Birmingham squared off against us in the True South Championship match last year down in Gadsden, and narrowly lost to us by 1 point. They played hard the entire match, scored literally on the last play, and unfortunately their kicker missed the conversion. He had missed 2 other kicks that game and we know we got let off the hook, but that’s neither here nor there, this story today is about our most recent encounter and this will be referred back to in a few minutes…proceed.
Birmingham traveled up to Chattanooga for the last match of the regular fall season and as usual, showed up in droves for our social at Mike’s Hole [in the wall]. They are one of the best teams at bringing their players to our after-party and we love that about them! They’re fun, they mingle, they sing songs, they play great rugby, and being the captain, as protocol I got with their captain and walked up the stairs a bit to gather everyone’s attention so we could announce our man of the match (MOTM) choices and any Zulu’s.
As I was giving my speech, I was telling them exactly what I just told you lot saying, “Hey Birmingham we want to thank you for again coming out in full force to Mike’s, we love having you guys around because you party hard, you laugh with us, and you bring the most players to the social than most other teams, and it makes rugby fun when you guys are around.”
I carried on and referred back to the playoff game, and this is where it went a bit sideways (without me knowing it), continuing: “We also look forward to playing you guys because you’ve always been on the other-side of the league so we never really play you outside of playoffs, but in the last few years you guys have really come on strong and we were really looking forward to playing you this week since our last match up where we only beat you by 1 point, so we knew this was going to be a great match!”
I finished that line, but hadn’t finish my speech yet, and someone from their team lifted his cup at me and yelled “CHEATERS!!” to which I swiftly snapped back saying, “hey it’s not our fault your kicker sucked and missed 3 kicks, get a better kicker next time” --- which yes, may have been a bit uncalled for but don’t come into my house and talk shit, especially in the middle of my speech and expect me to not say anything back, especially when I'm right. It may be my flaw that I’m
a bit aggressive at times (my teammates know that) but no-harm-no-foul right? We’re all men, it’s just rugby, we’re big boys we can take it.
Anyway, I continue on with my speech, I announce our MOTM award and say a little something about our player, their captain says a few words and announces theirs, the two men do the chug-off, and then we go on about mingling. We continued on socializing, did our NoogaRugby song, the ole’ Chattanooga Choo-Choo (Nooga style), B-ham jumped in and tried interrupting and it was all fun, and then I look up and their whole team has vanished (save Zach “Madeye” Blalock).
It was at that point that one of our players came to me and said “Hey Lyall, why’d you get on that guy so hard?”
I said, “the guy who yelled “Cheaters” at me? You don’t think that was fair?”
And that’s when he told me, “No Lyall. You were talking about how great the relationship was, and how we were looking forward to the rematch, he raised his cup to you and said “CHEERS” not “CHEATERS”!!!”
Annddd at that I instantly regretted my verbal lashing, felt so small and just plain knew I was wrong, but couldn’t address it.
I went over to Madeye and told him, he laughed and said “I’m not telling my team shit! That’s just going to fuel the fire for the rematch” haha!
So, Birmingham I honestly am so sorry! If “cheaters” was what your guy said the I wouldn’t be apologizing, however since it was not, I am admitting and apologizing for being the prick, and rule #1 around here is ‘don’t be a dick.’ So, I am sorry.