On Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m., a coed group of outdoor industry rugby players — still unable to come to grips with diminished fitness and speed — will once again band together in an attempt to relive former glories and provide some seriously good entertainment for fans during a friendly rugby match at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Funds raised from the match will go to benefit the Stevie Sidener Special Needs Trust.
Sidener, a superb outdoor industry sales rep, took a catastrophic 35-foot fall from a ladder in July 2004 when the ladder collapsed under him. While the initial impact didn’t kill him, he nearly died a week later from complications. Sidener’s recovery from numerous brain surgeries and operations on both wrists was amazing, but, unfortunately, not complete. He still needs the support of friends, which this rugby match is happy to provide.
The match will be held at Fort Douglas Field — though in rugby parlance, we prefer to call it a pitch, not a field…a map to the pitch is located below.
Following the match, join your outdoor industry rugby players for the traditional after-match party at the Commanders House — drinking, carousing and breaking into some seriously fun and funny rugby songs is not considered optional.
Sponsors for this year’s match include Pitch Engine, Outside PR, G3 and, of course, Big Sky Brewery.
Unlike last year where we played an opponent so terrified of the outdoor industry team it stacked the deck with current and former U.S. National Team players (some of whom played in the Rugby World Cup – click here to read), we’re keeping this match friendly and open only to outdoor industry rugby players and invited friends. Which means the match WILL be light tackle, so if you get wrapped up by an opponent, you go down — unlike a soccer weenie who spends most of his life practicing to roll, tumble, grimace and then howl in pain for at least 1.5 minutes sometimes without even being touched. By friendly and light tackle, we do mean that if an opponent gently and accidently knocks out teeth or removes limbs when they wrap you up, they will politely hand them back to you with a smile as you politely go to the ground acknowledging a good but light tackle. Rugby players may be closet hooligans, but we do have a certain code of etiquette after all.
For you football fans, the match on Aug. 4 also provides the perfect opportunity to come to grips with one very important fact: Rugby is your sport’s daddy. The match also offers the ideal time, with beer in hand, to come out and heckle or cheer (either is encouraged) outdoor industry friends who hopefully realize they no longer fit into those same rugby shorts from 20 years ago — hootchie-mama shorts on a rugby player are just sad, even if fingers are sporting athletic tape and clutching a leather rugby ball.
Motto for the match is provided by Scott Duer: “We may be old, but we can still play…just please don’t hurt us.”
There are no tryouts for the rugby match, other than a simple email saying, “Count me in on the inevitable rucks, mauls and blood-letting in SLC,” and we’ll get your name to Coach McCarthy to add to the roster — ORRugby@snewsnet.com.