I guess I played well. Last week I felt I played very well in the first half, but the heat and humidity really got to me (and most everyone else) in the second half, rendering me nigh ineffectual. Heat and humidity were not factors on Saturday, though, as the B-side game kicked off at 4 p.m. in cool, dry, breezy weather. Thus, I did not start feeling real fatigue until late in the game, and even then I was able to muster up a full-on sprint when one of their forwards broke away from the pack and threatened to score.
But I know I played well just based on the reactions I received. Several A-side players complimented my play. The assistant coach was absolutely effusive in his praise. The head coach came over and patted me on the back and congratulated me. And the A-side captain, with whom I've had some differences of opinion in the past, went out of his way to tell me I played well. JS, who works here in Pulmonary and recruited me to play rugby last spring (he's out this season while he recuperates from shoulder surgery), was at the game and came down to the office this morning to tell me that I played well and especially that I went into several rucks hard.
I didn't think it was anything more than an average game for me. I guess, now that my conditioning is starting to fall into place and I'm beginning to understand the intricacies of the game, I have higher expectations. I really wanted to put someone out on a tackle, and I wanted to carry the ball with a head of steam. Maybe the team, diametrically, had really low expectations. I did go into some rucks hard. You have to — it's not practice anymore, and you can't let your teammates down. There was one play that I'm particularly proud of. A ruck had formed but I didn't commit to it, thinking we'd already won possession. But the ball trickled out to the right, and I saw one of the opponents reach over and bend down to pick it up. I left my feet and absolutely blasted him. He had this look on his face that screamed, "Where did that come from!" I don't know if anyone else noticed that play, but it is my one memorable moment from the game.
Afterwards I tried to get to the Broadway night that some friends of mine were in in Somerville. I got there in time for the final two songs of the singalong. I'm sorry I missed the rest of the show. I felt a bit out of place — ladies in long, sequined gowns, gloved hands, etc.; guys in cocktail attire; and me in a long-sleeved t-shirt, my rugby shorts, sneakers, and mud caked on my knees and who knows where else.
Sunday morning I went to Mass as usual. I mostly tuned out the "halftime speech" (what I was calling the homily that morning) because, rather than a reflection on the readings or some such, the priest had this church's new business manager give a report of some sort. One thing caused me to perk up, though: the business manager said he was looking for someone with knowledge of web design to improve their parish site. I left a business card with the priest.
Then off to play football went I. I really haven't been into it the past two weeks. My body is just too spent after Saturday's rugby to give any real effort on Sunday morning. Add to that, both shoulders have been hurting — the left from an injury sustained in practice, and the right simply from wear and tear, like tennis elbow except it's rugby shoulder. One of the guys criticized me for taking plays off, so I went hard for a couple of plays to show that I could still bring it when necessary. (The guy trying to block me commented that I had a lot more leg strength than previous years and that he couldn't stop my bull rush.) For the most part, though, I entertained myself with my "slow-motion pass rush" and other antics and left the serious football to others.
Off to rehearsal in the evening. I am mostly off book on Act I. (Lots of work still needed for Act II, but I have a week before I have to be completely off book.) The rehearsal was mostly enjoyable, as I was able to get more into the role now that I am off book. But parts were frustrating, such as when I kept getting hung up and dropping lines on a speech I knew I knew cold. Ah, growing pains. But it will get there, and soon.
Then off to home to watch the Chargers game on ESPN that I had to Tivo. They were playing the Giants, who are Bri's favorite team, so we both stayed up to watch. However, the game lasted longer than the recording, so we had to hurry up to catch up with live tv. We just (barely) made it — the recording stopped after the Chargers last touchdown of the game, and the recorded portion of live tv (the half-hour bit you can rewind) started just before this TD. It was nice watching my team finally dominate a game and watching their best player put on a show for the ages, accomplishing a feat that had only been done once before in NFL history. (He rushed for 192 yards, caught several passes, scored 3 rushing TDs, and threw a TD pass!) Got to bed very late but very content.
I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat and a headache. The headache is no doubt in part due to knocking heads with one of my teammates during Saturday's game. (I have a nice chichon (bump) over my left eyebrow to show for it.) But I think I may have caught something from either one of my theater mates or one of my rugby mates (there was one sick of each). I may take a sick day tomorrow just to let my body rest and minimize the severity of any incoming cold.
Well, that was my weekend. But I just wanted to mention a couple of things from a few weekends ago that I never got around to posting.
A group of us went out to celebrate JC's birthday. On the way to Sunset Grille, some college-aged girl comes speeding down the sidewalk on rollerblades with no regard for anyone else on the sidewalk. I just managed to sidestep her enough that she only just clipped my shoulder. K, having observed this, called out to her, "Dumb bitch!" As we rounder the corner next to the restaurant I heard a voice shout out, "Dumb bitch! Who's the dumb bitch now!" just before this same girl crashed in between K and me. She then sought the shelter of three guys standing in front of the pool place. I immediately got in her face and gave her a piece of my mind. I so wanted to pick her up and slam her into the ground or a parked car, but two thoughts stopped me: first, the stigma against hitting girls; and two, I may be able to handle one, maybe even two, average-sized guys, but I certainly can't handle three, and I didn't realize at the time that these weren't friends of hers who would have her back, that she was just chickenshit and ran to them hoping that neither K nor I would try anything if we thought she was defended. Had I realized this malicious twit had punched K in the small of her back, I would have bodyslammed the bitch, stigmas and male friends be damned. The whole incident made me wish that, instead of sidestepping her when she first flew down the sidewalk at us, I had simply lowered my shoulder and taken the hit, for the which I would have only suffered minimally while inflicting a good deal of hurt on her.
After dinner, Bri's date ran into an old friend of hers and went over to greet her. The friend hadn't noticed me, but I did manage to catch a name. A few minutes later, I rushed up to her, exclaiming, "Oh my gosh, [x], how are you? It's been so long!" And I gave her a big bear hug. I continued to act like a long-lost friend for a few more lines while she gave me this half frightened, half embarrassed look, not quite sure if I was just some weirdo or if I was an old acquaintance she couldn't remember. Then suddenly I completely changed my tone of voice and said, "Just kidding. I don't know you," and walked sharply away. My friends were mortified, embarrassed, etc., but they were too incapacitated by laughter to care. The look on that girl's face was priceless, I tell you!