Monthly Archives: August 2006

The World Cup Is Here!!

In thirty minutes and counting … GO EAGLES!!!

And of course, I have been so busy I haven’t had time to prepare the blog as I had wanted to … but the game will go on.

Here’s some quick links to everything you need to know …

WomenEagles.com for scores and recaps

USA Rugby for the “official” recap

Women’s Rugby World Cup for all game recaps/updates and the web broadcast

• And if you didn’t know, both Eagle scrumhalf Lee Knight and prop Jamie Burke are blogging the World Cup. Really great stuff! Go and Read It Now!

• Also, Vincent in the UK sent me this link to a England Rugby article that discusses how the English women are gearing up to play the “powerful US Eagles”.

• And if you haven’t checked it out in a while, Jen Doan’s smugmug galleries of candid shots of the players has been updated. This is just really cool.

Here’s a release from USA Rugby and also posted at WomenEagles with both our lineup and England’s lineup …

Crouse Leads US in World Cup Opener
8.30.06 – from USA Rugby.org
EDMONTON, Alberta – Jen Crouse (Oakland, Calif.) leads the USA for the seventh time, while Patty Jervey (Atlanta, Ga.) makes the squad in her record fifth World Cup as USA women’s national team head coach Kathy Flores names her lineup, today, for the World Cup opener against England.

The team is a mix of youth and experience, with 25-cap veteran Meredith Ottens (Austin, Texas) anchoring a front row that is big and strong, but includes two players with only nine caps between them.

“We have some big girls up there,” said Flores. “They don’t have a lot of caps but we knew that was what was going to happen. Meredith is our lynchpin and we expect the rest to bring a little something.”

Crouse earns her 22nd cap at second row, partnering with Erin Carter (San Francisco, Calif.) who only made the USA team this year.

In the back row, Flores said she would adjust the lineup based on who the opponents are, and she has chosen ball-poaching specialist Kristin Zdanczewicz (St. Louis Park, Minn.) at openside, and the physical, hard-charging Phaidra Knight (Riverdale, N.Y.) at blindside. At No. 8 is Tina Nesburg (San Francisco, Calif.), who emerged as the team’s first-choice at that position this year.

Claudia Braymer (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Heather Hale (Atlanta, Ga.) man the halfback spots, Braymer, who plays for the Albany Sirens, is another who took control of a position up for grabs this season.

Pam Kosanke (Chicago, Ill.) starts at inside center and is the likely goal-kicker, while vice captain Keenya Warner (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.) brings a steady head and powerful attacking style to outside center. The wings are Ellie Karvoski (Little Rock, Ark.) and Laura Cabrera (Oakland, Calif.), the two most consistently dangerous offensive players in the USA arsenal.

California resident Ashley English, the 2005 USA Rugby women’s Player of the Year, is at fullback. Among those waiting in the wings will be Jervey, who has played in all four previous World Cups and leads the USA all-time list by a country mile in caps (37), points (178) and tries (38). It’s a sign of Jervey’s longevity that seven of her USA tries were worth four points.

The Eagles are coming off a successful assembly in Blaine, Minn. where they scrimmaged a Minnesota Select Side. Now it’s about teamwork and playing aggressively, said Flores.

“There’s no one in our group that we will look past,” said the Coach Flores. “We stand a chance as much as anyone else to try to open our game up a little bit. That’s what all our preparation has been about.”

“We’re not going to look past anybody, and of course England is going to be probably our most challenging game,” added Crouse. “We don’t have the luxury of an easy match to begin with like we have in the past. We need to be mentally prepared for that. We’re excited for another opportunity to prove to ourselves and the rest of the world, what we’re capable of.”

The USA takes on England at 5 p.m. local time Thursday at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton. Along with New Zealand versus Canada match up, it is the biggest game on the schedule for Thursday.

The two teams last played in June of 2003, with England winning 15-8. Before that they met in 2000, when England won 31-7, and before that in the 1994 World Cup final, when England won 38-23. Most recently, the U.S. beat England in the 1991 World Cup final, where they took the match 19-6. Flores and Jervey both played in that match.

USA Starting Lineup
1. Jamie Burke
2. Mari Wallace
3. Meredith Ottens
4. Erin Carter
5. Jen Crouse (Captain)
6. Phaidra Knight
7. Kristin Zdanczewicz
8. Tina Nesberg
9. Claudia Braymer
10. Heather Hale
11. Ellie Karvoski
12. Pam Kosanke
13. Keenya Warner (Vice Captain)
14. Laura Cabrera
15. Ashley English
16. Danielle Miller
17. Annie Collier
18. Kate Pope
19. Kelly McMahon
20. Lee Knight
21. Kristin Baja
22. Patty Jervey

England Starting Lineup
1. Rochelle Clark
2. Amy Garnett
3. Venessa Gray
4. Jenny Sutton
5. Tamara Taylor
6. Georgia Stevens
7. Maggie Alphonsi
8. Cath Spencer
9. Jo Yapp (Captain)
10. Karen Andrew
11. Kim Shaylor
12. Kim Oliver
13. Sue Day
14. Nicky Crawford
15. Charlotte Barras
16. Selena Rudge
17. Katy Storie
18. Jenny Lyne
19. Helen Clayton
20. Amy Turner
21. Shelley Rae
22. Michaela Staniford

So be sure and watch the game, send happy, winning thoughts to our team in Canada and enjoy the thrill of rugby.

