Thursday, November 08, 2007

MCRC @ USMA in NRU Final Four

It's Almost Showtime

The Middlebury Panthers will take their A-Train to this weekend's Div II Collegiate Northeast Rugby Union Final Four competition. Having blown through everyone (except UVM) in regular and post season(OK, yeah, and Coast Guard) match-up’s the team has earned their Northeast Region #1 seed and is poised and confident.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, Middlebury begins semi-final play at12:30pm against the St. Bonaventure Outlaws (really? The Outlaws?) at the US Military Academy’s Anderson Rugby Complex at West Point. The #4 seed St. Bonaventure is representing the New York State Rugby Conference.

The Anderson Rugby Complex sounds like a real sweet deal for Rugby fan’s and players alike. Click here for directions and a map of the complex.

Those of you who remember standing on the sidelines of the lumpy UMASS fields in year’s past waiting for the snow to be cleared are going to think you’ve died and gone to ruck heaven. With it’s nearly weather proof field turf, the Anderson Rugby Complex will offer mudless competion that should favor team speed and cohesive set pieces while allowing us all to forgo for once the ‘SURVIVOR’ mentality of the past. I guess you get to kick it up a notch when you host the defending NATIONAL CHAMPIONS....

There are even real Bleachers folks ! You know, standing atop bleachers is actually an excellent way to see Rugby. You really get a sense of what everyone is DOING out there. But, dare I hope: might the facility also boast a concession stand? And toilet facilities? Be still my heart. One can only hope. Should the weather hold, Sunday's final and consolation matches will be played on Anderson's natural grass pitch. Fabulous.

One thing is for sure. USMA’s field turf facility is right alongside the Hudson River. Click here for directions to the Academy. Also check the weather before you leave home, because, it gets darn windy on the Hudson River in November. Oh, and bring along photo identification for everyone in your party. Due to increased security, you will be denied admission to the West Point grounds without it.

FORZA PANTERA. Prediction: Panther’s win by 27 and rob the Outlaws 44-17.

Come at 10:00am and see the NERFU #2 seed Coast Guard out muscle Met NY #1 seed Rutgers - last week's quarterfinal winner over U Maine Orono. Prediction: The Academy over the RRFC in a close scoring bruiser.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Only Ruck and Maul (But I Like It)

Madly Confident Team Rockets Through Season

In the season thus far the scoring has gone like this:

Middlebury: Alot, every game.
The Other Guys: ...what other guys?

The Post Season is underway and in three days Middlebury hosts the kick-off to the best Rugby of the season. It is also Homecoming Weekend. Welcome Old Boys and Guests.

The New England Championships start with Saturday's semi-final matches and will conclude with Sunday's Championship Match. Rugby madness is on tap for everyone. Sorry no shrimp though.

Saturday is also Middlcbury's Homecoming Weekend and there promises to be a WHALE of a football game between Midd and Trinity. NESCAC bragging rights are at stake as both teams are locked in a four way tie for first place. Shout Wa-hey.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Topic: Hugh Marlowe. Discuss.

You Gotta Love ‘Mr. Middlebury’

Middletown, CT Saturday 9/22/07:

I imagine Hugh Marlow doesn’t know me from Adam’s off ox but it came as no surprise that he was in (my town) Middletown, CT at the Middlebury – Wesleyan football match. While simultaneously completing a thought with another Middlebury parent/alum/other Middleburyian he was acknowledging my ‘Nice to see you Mr. Marlow” with a firm handshake and a “Good seeing you !”

I first met ‘Mr. Middlebury’ at an ‘Accepted Student luncheon hosted by a West Hartford (CT) Middlebury alum back in the spring of ’02 when my son Calvin Garner (‘06) was still in high school. For those of you not aware, Hugh Marlow is a 1957 Middlebury graduate and the energetic Executive Secretary of the Middlebury Alumni Association.

I probably have seen him 25 times since our first meeting, both on campus and off at events ranging from Midd Family weekends to sporting events to President McCardle's Northeast Exit Tour to Cal’s Graduation. I manage a hello when the opportunity presents itself. Always scanning the crowd for that ‘Relations Moment’ he remains the face of Middlebury that spans generations of Midd students and parents. He is good at his job.

Is there a better example of a cheerleader/spokesperson champion shmoozer ? Part of the effectiveness of such a person is that he is everywhere, all the time. At any event and at every event. “Wow. There’s Hugh… again.” It's uncanny. Perhaps he exists in a Disney (like) World with special hidden doors and subterranean corridors that allow quick teleportation. Foof. "Gotta dash, I have to watch our boys smote a Wesleyan Cardinal, then I've got that Brewery thing in Chicago. Busy, busy. I'll be back for pizza later though !"

