Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Love and Tragedy - Bingham Cup 2008

I write from 20 miles within myself, a safe distance from my emotions. Never had fortune turn it's back on me so completely as it did in the Bingham Cup in Dublin Ireland.

Ireland is home to leprechauns, good luck charms and the 2008 Bingham Cup Rugby Tournament. It is also the birth place of my former girlfriend who, at the time, I considered to be my lady luck.

My team, the San Francisco Fog, had a vendetta against the Sydney Convicts that started when they beat us in the final match of the '06 Bingham cup that took place in New York. I had matured into becoming the starting scrum half and was ready to help the team exact its revenge.

My rocky relationship with my girlfriend was reconciled on a promise she made. Lady luck was the only person who knew me intimately enough to help me overcome the hardships of becoming a championship caliber athlete. Two weeks before the tournament lady luck broke that promise and my heart.

My heart would sink to see her at rugby functions. Instead of exploring Ireland together, I would have to prepare for her presence during the tournament. I did so by focusing solely on obtaining the cup.

The competition began on Friday the 13th. Ten minutes into the first game, I sustain a debilitating bruise to my ribs. During the second game I had subbed myself out. I stood by and watch the team succeed without me. All of the illusions of personal glory vaporize with each wincing pain from my ribcage. I find usefulness twittering the games from the sidelines.

The Fog take first place in their competitive pool and handily beat the LA Rebellion in the bracket style competition that followed.

The weekend progressed to Sunday and the semifinals. Sydney Convicts would play the New York Gotham Knights and the San Francisco Fog would play the London Kings Cross Steelers.

The score was tied when my replacement injured his knee. I came into one of the most intense battles I've ever experienced; both teams refusing to give in (this is also why I stopped twittering). The score at the end of the game was 7-to-7. Both teams could not score after two additional overtime periods. Another 10 minutes of sudden death was added but ended in neither team able to score against their opponent.

Both captains met the refs and the fate of the game lied in a decision by the tournament officials.

Roaring cheers from the London team declared to both the crowd and us who had won. Another heart breaker.

I would be told later that the game was decided by the total points scored by our respective teams during the tourney. By this time I had already retracted inward from my own emotions. My chance to redeem my dignity snatched by a score of 120 to 123.

Drugs helped the tournament drift along to completion. Sydney won the cup. But one player on our team won a trophy for the most tries scored in the tournament.

My attempts to salvage a good time were unsuccessful. I returned from the bar at 4 a.m. after getting stood up by some girls at the bar I came back to my dorm to find that this rookie who was crashing on my floor locked me out. I found others to take me in until the reception desk opened. On the way, I got to witness my ex had been sharing a room with the our team's trophy winner. Lady luck had been blowing on another man's dice; the final heart break.

It would appear that good fortune is not without it's antithesis.

I write from 20 miles within myself. The body is broken and my emotions are mortally wounded; Its last gasps of life are getting fainter and fainter. I will remain aloof until I find a way to resurrect Doug Headley from the ashes.


Jay Z: "Only God can judge me so I'm gone, either love me or leave me alone"