rugby division, top honors went to the aptly named team from New York Rugby Club named “I Love Kuch,” who bested the Scottsdale Lady Blues and a composite team to take the newly designated prize.

The Bingham Cup is the biennial international rugby competition named after Mark Bingham a hero of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Bingham played for gay & bisexual rugby team the San Francisco Fog RFC after leading UC Berkeley to national championships. The Bingham Cup was first held in San Francisco in 2002 and in London in 2004. The 2006 Bingham Cup was hosted by the Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club, a team Bingham was helping to found in 2001 before his untimely passing, and proceeds will benefit both college scholarships via the Mark Bingham Leadership Fund and the United 93 Memorial Fund.

For more information about the Bingham Cup, participating teams and match results go to

Associated Press coverage of the tournament was picked up across the country in mostly smaller daily papers. We’ve been covered in the gay press and internationally, notably in Australia, the UK and South Africa. We’ve also had some strange appearances, such as on Chinese and Indian television.

Notable appearances:
New York 1 television news (Includes video clip. Please excuse the silly spelling error in the headline.) (Includes video clip.)

Other appearances:
Time Out New York
New York Channel 9
Sports Illustrated Live
YES Network
Boston Herald
at least one TV station in mainland China
at least one TV station in India
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Arizona Republic
Calgary Sun
Hamilton Spectator (Ontario)
The Independent (South Africa)
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg, S.A.)
The Trentonian (New Jersey)
Charleston Gazette
San Diego Union Tribune
WKNG Channel 6, (Orlando, FL)
Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA)
Auburn Citizen (New York)
Guelph Mercury (Canada)
Standard Speaker (Pennsylvania)
Edge (Boston)
The State (South Carolina)
Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN)
Monterey County Herald (CA)
NEPA News (PA)
Sydney Star Observer (Australia)
UK Gay News (London)
PM Entertainment (Long Island)
New York Blade
Southern Voice (Atlanta)
Houston Voice
Southern Voice (Florida)
Washington Blade
Gay Outdoors
OutUK (London)


Holey Leggings, Batman!

I’ve been in physical therapy for about a month now because of a rugby injury. I developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot early in the season. Like a lame-ass I hurt myself at practice — not even in the heat of a real match. Still, it hurts like a bitch, making walking difficult and running impossible at times — highly inconducive to a bipedal creatures such as myself, let alone rugby.

There are some real characters in a physical therapy office. And some ugly feet. I count myself lucky, having relatively clean, minorly caloused hooves. I apologized once, and the guy who gives me my deep-tissue foot massage every session said, “Heh heh heh … Dude, you have no-o-o-o idea.”

There was a woman at the office tonight who I had never seen before. And for our first meeting, I saw far more of her than I had ever hoped to. Far more than I wanted to. This is because the leggings she wore were so worn down in the inner and anterior thigh that square inches of bare skin were showing through. This was not like a run in a stocking or a transparent, threadbare t-shirt. This was years of thigh rubbing thigh and butt rubbing bicycle seat.

My first reaction was something like: “Um, I don’t need to see that!” [think Valerie Cherish] “But, well, I also don’t need to look. And clearly she doesn’t care. Unless she doesn’t know. But how could she not know?”

I mean, the updraft must have been mighty real.

I regarded her on a stationary bike, those gams of hers lifting up and pushing down, the exposed flesh quivering like something molded and thawing. It was mesmerizing. Like a car crash. Either she had very little self respect or a whole damn lot of it. I couldn’t decide. And my reaction had nothing to do with her age, which I guessed to be in the ballpark of 50. A younger woman would have looked no better.

I have a ratty old pair of shoes that I can’t seem to get rid of. They cost $4.50 at Payless, where I found them in the women’s section. (Women get such deals at that place! And all the men’s shoes are ugly and fall apart in a month.) These babies have lasted me three years. I keep them on principle. Plus, they’re super cute. Of course, they have holes through the soles. I can’t walk on a wet sidewalk without drenching my socks. And sometimes I keep underpants well past the sell-by date. But these things are covert and unknown to everyone but the drop-off laundry service lady. And she can judge me all she wants.

One of the assistants made some crack to the guy who was torturing my foot. He laughed quietly. I felt bad that she was being talked about, albeit quietly, just five yards away. But they weren’t being malicious. Just surprised and sort of startled. We all hoped she would just put some damn pants on. Or a skirt. Or a towel. I could have been a gentleman and offered my warm-up pants.


Could you imagine accepting someone else’s pants at the gym?

Hmm… on second thought, that could be quite a pleasant thing.

the untallied hours