Friday, December 30, 2011

Gentlemen or Hooligan?

The oft repeated quote that football (soccer) is a gentleman's game played by hooligans and that rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen and is the source of the title of my blog about the Grimsby Gentlemen Rugby Football Club is surprisingly not that old (or at least not that old compared to me).  Sean Fegan in his blog actually found that the earliest reference he could find was a quote from the Chancellor of Cambridge in "The Times" of London of January 30, 1953 in an article called "The Evolution of Football" which states:

           "... a large family-Association, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Gaelic football, American football and Australian Rules.  Each clearly has its merits and may safely be left to its adherents, but one cannot refrain from repeating the story of a certain Chancellor of Cambridge University (confessing complete ignorance of all football), who was asked to sum up a debate on Association and Rugby.  "It is clear,"he said," that one is a gentlemen's game played by hooligans; the other a hooligan's game played by gentlemen."

Note the Chancellor did not determine which code was the gentlemen and which code was the hooligans but left it up to history and myself to decide; so I did.

Fegan's blog is a fascinating look at the history of rugby, check it out.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hooligns: Police spoil all our fun.

100 people were detained in Russia after police mistook rugby match as brawl

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Authorities in southern Russia detained over 100 people when police mistook a game 
of rugby as a brawl.  Police apparently received a tip that a large crowd had gathered
at an empty sports ground on the outskirts of the city on Sunday afternoon.  Around
70 policemen arrived at the scene to find a large number of cars parked around the 
area, and what appeared to be a crowd that was watching two rival gangs fight each
The police stopped the event and around 100 people were detained until they learned
that they were actually playing a game of rugby.  Everyone was released within a few
hours, but authorities were displeased that they had not informed them of the sporting
event earlier.  A spokesperson for the police said,"Given the difficult, troubled situation
in the region, at a time when counter-terrorism actions are being actively conducted,
citizens are obligated to inform [authorities] either verbally or in writing of their
"The fact that police took us to be hooligans, this isn't the first time," said one of the

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Letter to the Guy Above the Bar

Dear Guy

Hasn't it been just great weather this fall?  Here it is almost Christmas and we have not had any snow or ice  and the temperature has been a lot warmer than one would think. Still you would not expect to look out your window and see a guy dressed only in girl's underwear and a shocking pink boa (you probably get to see more of this in the warmer months).  The couple of men with this guy definitely should not have been ringing the doorbell or knocking and yelling. We should not have been doing this and have no problem with you calling the police (I guess if there no bank heists or serious crimes then they have to be somewhere).  You might have waited until the next day to call your landlord to complain.

It was not planned to go outside during the awards dinner but several events came together like a perfect storm with this result.  One significant happening was your hammering on the floor of your room while were were eating our dinner in the pub below.  I understand that perhaps about 8:30 on a Saturday night you might want to sit back and drink a quiet beer while watching the hockey game (aren't the Leafs doing well this year, but don't count on them to make the playoffs) and that you would be upset by the noise from below. But the thing we were wondering was, do you realize that you live over a bar?  Now I don't know how busy George is but at times I know the bar is going to get noisy (I have been there when some loud bands were playing).

Perhaps you expected that it would be looked on as a joke, but you have to be very careful to pull that off and you have to pick your crowd.  This group certainly had no sense of humour.  For example I told this great joke, well here it is and you decide, I will shorten it a bit.

This guy goes to a urologist to get his prostate checked and the doctor turns out to be youngish, cute and female.  So she puts him on his left side and tells him to say "ninety-nine" as she explores.  He says "ninety-nine".  However, she says she cannot feel it properly and puts him on his right side and tells him again to say "ninety-nine".  He complies.  She still cannot feel it properly so she puts him on his back so she can check again but she says she will have to hold his penis out of the way.  She again tells him to say "ninety-nine".  He says "one, two..".

Now isn't that hilarious but surprisingly it did not go well, so don't expect a group like that to laugh at some knocks on the ceiling.   (Maybe they do not know what a urologist is.)

One of the other things that happened was one player was given women's panties and a pink boa as a joke award, so of course he had to put them on and he was the one you saw out side.  Here's where the weather comes in, if it had been snowing or very cold he would not have gone out, as it was he did not stay our long and you could tell it sure was cool when he came in.  He gets the same gift and he does the same thing every year so we are kind of used to it but it probably is a surprise to the casual viewer like these big cops (you invited).

Another thing that would have taken up some time (after dinner and the awards we basically wait around until it is time to go to the Legion to cheer up the veterans, it was nice the police also came) was table surfing an event started last year and should have taken up a lot of time.  I blame myself for not having coached the proper skills of table surfing and the first participant landed to the side table, pulling out all the screws so the whole top came off  and he slid (quite hard)  into the edge of the next table with his chest (he could have been hurt).  In the interests of safety, I shut the activity down and the crowd's energy could only be released by them (three) going outside yelling and ringing door bells.

