Saturday, November 29, 2008

New York Sevens is Here

They are-a-coming. One hundred and six of them. This is the number of teams entered in the 50th Annual New York Sevens tournament. Woohoo! There are local area teams, including NY-u19 boys and girls and the NY-19 alumni. There are teams from the Northeast and Mid Atlantic Regions, such as the Pocono Mountain Pumas, NOVA, and the University of New Hampshire. Other than the rugby kind, are the really pumas in the Poconos? And thank you Canada! Many teams hail from north of the border, with strong representation from Ontario and Quebec. A special shout out goes to my friends on "Les Bleus". Although, I can't cheer for you if you play New York. Adding to the international representation are the Pillars of Hercules from Gibraltar- find that on a map- the Tregaron Titans from Wales, Cymru, and the Philippines Barbarians from the US/UK/ & Philippines.

There should be an award for most interestingly named team. Contenders for the prize are:
    1. Finbar's Wedding (US-NY)
    2. Montreal Not Too Terriblers (CAN-QC)
    3. Rugby Ranch Mud Boggers (US-OH)
    4. Hopwallops (US-PA)
    5. Team TBA (US-NH)

    I envision a roaming bachelor party for Finbar's wedding. I don't think they have Ranch Mud Boggers in Brooklyn. Actually, I don't know what a Ranch Mud Bogger is. Nor do I know what a Hopwallop is, but it caught my attention. I'll see if I can find some of these teams tomorrow to get to the bottom of some of these burning questions.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    A few things I am thankful for

    Grandma & I at the New York Botanical Garden
    • Conversations with Grandma- should have them more often
    • Circus Fruits and Great Wall Supermarket
    • The view from Sunset Park
    • Family
    • Friends near and especially far who keep in touch! I know it can be challenging.
    • Overall a pretty good year on the rugby field
    I'm looking forward to a quiet meal with the family later this afternoon. As always, I've left a few things to the last minute, so it's time for me to run to the store for my annual Thanksgiving morning visit.

    To friends and family at home and abroad I'd like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Submissions for Nickname

    In an effort to make the transition from rugby to professional wrestling, I am accepting submissions for a new nickname, fitting of my wresting style and personality.

    Leave your submissions in the comments sections by Monday December 1.
    Poll to follow.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    From rugby to wrestling

    Professional Wrestling in Brooklyn

    Lately I've been feeling lethargic and down right unmotivated with regards to training. A new workout came out last week. The good thing is it's a fresh workout regimen. But it took a while for me to decipher it the first time through.

    In an effort to kick start my day yesterday, I decided I needed some cold NYC air. So I went for a walk and brought my camera along. I was on a mission to photograph a sign that reminded me of an old teammate. Along the way I saw the sign posted above. Maybe if this rugby thing doesn't work out I can try a new sport.

    The sign reads:
    Professional Wrestling Comes to Brooklyn
    Forgotten Championship Wrestling
    Bare Bones 2008
    .......8 great matches including a 3-way tag team and a female match

    Me, a professional wrestler? I'd need a name. I have several rugby nicknames. Glorious, GDO for short, and Hurricane. What should my new wrestling name be?

    So about that sign I was in search of. Here it is below.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    New York Sevens- it's next week

    Whether to play or watch, should be a great day for the fields, and even an easy way to get there from Manhattan (the 103rd Street footbridge will be open, so you can literally walk over from the UES, and most of the fields we will be using are right in front of you after you cross).

    We have 101 team registered!! Don't miss out - come watch the NY 7s...and pass it on!

    Visit the website.

    Saturday November 29, Randall's Island, NY
    I'll be there.

