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  1. #1
    MrHaz78 is offline Waterboy
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    6

    I'm a retired Hooker

    It's a well know fact here in Northern Iowa where I've resided most of my 44 years, that I'm a little bit of a smarta##. I chose to start my first post with that statement to somewhat explain my topic of being a retired "hooker". The type of hooker is more than likely quite different than what most of you were thinking.
    I was never gifted with any God-given athletic talents as a youth growing up here in the tailcoat of Viking Land. It was in my 32 year that I was forced into my hooker job by my best friend. Hopefuuly, most of you have figured out that I'm refering to the sport of Rugby. The second I stepped foot on the pitch and lowered my head to aline with the opposing team's tight eight, I was addicted. I "retired" after seven years of actually being in the best shape of my life. Our team has been together since 1972, and plays some Minnesota teams each season.
    The point of all this is a question I've pondered since my induction into one of the oldest team sports in the world. I have no way of knowing how many of you are familiar with the sport of Rugby, but hope to gain a few insights here, pro, or con.
    The United States Eagles represent our great country in international play. We put a somewhat competitive side on the pitch for most of our matches. I've always wondered how well the Eagles would do in those contests with the caliber of athletes we have in the NFL. I close my eyes and see Randy Moss at winger, the ball in his hands that he has just taken possesion of after the opposing side's "Up n' Under" kick. He puts it into 3rd gear, giving one of the other side's players a perfectly executed stiff arm as he dives into the Try Zone, touching the ball down between the posts for five points.
    Of course, if you are not familiar with Rugby, that little scenario isn't as exciting as Randy pulling in a pass from DC for six in the final 30 seconds to secure another Vike's victory. I have been a Viking's fan since I can remember. Our relatives and friends know that when the Vikes are playing they might as well not even phone, or stop by the house because the possibility of physical harm is a reality.
    My question is this: For those of you familiar with Rugby. Would we, or would we not, have an unbeatable international side if we could utilize the talents of the NFL for the USA Eagles? In many countries, children start playin Rugby in grade school. The United States is slowly coming around to that avenue of thinking. There are now 100's of High School teams throughout the nation. I just like to invision a Eagles team with some of the NFL's elite representing the Red, White, and Blue. I'm also a realist though. The contracts the NFL stars sign nowadays would definately prevent this dream from ever becoming reality. Then again, the NBA stars are on the court for the Olympics!! O.K., I'm done.
    Really, I am!! GO VIKES!!!
    The USA are the defending Gold medalists in Olympic Rugby: we beat France in 1920 and 1924. ## "Scrum" is a funny word, but assault and battery was already taken" ##

  2. #2
    gpete13 is offline Starter
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    196

    I'm a retired Hooker

    I have been to Rugby games and they are some of the craziest, toughest, great guys on and off the field. When the game on the field ended, the teams still competed in the after party. Chug races are one of the more mild events, but the songs and other events were just something you have to see on your own. I have big respect for rugby players and their commiment to getting a beating every time they play. I flirted with the idea of playing, but location of the team and the investment my parents had in orthodontrics were some factors that convinced me of passing on it.

  3. #3
    Guybrush is offline Waterboy
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    5

    Allez les bleus !

    Hello everyone ! My first post here !

    I live in a country of rugby and i see that national rugby's staffs are getting closer and closer of the good habits of the NFL teams (tactics, strategies..."Up n' Under" kicks for a try are the best examples) The tri-nations players of south pacific are as well built as the NFL players that's why they dominate the worlds rugby...

    IMHO, I think the only issue for the Eagles is the young formation. That's all ! United States got a great potential and talent when you see what a football player can do :shock: . They only need good young formation and a descent media coverage...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    83

    I'm a retired Hooker

    As this is my first posting too, I would like to chime in about the second best sport (after football, that is), rugby. I did not play but used to watch my dad play. He played for several teams in both Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Always enjoyed the sportsmanship after the games between the teams. Only two places the players would go after the game, to the bar or to the hospital...I am glad I found this website as I am sick of all the Favre thumb talk 24/7. God bless the beloved Purple and Gold!

  5. #5
    MrHaz78 is offline Waterboy
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    6

    I'm a retired Hooker

    vikefan in WI, What were the years your Dad played in Minnesota? We may have exchanged "pleasantries" at some point in time!!
    The USA are the defending Gold medalists in Olympic Rugby: we beat France in 1920 and 1924. ## "Scrum" is a funny word, but assault and battery was already taken" ##

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    83

    I'm a retired Hooker

    We moved to Mpls in 1978...I can't recall if he hooked up with a team right away or not, but I would assume he did. He played for a couple of years for the Mpls RFC then moved on to the Old Boys. If memory serves correctly I believe that the majority of the games were played at Fort Snelling. Also, regarding if the USA could field a competitive team with NFL players, I don't know. I watched the Rugby World Cup last year and it was just a dazzling combination of grace and brute force. It seemeed like every player was a hybrid of Matt Birk and Randy Moss.

  7. #7
    MrHaz78 is offline Waterboy
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    6

    I'm a retired Hooker

    Well, he was definately before "my time". He could have possibly played with my best friend for the old MPLS. I am retired from playing, but am current team treasurer and historian for our team. We tape all the World Cup matches and watch them after our practices, in our clubhouse. That level of rugby is awe inspiring to watch, like our VIKES!! If memory serves, a few years back there was an NFL player who used to play international Rugby before the NFL. I'd give anything to see some of our Vikes don a Eagles jersey and kick some ass in the World Cup. Dreams are like ex-wives, we all have at least one! Well, I do anyway!
    The USA are the defending Gold medalists in Olympic Rugby: we beat France in 1920 and 1924. ## "Scrum" is a funny word, but assault and battery was already taken" ##

  8. #8
    gpete13 is offline Starter
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    196

    I'm a retired Hooker

    Wasnt the punter Bennett from Australia and played rugby?

  9. #9
    VKG4LFE's Avatar
    VKG4LFE is offline Jersey Retired Tetris Champion, Monkey GO Happy 4 Champion
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Hartford, WI
    Posts
    15,993

    I'm a retired Hooker

    A few of my buddies played rugby in collge at Winona State University. They have a club team there. I don't think Randy Moss would want to play that sport though!! He doesn't like getting hit with pads on nonetheless without pads!!

    I get the most pissed off looks from people with my VKG 4 LFE Wisconsin license plate, and I LOVE IT!!

  10. #10
    TEXPACK is offline Pro-Bowler
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    347

    I'm a retired Hooker

    "VKG4LFE" wrote:
    A few of my buddies played rugby in collge at Winona State University. They have a club team there. I don't think Randy Moss would want to play that sport though!! He doesn't like getting hit with pads on nonetheless without pads!!
    :cheers: :thumbright: Now you're making sense!
    Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged by only one thing - the result." --Vince Lombardi

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