“Pocket! Pocket!”

The game of rugby, named after the English prep school where it originated, is normally played with two teams of 15 players, competing in a game lasting for two 40 minute halves.  I love that game.

The heaviest, and roundest, 7s squad ever assembled.

Rugby “7s” is played on the same sized field as regular rugby (called rugby “union” by those who consider themselves official), but features two teams of seven competing for two seven minute halves.

Rugby 7s is now an Olympic sport.

This weekend NBC will broadcast live the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s Tournament.  It is the events second year and my Alma Mater are defending champions.

University of Utah 7s

Last year the games were not hosted by my adopted hometown, this year they are.  I am happy to have a hand in said hosting.

If one is so inclined, and I would hope you are, one might tune into your local NBC affiliate this weekend and watch a few games.  Not only will you enjoy an exciting game and true athletes on display, but you might catch a bit of Brohammas.  No really, you might see me.

Not my house, I was not host… but wait.

The school gave me a degree, so I returned the favor by giving the Utes my tour of Philadelphia.

The Utes at what was the sight of Rocky's boxing gym

We boxed around in a boxing gym, saw Rocky’s house, even ran through the Italian Market, then finished by running up the art museum steps.  A grand time was had by all.

In setting this up, I was hopeful they would enjoy it.  Then as I thought longer I knew they would like it.  In fact I thought everyone would like it, so I made a phone call.

Our recruited host and his camera man leading the team on the tour.

The man in the sunglasses, the man whose house we ate at, and watched TV at, was former NFL all-pro punt returner, former BYU standout, Philadelphia sports anchor Vai Sikahema.


It was a pleasure spending time with the team, good guys every one, it was great showing of the town, but it was best to see that pride of the Cougar nation wearing red!

Aiken is Horse Country?

Sometimes when travelling you run across things surprising and unexpected.  Aiken, SC was one of those.  It was not on my map, I was in the middle of no where, and suddenly I was on a well kept and attractive Main Street.

I pulled over, got out of the car and nosed around.  The first thing I noticed was a predominance of women wearing riding boots and tights.  This wasn’t particularly telling given the popularity of that look this year, but as I stepped into galleries and shops, I knew this wasn’t just some random town.

Matching your clothing to your dishes is in-deed a new thing to me.
Not the same store, but a familiar theme.

So, I must be in horse country.  The street, shops, and people were all unusually well-kept, and all were leisurely whiling away a sunny Saturday.

I have never been one to pass up a preppy clothier and Aiken had a fine one.

They will happily sell you a tie as well as explain what English regiment it represents.

As I browsed the store I began ticking off the University pennants along the ceiling.  An observant sales rep noticed what I was doing and helpfully asked, “which school did you attend?”  I told him with a smirk, expecting to be dissapointed.  He simply said, “Ahh, yes.  Right over here sir.”

I was pleased to find BYU was not on the wall. Sorry Cougs.

It was explained to me that all the pennants were brought in by alumni of the schools represented.  The salesman told me Aiken has a thriving nuclear research facility and that the University of Utah is in fact quite well represented in the town.

Who knew?