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    TGIF: My week in Review

    When you work for your self there's really never a day off. There's always something to do.
    • Monday was mostly a loss. Spent the morning flying, the afternoon crying, and my evening at craft night. Actually, craft night was a good distraction. Bought the best baklava on Fifth Avenue.
    • Tuesday I spent the entire day indoors, working and eating baklava.
    • Wednesday  I spent much of my day at the Supreme Court of Kings County reporting for jury duty. There was a lot a waiting which afforded me time to be still, read, and knit. With 2 hours for lunch it's no wonder government is unproductive. However, it was enough time for me to run into the city to purchase screenprinting ink, stop at Starbucks, Pearl Paint, only to hurry back to wait around with other potential jurors.
    • Thursday I returned for day 2 of jury duty. Like the previous day, there was waiting, knitting and reading. Finally my name was called. I was number two seated in the jury box.  I managed to convince the prosecution and/or the defense attorneys that they did not want me on the panel. Two hour lunch break again. Ran an errand in the rain, went home, came back. Myself and two others were dismissed from the jury pool in the afternoon. 
    • Friday, It's back to work. I've got a bit to do in preparation for Sunday. I'll be at BIM. This morning was about getting things done, doing the necessary administrative stuff. This afternoon,  I actually get to do part of my job I enjoy most.  I'm printing on fabric and mixing colors. It feels great to be productive. I'm happy to be working. TGIF.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    The Phone Call

    It started deep in my belly working it's way up my body, to my throat and out of my mouth. It was raw, piercing, followed by shallow breathing and sobs. I remember lowering the phone. As I put it back up to my ear I heard" Tyshawn, are you there?"

    Rewind to Sunday, with less than 10 minutes left to go in the National final my team was mounting a come back. The ball was moving from left to right and came into the hands of Vanesha at fullback. By now I moved out one spot to wing and was running in support of V down the right side. Suddenly, in mid stride I felt a quick stab of my left leg. V dummied to pass but kept the ball. The next thing I remember was summoning Dr. Bartoli on the field in attempt at a quick stretch of my leg. The game ended. Unbeknownst to me the news of my questionable health traveled to Little Rock. By the time I was shaking it on one leg at Liam Fitzpatrick's that night plans had already been made to replace me for the upcoming tour to Dubai.

    Fast forward to Monday morning. I took a 7:30am flight to LaGuardia. Shortly after 11:00am I was home. I dropped my bags and checked my email. The most recent message was sent at 10:52 am by Jules. She said we had to speak today. I called her and got voice mail. She called me back three minutes later. We talked for just over four minutes. I was hopeful talking about my plans for aggressive PT and pool sessions. Jules touched on a few things my training, improved fitness numbers, the Bahamas, and then I heard her say, " So I'm afraid I'm going to have to replace you."

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Fall 2008

    The best news that I received in the last few days was that "Team White Van" was going back to Dairy Queen. And that happened on Sunday. The pumpkin Blizzard was totally worth it. My Orange and Blue lost in a valiant come back in the Championship final. The margin was 8 points, 25-17. It was a tale of 2 halves. We allowed two tries in the early minutes of the game, with a half time score of 25-5. In the second half, we scored 12 unanswered points. It was a little too late for 2008. There are many lessons we can take from this weekend. Hopefully those who return to the Orange and Blue will take heed and continue our fine tradition of New York Rugby.

    On a lighter note, this was an amazing season for NYRC with some tests, trials, and triumphs along the way. We kicked off the season at Saranac with our first ever tournament victory. That was the first weekend without Drew and Pudge. The first league game, against Keystone, fell on the same weekend as Pumpkinfest and the Westchester WNT 7's camp. We fielded two teams that played in different locations, played four games in one day making it to the final. Our home match versus Beantown is one to remember, having friends, family, and the Men's team voicing support. There were people running water, I'd never seen before. And the after party... We are a team with depth which NRU playoffs hightlighted. Then it was off to St. Louis, where we called upon our depth of leadership having injured players assist player-coaches with tactical decision making. And finally, there was last weekend. For the sixth and final time this season, we met Beantown. We found our momentum early and played our game to advance to the Championship on Sunday. The final ended differently than we hoped. There will be time to reflect on what we could have done differently in the end. But for now let's remember the good, the positive that was Fall 2008.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008

    Greetings from Orlando

    Final Four time is here. I traded in Henry(see STL post) for a larger kit bag and made my way to Orlando earlier today. It's nice to arrive in the light of day to be able to appreciate the various strip malls in Central Florida. My van made it to the Kosher grocery store. During our ride, I learned Hobs is also a fan of ice cream. The van was in agreement upon a Dairy Queen stop. In our search, I spoke to three different workers at local area DQs. Finally we settled for the one in the mall close to our hotel. A few of us had Blizzards. After tasting MB's, I've become a fan of the pumpkin pie option. In keeping kosher Braf had Haagen Daz. There was some chinese food too. And finally to our hotel to settle in.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Dubai Selections 2008