The next day (late the next day) everything does not seem so funny and could have led to more serious things like (as was suggested by your landlord) that you might come down with a gun or a knife (you wouldn't actually do that - would you?) and then where would we be.  Perhaps may I suggest you invest in a very thick rug or perhaps you could work Friday and Saturday evenings or even you could could join us next year.  We  are always looking for players and we practice at Alway school starting in April.  Just come up for a run around but tell us who you are (just say ninety-nine).

Yours Sincerely (I do go on and on)
Bill Stuart
Grimsby Gentlemen RFC

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ode to a Tighthead Prop

Ode to a Tighthead Prop
Author unknown

It was midway through the season
we were just outside the four
and although I know we won it
I can't recall the score.

But there's one thing I remember
and to me it says a lot
about the men who front the scrum -
the men we call "the props".

We won a lineout near half way
the backs went on a run
the flankers quickly ripped the ball
and second phase was won.

Another back then crashed it up
and drove towards the line
another maul was duly set
to attack it one more time.

The forwards pushed and rolled that maul
They got tough set the ball up to a tee
the last man in played tight head prop
and wore the number "3"

The ball was pushed in to his hands
he held it like a beer
then simply dropped to score the try -
his first in 15 years.

Then later, once the game was done
he sat amidst his team
he led the song and called himself
the try scoring machine.

But it wasn't till the night wore on
that the truth was finally told
just two beers in, he'd scored the try
and also kicked the goal.

At 6 o'clock the try was scored
by barging through their pack
he carried two men as he scored
while stepping 'round a back.

By seven he'd run twenty yards
out sprinting their quick men
then beat the last line of defence
with a "Jonah Lomu" fend.

By eight he'd run from near half way
and thrown a cut out pass
then looped around and run again
no-one was in his class.

By nine he'd run from end to end
his teammates stood in awe
he chipped and caught it on the full
then swan dived as he scored.

By ten he'd drunk a dozen beers
but still his eyes did glisten
as he told the story of "that try"
to anyone who'd listen.

His chest filled up, as he spoke,
his voice was filled with pride
he felt for sure he would be named
the captain of that side.

By night’s end he was by himself
still talking on his own
the club was shut, the lights were out
his mates had all gone home.

And that's why I love my front row -
they simply never stop
and why I always lend an ear
when a try's scored by a prop

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Club Dinner 2011

Another typical awards dinner with dinner, awards, a man dressed in women's underwear., noise, punches, violence, table breaking , cops and visiting the Legion. At least the meal was different this time. It was  was Greek themed and excellently prepared and served  by Bob's cousin John and helped by Billy. We highly recommend them as caterers. The club would also like to thank George of Nathan's Depot Pub for letting us have our dinner there for the third year in a row.  We did not mean to cause you any problems George and will not likely be back next year.

Bob, John and Billy

The awards went well starting with the most improved player in Nick Howe.  Nick came to most practices and became a stronger prop as the year went on. Nick was unable to attend the dinner as he . 


This year we had 8 new players to senior rugby and all made a significant contribution.  Our oldest rookie was Wally at 48 years of age.  However,  a player who made a significant difference to the club by attending most practices, bought his own weighted ball, drove to Bruce all by himself and joined the executive was Brendan Sculland and he is the rookie of the year.

Mr. President and Brendan
Comeback player of the year went to James Vienneau who brought his son to flag rugby and said even though I haven't played in twenty years I can do this. And he did.

Two older guys trying to keep their eyes open
The Clubman of the year this year went to two individuals and one not even a man.  Laura and Martin grew the flag program from a dozen a couple of years ago to three dozen this year and had a very successful season in getting young kids involved..

Mr. President, Laura and Martin Van Den Hurk
Our junior player of the year was a 17 year old player in Grade 11 at Beamsville this year and came to the club to score four tries in the league at center.  Martin was not able to attend the dinner.

Martin Colyn
This year`s player of the year was Vic Blaney who got most of the man of the match awards, scored five tries (we only scored 19 in total) and played out of position to help the club.  The award was presented by Club Manager Kyle Wilson.

Kyle and Vic

This year`s Deer`s Rear award went to Alex Millar who in a fall game at home against Bruce, managed to confuse the opposition by picking up the ball in goal running it out to the one and placing it down whereupon Bruce picked it up, took it back into the goal and touched it down.  Alex's defense is that he was injured with a collapsed lung and slightly mixed up.

Mr. President with Alex
Also I forgot to announce at the dinner that we have two members on the Niagara All-Star B division team and they are Vic Blaney and Derrick Weber.

A few more pictures with no comments: