Between our game last week on Randall’s Island and this week’s game at Center Island Field in Oyster Bay, I could not help but notice how the 2 NY cities deal with the restoration of artificial turf fields.
At Randall’s Island, the City Forefathers and Fivemothers had already decided that they needed to resurface the artificial turf when Mother Nature handed them a gift. All the Winter Nor’Easters had deposited daunting dunes of sand about the fields. Rather than pay someone to remove the sand, they just regraded it. The existing, worn, smooth rubber pellets were soon replaced by a hard, unforgiving silicate compound. Any runner or tackler would be rewarded with skin scraped down to the bone. After last Saturday’s game, Bill Wilt had a presentation to give on Monday. While listening to another speaker, his rugby ooze had seeped through his pants and hardened. He could not stand up! Non-plussed, he dry-humped his chair up to the podium and had the emcee bend the microphone down to his level.
In Oyster Bay, the artificial grass is still spaced by good ol’ artificial rubber. When you hit the ground, you immediately bounce back up . . and are smacked again. When I asked Long Island Jason where the rubber came from, he chuckled and said like NYC, they also reused what was local. Clearly, the fishermen in Oyster Bay harvest more than shellfish. Rather than haul Lexus and Maserati tires out to the Atlantic Ocean to be buried at sea, some enterprising entrepreneurs had disposed of them locally. The fisherman would donate their “catch” to the Long Island Rugby Club, who then mill them into a never-ending replenishment of the pitch.
On to the match. It was a glorious warm Spring day in Bayville. Morris and the Greys each had about a dozen. Host LI supplemented their OB’s with a few B side players. Add in a few Gents and we had enough for 2 sides with a few subs. It was a back and forth affair with not a lot of action for the backs and wings. Pinky Toe played wing for the Greys. Bored from not enough action, he pulled out a few client tax returns to audit whilst waiting for the ball. Jim O’Connell came all the way from North Carolina for this match. With not a lot going on, he resorted to taste testing Diet Coke and Zero Calorie Coke with spectators for customer feedback. With the ball in the Grey pack, they pounded over numerous tries to take a 24-7 lead at the break. Barnabas Collins would score a try for Long Morris that did not suck. He put some teeth into his step and scored under the post. During the action, Long Island Birdie was bleeding on the nose and had to come out, a recipient of Cal’s boot. To Cal’s defense, he was only offering protection. He saw a Grey knee about to schmeer Birdie’s nose, so he did what ANY humanitarian would do. He kicked Birdie’s nose out of the way of the advancing knee. Before the match, the volunteer ref approached Captain Troy and asked where was the gray Andy? Without Andy, who would endlessly harangue and badger the ref for every imagined or perceived bad call? Not to worry, at the break, the Gent turned Long Morris scrummy did his part, whining about every transgression. I wonder if his name is also Andy?
The Greys had clearly tired themselves out with all that running in the 1st Half and Long Morris came scrambling back. After scoring 2 tries for the Greys in the 1st half, DJ would switch jerseys and score 2 for us in the 2nd. LI B-side Nick would add a score. I am not sure who else scored for Long Morris, but as Cal drove the Mayor and I to the game, I am convinced it was a dashing try for young Callahan, circling behind his own post and dodging the Greys for 100 meters to touch it down. That’s my story, and until I hear a more plausible fake news entry, I’m stickin’ to it. Add the conversion, and Long Morris was up 40-38 with seconds to play. On a line-out, Morris would confirm the score with the ref, then win the ball back to NC Jim, who imagined that Doug Ferris’ behind was on the ball. Thus inspired, he not only kicked it out of bounds, the ball travelled nearly to the other side of Nassau County.
The game thus ended. Morris and host Long Island would emerge victorious. We would salute our victory with a toast of Vitamin J at the Long Island clubhouse. Whilst there, we would learn of the amazing powers of the amino acid Arginine. Let’s just say its therapeutic powers mimic a little blue pill that is favored by men . . . . but WAAAAAY cheaper.
On the way to the match and at the Social after, we discussed how to expand the footprint of the Masters to include players from Jersey teams. What if we ditched the Morris name and went with something that ALL middle-aged men can relate to? What if we rebranded to become known as . . . . . . the LEGENDS OF PORN . . . stay tuned.
Next week, Morris will host at our auxiliary pitch, Drew University! THE preeminent small Liberal Arts College in NJ. To all our guests, not to worry though. Big Al will still be cooking his jambalaya for your dining pleasure.
By Ralph Scoville