Ruggers from all over the world gathered to celebrate the date on which Mrs. O’Herlihy dramatically improved the trajectory of Morris’ own Cal O’Herlihy’s life by promising to be with him through the best and worst of times. The latter was exemplified by the performance of the Motley crew with which Cal and several other intrepid Morris ruggers joined to play Washington Generals to the Connecticut Grey’s Harlem Globetrotters on a rainy day in Connecticut; a day that could be truly described – without BP’s tongue in cheek – as being perfect for rugby.
Indeed, the uneven pitch of the Mountain Mist Outdoor Center seemed aptly named on a drizzly and foggy day that would see the Grey’s host the penultimate palooza of the spring, 2018 season. The Motley side was captained by Morris’ own Dave Kettner. Despite the lopsided scoring of the first three periods, Dave’s leadership was exemplary. His style could probably best be described as something akin to ‘encouraging or uplifting realism’. Since it’s difficult to describe, we’ll use an actual quote to provide flavor: Look lads, we can’t stop their backs on our best day, and especially number 20….but let’s try really hard!
And try Motley did. In fact, Motley struck first having chosen to point down the uneven Mountain Mist pitch in the opening period. Our early score clearly stirred the blood of the Greys and it lent early proof to the adage: The team with the most accents usually wins. The Motely Crew was resplendent with accents from all over the world – England, Australia, Japan, Long Island, and Manhattan, and, of course, that of Mrs. O’Herlihy’s husband. New Jersey being the native tongue of the Morris team – the owner of the jerseys worn by the Washington Generals for the first three periods – does not count as being accented.
Adages sometimes oversimplify situations calling for more nuance. But the Grey’s #20 wasn’t much into nuance; he was into the rapid and complete destruction of his opponent’s psyche. He simply wasn’t about to be stopped. And with the support of his fellow backs and hard-charging forwards, Motely did well to score a few times during the first three periods and make the Greys work for their scores on those few occasions when #20 offloaded the ball or was on the sidelines icing his calves. One would have to assume those were bags of ice under his spandex leggings – nobody’s calves could really be that big, could they?
As the afternoon wore on and the fog lifted, Motely rallied to support the beleaguered Mrs. O’Herlihy by sending her husband home in a good mood. Led by Morris’ own BT, Mitch, the Mayor, and of course Captain Kettner and all its newly adopted mates from Japan and other parts of the tri-state area, Motely rallied to win the 4th period. Motley’s performance during the 4th period breathed life back into that adage about accents as an Australian Motley (no longer the Generals) was awarded Man of the Match.
It’s rumored we also won the after party which included a pig roast and swill supplied by our gracious hosts the Greys. It’s also rumored that a bottle of Vitamin J was procured to help celebrate Cal’s wedding anniversary, though no proof of that can be offered. This understudy to the usual match report scribe had to miss both the winning 4th period (just don’t call the outcome fake news) and the after party to make sure his teenagers weren’t throwing a rager while both parents were out of town. And if a beer-soaked bash was underway, it seemed important to get home while there was still beer to drink to wash away the memories of #20 and his outrageous calves.
By – William Wilt