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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sweet Home Chicago - Less than 48 Hours to go before I leave for Chicago.

I am very keen for rugby, ribs and Pizza this weekend as I anticipate Saturday's match between the All Blacks and the USA Eagles.

As I sit here packing on Tuesday night, less than 48 hours before I leave on Thursday for Chicago, I could not help but to think of the song "Sweet Home Chicago." It has a lot of meanings for me. I am married to a woman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, by 107th and Western-You cannot swing a cat without hitting an Irish pub by where my wife grew up. I lived in the Chicago area as a kid from 1971-75 and as a family, my wife and my kids and I lived with my in laws for almost two years on the South Side. I have found out that some very good friends of mine from the New Mexico rugby community, Wally Minoli, Chee and Timaris Montano will be in Chicago for the game. Several members of the Metropolis RFC from Minnesota, my first club, will be in Chicago as well.

In the midst of taking in the rugby, it will be great to catch up with old friends, and also introducing my travel mate and frequent partner in watching sporting events, Tom Daniels to areas I know in the Windy City.

It's a city that may have some of it's issues, but I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Chicago for a variety of reasons-none the least of which is that Chicagoans are not fair weather fans-they live and die with their teams, and also the food is fantastic. Particularly ribs, deep dish pizza, the Italian Roast beef sandwich and Portillo's hot dogs.

I can hardly wait.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2015 Rugby World Cup Tickets: Thanks for Nothing!

I have been on pins and needles waiting to hear word of my bid for tickets for next years Rugby World Cup that I applied for at the beginning of the month. I have not been very happy with this process compared to the very straight forward process in obtaining tickets for the Rugby World Cups in France and New Zealand. I smelled a rat with the process of bidding-and today I got an email that confirmed that something is rotten with the "Bidding Process" for tickets:
Your Rugby World Cup 2015 Ticket Application 
Dear Steve Adams

We are writing to let you know that your application for tickets to Rugby World Cup 2015 has not been successful. We received very strong demand for tickets and the matches which you applied for were balloted.

Remaining tickets will go back on sale in November and to show our appreciation for your support of the tournament we will be inviting you to be part of a priority sale. We will be in touch with you over the next couple of weeks to confirm all details.

Thank you again for taking the time to submit your application and if you have any further questions please visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

Kind regards

Rugby World Cup 2015 Ticketing Team

Well, this just sucked. The matches that I bid for were for Scotland-USA and Italy-Canada in Leeds, and Wales-Fiji in Cardiff. You cannot tell me that there was that much demand for a ticket for Italy and Canada.

Interesting to note that there are a ton of tickets available now on secondary sites, like Stub Hub. I thought that this process was supposed to prevent this sort of thing from happening. I am so disgusted with the whole thing, that I think I will just boycott the whole thing and just go to Scotland and Northern Wales.

My buddy Tom got a similar message on the matches that he bid on too.

It takes a lot to alienate two huge rugby fans like my buddy Tom and me, but the ticketing people at Rugby World Cup 2015 have us in a really piss poor mood.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Hard to believe I am now in my mid-fifities- I keep wondering when I am going to grow up?
My wife and Grandson being goofy at the USS Iowa Tour in Long Beach, California.

I have had several phone calls today and several happy birthday wishes.

So much has happened since I started blogging back in 2007: I survived a pulmonary embolism, I became a grandfather(Duncan is 6 now), I have been to two rugby World Cups, have been able to travel with my wife to some pretty cool places like Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Italy, Thailand, Texas, New Mexico, the East Coast and out here to California. My wife suffered a head injury that she has been able to have enough improvement to where she is back working. I have been able to still get a run in at the occasional rugby game and I just tried competing in my first Highland Games last weekend.
Me, Da Redhead and our daughter in front of Children's Hosptial-Los Angeles.

I'm very thankful to be in great health, to have a wonderful wife, to have fantastic adult children
With my son and grandson at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.
and a wonderful grandson. If I drop dead tomorrow, I have no regrets, but to borrow a line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, "I'm not dead yet."
With Tom Daniels at the USA-Uruguay RWC qualifier-where the Eagles punched their  ticket to England for the 2015 RWC.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

RWC QUALIFICATION: Uruguay v Russia Highlights

I was glad to see Uruguay make it to the Rugby World Cup after winning the home and away series against Russia. I found match highlights from the return leg in Montevideo. You can say what you want about Latin American Sports Commentators, but they do not keep the stiff upper lip-or ANY hint of neutrality when their team is playing well. Even if you don't understand Spanish, You have to appreciate how happy these Uruguayan announcers are that the Teros punched their ticket to go to the orgy of rugby, otherwise known as the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

I thought their fans were very nice in Atlanta, when the USA beat them in the second game to qualify. I was really hoping to see Uruguay go through. A whole lot of Tero fans showed up in Atlanta, and they were in full voice. In looking at the video, it was nice to see them pack the stadium in Montevideo.

See you in England!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Trying the Scottish Highland Games: Maybe Tougher Than Rugby

Ok, I'm not afraid of a challenge. I started playing rugby when I was in my mid-forties.  I have met a lot of great people through the sport, and it gives me a good reason to keep hitting the weights and the cross-trainer: So I don't get killed when the odd old-boys game pops up, or if the Pasadena B side needs a spare prop.

Well, a week before my 54th birthday, I had to try something else completely different: Participating in the over 50 division at the Seaside Highland Games and Scottish Festival this past weekend in Ventura, California. I have to admit two days after competing, I am probably more sore than after some rugby games. I will say that my fellow competitors could not have been nicer or more supportive. It reminded me a great deal how some of the guys with Metropolis RFC back in Minnesota and how much they took a 45 year old guy under their wing back in 2006, and showed a great deal of patience in trying to teach me the game.

As you can see in the picture below, I was competing with some BIG guys. I was probably the smallest guy in the group. I confess that I could not get a good handle and get a decent toss in on trying to throw the caber. I had never had a chance to practice, and I can see this is going to take more practice. The hard part is going to be finding a spare phone poll lying around. I was relieved that I did not kill anybody in the hammer toss, but I was happy I was able to at least get a couple of tosses that were successful in the weight over bar. I was able to at least get one toss of the 44 pound weight over the 10 foot mark, and just missed 11 feet. Well below the 16 feet that won it.

I will say that the guys who do the Scottish heavy athletics are very nice guys-they reminded me a great deal of the rugby community. Now, as I finish writing this, I only have one thing on my mind: Some Tylenol and some sleep.

With some of my fellow 50 and over contestants at the Seaside Highland Games at Ventura, California.
Throwing the 44 pound weight over the bar.
On the bright side, at least I did not kill anybody in the hammer throw....