Rugby is perhaps the most trailer trad of preppy sports. Rugby’s trad pedigree is easy to see. The sport was born in England’s elite ‘public’ schools and was loyally played by its aristocracy for generations. Prince Harry is a fiercely loyal rugger. But it is also known for the unique spirit of its enthusiasts, best expressed by the old axiom “soccer is a gentleman’s sport played by ruffians and rugby is a ruffian’s sport played by gentleman.” But what does that really mean?While sports like golf are preppy, rugby is trailer trad. Rugby is to other prep sports like crew, golf and lacrosse as Delta House was to Omega House. By that I mean that ruggers are extremely traditional yet are never snobby. Rugby players don’t take directions well but are often campus leaders. We welcome ‘characters’ as well as serious athletes looking for a competitive outlet. No sport is as lavishly muddy or bloody as rugby but rugby clubs usually are among the first to volunteer their time and energy to charitable causes. And no sport throws better parties. None. Look it up.
Rugby is the only major collegiate sport not sanctioned by the NCAA. Ruggers really have no use for all of the rules. My club, The Mothers, benefited greatly from not being sanctioned by the NCAA. The biggest benefit, in my opinion, was that it enabled us to schedule our own opponents.
Times have changed and while players still have fun, the Club is much tamer than in the old days. An overseeing body now schedules games but we still get our share of large schools to play against – usually with good results. My club punked The Pirates of East Carolina last weekend 35-15 are looking forward to The University of Virginia this coming weekend (I like our chances). Our B-side is also competing against the University of Richmond's A-side. -I like our chances there too.
Today, when other clubs visit our campus, they are often surprised. Our playing field and campus are awesomely beautiful. More importantly, there are a lot of women around. Some of whom are quite attractive. And third, The Mothers are extremely competitive on the field yet display a high level of sportsmanship and hospitality to visitors. I think opposing players leave pleasantly surprised after dismissing us as a ‘girl’s school’ at first.
Check out these pictures of my club The Mothers from the mid 1980s.