With a memory described as legendary, Huge Marlow seems ready to engage all comers, whatever the venue. Regarding the sporting events he attends, I feel a little sorry for him. I don’t see how he can possibly watch any uninterrupted action …so many chances to chat, so little time. He should consider a disguise.

With his newsletter shout-out to View From The Pitch following the MCRC National Championship win last spring (thank YOU Jimmy Manyuru ’07 for alerting me) I learned something else: Hugh is a big rugby supporter. It’s great to see his continued presence as the quintessential Public Relations man at Midd events far and wide. Middlebury couldn’t have picked a better guy for the job.

You go Hugh.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Cale and Clapton Epiphany

Lyrics Offer Hope and Inspiration to Sports Fan Crushed by (Another) Yankee Post-Season Collapse

Until today I have resisted the urge for posting Poetry on these pages which is as it should be. And OK, music lyrics ain’t exactly poetry… mostly they are just a bunch of words that rhyme -sometimes quite badly.

But the cut, Ride The River from JJ Cale and Eric Clapton’s album, The Road To Escondido just might be the perfect set of song lyrics to capture my impression of the joy Ward Patterson is experiencing as the first Full-Time Head Coach for the MCRC.
The lyrics go a little somethin’ like this:

Floatin’ down that ol’ river boy
All my worries far behind
Floatin’ down that ol’ river boy
Leave old memories way behind

Yesterday’s slowly fadin’
All my life I’ve been waitin’ for this time.

Floatin’ down that ol’ river boy
Leaves me feelin’ good inside
Floatin’ down that ol’ river boy
Tryin to get to the other side

Yesterday’s slowly fadin’
I’ve been waitin now forever for this ride.

Ride the river in this boat, ride the river…

Ok, it’s not Billy Cummings and at the risk of overselling what still seemed like a good blog posting idea about an hour ago, you can get the idea with all the metaphors and stuff, right?

For those of you who have spoken with Coach since last May, when his team brought The National Rugby Spotlight to a sleepy rural Vermont campus long accustomed to the glare of certain OTHER national sports spotlights, you can’t help but feel the love this guy exudes for this game called Rugby, or the sheer joy he is feeling in his new position.

The phrase “ Happy as a Pig in S*!#", though a tad off color, sums it up nicely.

Well, the lyric thing works for me and JJ Cale and Eric Clapton complement each other nicely... kind of like Craig Wilson and Ari Silverman. And I think WP has been waitin’ forever for this ride.

Cue the music. Sorry for the needless Yankees reference.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This Year's Model

New and Enthused Panther Lineup
Ready to Rock and/or Roll

OK, the Blog has been a little... slow out of the gate this season. However, the enthusiam is still there, updates are coming in from the sources and the technological hydra is being sedated. Here is the fall schedule for your National Champion Middlebury Panthers (cue the music.)

Sept 15 – HOME against Boston University at 1pm; B team match at 3:30 pm.

Sept. 21 – HOME against Amherst College at 4pm; B team match at 5:30 pm. (Amherst is a new entry to Division II moving down from DI last year)

Sept. 29 – AWAY at University of Vermont at 1pm; B team match at 3:30 pm.

Oct. 6 – AWAY at UMass Amherst (another new entry to Division II, moving down from DI last year) at 1:00 pm; B team at 3:30pm

Oct. 13 – HOME against St. Mike’s at 1:30pm; B team at 4:00pm (Middlebury’s Fall Family Weekend)

Oct. 20 – New England Quarter Finals – H/A Location To Be Determined

Oct. 27-28 – HOME– New England Championships HOSTED by Middlebury (Homecoming Weekend); Saturday – Two Semifinal Matches; Sunday – Championship & Consolation Matches (Start Times to be verified)

Nov. 3 – North East Quarterfinals – H/A Location TBD

Nov. 10-11 – AWAY – North East Territorial Championship – Location TBD

Oh yeah... FORZA PANTERA !

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today It's A Good Day To Be A Coach

Middlebury College Rewards Ward Patterson With Full-Time Coaching Position


And thank you to the decision makers at Middlebury College who helped make this dream a reality for a deserving member of your community.

It is a good day for Coach Ward Patterson and also a good day to be a fan of the Middlebury College Rugby Club.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today They Became Old Boys

Middlebury Graduates Class of 2007

Sunday May 27, 2007. The alumni club of the MCRC, the loose knit, randomly connected, and ever-growing posse of former players, gained eleven new members today, as team mates changed roles from Middlebury student to Middlebury alumnus at today's commencement exercises.

Congratulations to the following graduates of the Middlebury College Rugby Club and to your very proud families:

Joseph Della Rocca
Doug Hale
Jeff Harasimowicz
Alex Ladeau
Pascal Losambe
James Manyuru
Pat Mott
Matt Volz
Chas Wirene
Muchadei Zvoma

The Friends of Rugby offer you all the warmest wishes on this very special day !
And fellas, you did take care of those library fines, right?