I did my annual feeding at the corporate trough yesterday, England v France at Twickenham. I played some Rugby at school (even broke my nose in a scrum). Its common in Canada, though there’s nothing more than amateur leagues, so we’re generally crap at it internationally. Still, it’s a game I’ve got a bit more affinity to.
So, for me, a much better experience than the World Cup final. I loved that, mind you, but it was almost a platonic enjoyment. A one night stand of sex with someone you’ll never see again
Rugby, that’s a game I can understand. I have nothing against football, its just not my game. Don’t get me started on cricket, I can at least get the point of football. Rugny though, its all there. The risk of injury is high, therefore the stakes are higher. You put your soul into Rugby, and not for the big bucks footballers draw down.
When the call came with an invite, and it turned out it was with a number of people I know and like, I didn’t turn it down. LL was gracious in letting me go, if a little jealous. Then again, she took the kids off on a picnic up on the downs, so the jealousy goes both ways…
We were in what’s known as the Captain’s Club. Will Carling’s means after the game to make a living. He brings in a slew of retired international Captains. They do a little reminiscing for the crowd, then circulate to the tables to sit down and gab a bit. Carling spent some time at our table, so I got a rugby ball signed by him for the boys (they didn’t have a clue who he was, but were impressed because LL was (she said I should have got a ball signed for her (then swooned a bit about Carling (women…))))
Then a bang up meal with liberal amounts of bitter and not bad wine (Penfolds 2005 Special Reserve Cab, worth picking up). Then up to the stands, 2nd teir north, just off the centre line, perfect.
What a game. I don’t watch sports as a rule, but that game was grand. Two sides, well matched, fighting it out. A win well deserved, then back down to the club for a bit of tea and crumpets while the crowds dispersed then the waddle home. I’ve been to the Rugby before, and some things always amuse me. Its bitter and champagne (I kid you not) rather than lager in the stands. The singing also usually is in 3 part harmony, something about all those old grammar and public school boys being in the school choir I guess. There’s lots of polite clapping for the other side too.
I don’t believe in partaking of too much “corporate hospitality”, but this was a vendor I’ve bought from and will continue with. Not because of the ch, but it did help cement some of the personal relationships, and that has value. Also, when I do partake, especially for something like this, its all the sweeter.