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RUGBY: THE U.S. SPIRIT
Although I saw the last of my Rugby fields as I was carried off one on a stretcher, I will agree with Mr. Waugh that it is not a dangerous game, although a rough one.
Though the sport is not recognized formally in most eastern universities, it is pursued with far more enthusiasm than most recognized sports.
As Mr. Waugh knows, American "Ruggers" cannot shake the American football training out of their systems, and the crashing tackles and the constant desire to block make the game a slightly more hazardous one. Perhaps this and the seeming American apathy for postcollege team sports limit the occasions for "Rugby every Saturday."
RUGBY: OUT OF THIS WORLD
Something of the same sort could be said for our game of football. After high school and college football, what then? Most of us still want to play the game but what about our condition?
About three years ago, when I was 29, a group of us older fellows got together to play our high school alma mater. We ranged in age from 18 to 40. The game lasted for two and a half hours. There were no quarters and no halves. When a touchdown was made, we lined up and kicked off again. The final score was 26 to 6 in favor of us oldtimers. To show the caliber of the team we played, they went on to win their conference title undefeated.
Since that time I have been wanting to put on a suit and play one more game. After reading Mr. Waugh's article, the realization struck me that my days of playing are over. The odds are that never again will I pull on shoulder pads; ask the fellow next to me to pull my jersey over my shoulder pads; smell wintergreen in the locker rooms; walk easy on the concrete with cleats for fear of falling; trot out on a floodlighted football field with a touch of frost in the air; make a bruising clean tackle that I know is all mine alone; burst through the tackle position with head down for 10 yards; drop the halfback with a four-yard loss; pull off my helmet with sweat drenched on my head; let the hot shower sting my flesh in a feeling of well-being; crawl between the cool, clean sheets with a sort of ache, yet a feeling of having accomplished something.
When I stand on the scales, I know that part of my life is gone forever. They were happy days and it was with nostalgia I read and enjoyed the article.