2012-02-03 / Sports

Why We Play The Game

By Rupert McCall

When the battle scars have faded
And the truth becomes a lie
And the weekend smell of Ben Gay
Could almost make you cry,

When the last ruck’s well behind you
And the man that ran now walks
It doesn’t matter who you are
The mirror sometimes talks,

Have a good hard look old son!
The melons not that great
The snoz that takes a sharp turn sideways Used to be dead straight,

You’re an ad for arthritis
You’re a thoroughbred gone lame
Then you ask yourself the question
Why the hell you played the game?

Was there logic in the head knocks?
In the sprains and in the cuts?
Did common sense get pushed aside?
By manliness and guts?

Do you sometimes sit and wonder
Why your time would often pass
In a tangled mess of bodies
With your head up someone’s ass?

With a thumb hooked up your nostril
Scratching gently on your brain
And an overgrown Neanderthal
Rejoicing in your pain!

Friend – you must recall the jersey
That was shredded into rags
Then the soothing sting of cream
On a back engraved with tags

It’s almost worth admitting
Though with some degree of shame
That your wife was right in asking
Why the hell you played the game?

Why you’d always come home legless
Like a cow on roller skates
After drinking at the clubhouse
With your low down drunken mates,

Then you’d wake up – check your
wallet
Not a solitary coin
Drank Jameson’s by the bucket
Throw an ice pack on your groin,

Copping Sunday morning sermons
About boozers being losers
While you limped like Quasimodo
With a half a thousand bruises!

Yes – an urge to hug the porcelain
And curse Sambuca’s name
Would always pose the question
Why the hell you played the game!

And yet with every wound re-opened
As you grimly reminisce it
Comes the most compelling feeling yet
God, you sure do miss it!

From the first time that you laced a
boot
And tightened every stud
That virus known as rugby
Has been living in your blood,

When you dreamt it, when you played
it
All the rest took second fiddle
Now you’re standing on the sideline
But your heart’s still in the middle,

And no matter where you travel
You can take it as expected
There will always be a breed of people
Hopelessly infected,

If there’s a teammate, then you’ll find
him
Like a gravitating force
With a common understanding
And a beer or three, of course,

And as you stand there telling lies
Like it was yesterday old friend
You’ll know that if you had the chance
You’d do it all again

You see – that’s the thing with rugby
It will always be the same
And that, I guarantee you …
Is why the hell you played the game!!

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