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Sunday, January 29, 2012

USA to Host the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2012

As an American Rugby fan, you take any bit of good news that you can. The recent decision by the IRB to award the 2012 Junior  World Rugby Trophy to the United States was a welcome bit of good news. The tournament is going to be in Salt Lake City, Utah from 18-30 June.  For so much top-flight youth rugby talent to come to Salt Lake City will be great for the sport of rugby in this country.

Rugby is a pretty big deal in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA, but as good as it will be for the locals to have great young rugby talent from all over the world come to Salt Lake City, my follow up question is going to be who will be showing this on TV here in the US.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So How Do You Say Scrum, Ruck and Maul in Navajo?

It's been a long time since I have been able to add an entry to my blog. We are almost on the verge of the Six Nations, we know the Quarter-finalists for the Heineken Cup...and I am working in New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico-very close to the Four Corners. It was quite a road trip to get here: Wilmington, Delaware-Cleveland-Chicago-MInneapolis(Where I spent 8 days being able to see my kids, friends and grandson) to Kansas City-Dallas(where I saw my sister) to Santa Rosa to Farmington. (a 30 minute drive to Shiprock)

Along the way, my wife and I stopped in Amarillo, Texas. I had heard for years about an Amarillo institution called The Big Texan. They offer a 72 ounce steak(about 2.2kg) that is free-provided you finish the steak, baked potato and cole slaw in an hour-and keep it down. I was not so anxious to make myself sick while driving long distance. I settled for the mere 20 ounce was a meal fit for a prop.
The other thing that was an unexpected treat was that they also had some very good locally made beers. The Pecan Porter was a revelation. You could taste the pecans, but it was a really good beer.  Not a lot in the Texas Panhandle, but Amarillo was worth the stop.

When You drive into the New Mexico, the prairie gives way to scrub, then desert, then a mixture of mountains and Mesas...
The name sake of Shiprock is a rock formation that looks like a ship from the distance. It is a holy place to the local Navajo people. It is a striking site, regardless if it's sunny or if there is a storm blowing in from the west.
The one downer here in the 4 Corners region is that there is no rugby club. If I want to find a rugby bar or catch some live rugby, I am going to have to drive 3 hours to Albuquerque. One thing for sure: This part of the Southwest cannot be more different than the thousands of lakes and pine trees of my native Minnesota, but hey, at least it's not as bitter cold. Now if I can just find a place to watch some rugby...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Road Warriors Hit Chicago...

We left Delaware on Friday night. It's been an interesting 13 weeks in "The First State", but I am looking forward to getting to my native Minnesota to see my kids, grandson and friends, including some of my mates with the Metropolis Rugby Club.

On Friday, we made it to Virginia to visit my friends Mike and Norma. Yesterday, we passed through Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was my first time in "The Steel City", and I have to say my wife and I were impressed by the physical beauty of the city that is home to Baseball's Pirates, the Penguins Ice Hockey team, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. We were also impressed by the general friendliness of the citizens of Pittsburgh. After dinner, we made it near Cleveland, Ohio-the home of rock and roll according to more than a few music historians.

Today, my red-headed bride, my bulldog Buddha and I made it to Chicago. It's a town for which I have a great deal of affection. My wife is a token German Lutheran from a very Irish-Catholic part of the South Side of Chicago.(Lot's of cops, firemen and Irish pubs where my wife grew up) As a kid, I lived in suburban Chicago for 4 years, and my wife and I lived with my in-laws on the South Side for a year and a half. (If your marriage can survive living with your in-laws, you can get through almost anything this side of the Jerry Springer Show) We will spend a couple of days here so my wife can check up on her mom, and so we can catch up with some friends from the South Side...

On Tuesday, our road show will finally get us back to Minneapolis, which should cap this almost 1,200 mile road trip. I am still waiting to see where my next assignment will take me, hopefully I will have an idea over these next two weeks. We have had fun on our travels, but it's nice to be back in the Midwest.