    Lindsey Stephenson, At Large
    Amy Daniels, Beantown
    Tyshawn Henry, New York
    Alison Price, New York
    Melissa McKibben, Kansas City Jazz
    Kirsten Ahrendt, Keystone
    Teena Mastrangelo, Chicago North Shore
    Pam Kosanke, Chicago North Shore
    Christy Ringgenberg, Minnesota Vakyries
    Jen Starkey, NOVA
    Jen Sinkler, Keystone
    Jess Watkins, Stanford

    Staff traveling to Dubai:

    Julie McCoy, Head Coach
    Chris Ryan, Assistant Coach
    Sadeana Green, Manager
    Lisa Bartoli, Physio
    Tristan Lewis, Manager

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Election Day 2008

    Election Day 2008 is finally here. It's tiring and exciting at the same time. In a way one can draw parallel's to training for the Olympics or a World Cup, where the event happens every four years, but in reality you've been preparing for much longer, years in fact.

    This year, I participated in three US Sevens tours, San Diego, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam as well as footwork camps. When rugby players get together, we talk about rugby. But this year with the primary and election season in the spotlight we talked some politics too. Super Tuesday took place the week of San Diego. There were ardent supporters of Hillary Clinton who talked about having a woman as president. There was some talk about Obama's "race" speech in Hong Kong. And our host at the US Consulate in Amsterdam touched on the elections in general. The next time a US team assembles there will be a new POTUS.

    In anticipation of voting, I woke up after 5:00 AM. The polls opened at 6:00AM. I walked the 2 blocks to my local precint, an elementary school. As promised by the media, there was a line out the door. There's never a line. Actually, the wait wasn't too bad. For as many people as there were on line, I was the third person to vote in my precinct. By 6:20AM I voted.

    Happy Election Day and remember to VOTE!

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Marathon Sunday

    (Runner on Fourth Avenue)

    If it's the first Sunday in November in New York City, that means Marathon Sunday has arrived. Close to 40,000 runners make their way through the five boroughs of my hometown. For the record, I was not one of them. Today, I'd be a spectator, a supporter, a hi fiver. Layered and ready to go, I left my apartment and was greeted by the swirling sounds of a helicopter over head. On Marathon Sunday, that could only mean one thing- the runners are coming! For me it was a day of rest. No rugby workout. The only running I did was a mad dash from Fifth Avenue to Fourth Ave, in hopes of catching the women's premiere runners. But it was all for naught. I missed them, normally a pack of 10 to 20 of the top international marathoners preceded by a cavalcade of police and cameras. I managed to see the tail end of the group.

    (Ann cheers on runners)

    As is tradition, the locals lined Fourth Avenue, with food, picnic chairs and signs. There
    was a steel drum band in front of the church. The line at the bagel store was nearly out the door. For the past twenty something years, if I was in New York, chances are I was watching the marathon on Fourth in Bay Ridge. But Ann, a former Brooklynite and an old college friend was in town. So I hopped on the R line to Park Slope to meet up with her and a few others at Blue Sky on Fifth. Serendipitously, I ran into to two separate groups of NYRC players/fans while there. More on them later.

    (Locals on Fourth Avenue)

    Fueled with baked goods and warm beverages, we headed to Fourth, the main marathon artery in Brooklyn. By now the streets were lined with runners and supporters. We joined in the chorus of cheering, calling out runner's name, printed on their shirts, or calling out countries."Go Italia." "Allez les Bleus!" "Viva Mexico!" Seeing a runner perk up at the call of their name, offering a nod, is little gift. The camaraderie between the runners and supporters can be intoxicating. It's truly NYC at it's best.

    (Runners on Fourth Avenue)

    After seeing my friends off, I made my way over to an NYRC contingency, G Squared, Buss, and MB. They had their fingers out and appeared to be really into supporting the runners. Buss in particular seemed to be getting a work out in. This could explain why she was tired and possibly just a little horse when it was time to go home. She was a sight to see. Buss' energy and finger was a magnet, that runners literally ran towards just to hi five. Sometimes she met them halfway creeping into the street.

    G Squared and Company (Buss, MB, Jayne, CJ, and Dar)


    Cheering is hard work (CJ, Dar, & Buss)

    So Ann, Rachel or anyone else who finds themselves in NYC on the first Sunday in November, remember that's Marathon Sunday. If you're not running. You should definitely come out to cheer.