My team has practice during the game and then we’ve been working all week to organize getting the web broadcasts of the game from my laptop hooked up at Wilson’s, our team bar/clubhouse, on their televisions. Plus it’s karoake night too! If you’re in Madison, stop by after 7:30.

That said, look for recaps tomorrow on the blog, not tonight. 🙂 And leave your thoughts on the game in the comments!

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Yesterday

Yesterday, I called in sick. Was I sick? Not physically really, although I do have a cold coming on. I was in need of a mental health day though.

I just needed to not be at work and I had some stuff I needed to take care of like grocery shopping, paying my rent and bills, organizing my finances, stuff you can’t always fit into the few hours after work each day. It was good for me to do this. You guys should all do it too.

Yesterday morning, while unpacking my newly purchased groceries, I turned the television on (my whole 5 channels!) and surfed between The View (no thanks) and Maury Povich (hmmmm?).

Maury’s show? “I’m afraid of Birds, Peaches and Pickles!”

Seriously, women who are deathly afraid of pickles. Who the hell is afraid of a pickle? Is it the smell? The vinegar and spices? The shape? Which of course means you are probably afraid of some other *ahem* things in the world. (And no, there is no “theme” today, I swear).

These women were positively freaking out and hugging Maury. This fascinated me for about 3 minutes … and then I thought, wow you are pretty pathetic to go on the Maury Povich show. And then I realized it was pathetic of me to be sitting there watching it.

The next show was Little House on the Prairie though. I haven’t seen this in YEARS! And this show still rules. And I cried. Not kidding. Just one tear. But yup, it happened.

Laura was all little with her pigtail braids and she was riding her horse, Bunny, and they rode into a wire fence by accident. And Laura’s grandpa was visiting and he promised Laura that Bunny would be okay. But Pa knew they had to shoot the horse and then Grandpa had to break his promise. So Laura runs away and as she is running through the fields crying, BANG!, you hear the gunshot and you know Bunny is dead. And the show just sits there on Laura’s face realizing that Bunny is dead.

I am not kidding. You knew what was going to happen, but between Pa, Grandpa and Laura … I just lost it. Poor Bunny. Poor Laura. And I had flashbacks to being five years old and getting my Laura Ingalls Wilder doll from my parents and we had matching braids.

I should buy those shows on DVD. And isn’t Michael Landon like the best television Dad ever? Remember that angel show he was on too?

Only downer? No Nelly. Remember the bratty spoiled girl Nelly. She was the best too. I loved it when Laura hit her.

So, yeah eventually I finished watching Little House, then started all of my work in my apartment while also watching Days of Our Lives (Sammy and Austin were trying to get married, but Sammy wasn’t sure and there were possible terrorists planning to blow up the church and kill the entire Brady Clan).

Yesterday afternoon, I went to practice and it was tough. In addition the humidity and the rise in allergens for my allergies working against me, we did extra reps of everything and were working on our tackling. That was tough. I did okay in my reps. Not great, but I was bringing people down.

We broke off into backs and pack later and our backs work was less than focused. Now that I am a back, I have to learn this stuff and it was just hard to focus yesterday and it seemed no one want to work on anything. This needs to change though. I plan on talking to all of my fellow backs about this, because we need to start busting our asses to work on playing better together. Individuals might be really good on their own, but our teamwork in the backline is not there right now. *sigh*

In other rugby news, I might have to learn to hook as well in case I am a backup to the hooker. Just one more skill set in my Utility Rugby Player resumè. Nice. I have hooked a few times, mainly in practice and summer, so that would be a good thing to know better.

My shoulders are sore. Gotta love tackling drills.

Tonight, more rugby but not for me. I’m going to time our guys on their fitness tests for the Midwest Camps. Should be fun. I’m just glad I don’t need to run the 400-meter shuttle, the 1500-meter run and whatever else they have to do. At least not tonight anyway … just one more thing I should work on doing better. But seriously … if I had to do this tonight, I probably throw up. Sweet.

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A Butterfly Without Wings …

I receive a lot of spam through my work e-mail account because it is part of our website. Most of it is not stuff I would share with my mom. And I share a lot with my mom.

Today’s best subject line?

“A man with a small penis is like a butterfly without wings.”

You are a poet, Mr. Spammer. A poet!

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Wiped Out

I am super tired … or as my sister and I kept saying all weekend because her miniature dachshund, Lulu, was with us holding it down for Germany, über tired. (Not oober Kim!)

I even have the correct ümlauts on über. Key strokes courtesy of my french minor in college.

I survived the family wedding weekend up in Minn-uh-soh-tah and it wasn’t half bad. My sister and I drove up Friday and our drive took about two hours longer than needed due to this freak thunderstorm we had to pull over in (dubbed “Hurricane Lulu”) then our need for Taco Bell, some candy and a few rest stop breaks for Lulu.

My cousin’s wedding was nice, despite some near disasters with flowers and decorating at the last minute. For the record, my sister and I were in charge of the sparkly rocks and we rocked and we rocked some more, until the whole place sparkled.

Since I am a noted critic of weddings and all that they entail, I will hold back on any blogging about my cousin’s wedding for fear it would be seen negatively, when in reality, it was just different than I would choose. But all that aside, it was a nice weekend and it was great to catch up with family and close friends.

Further, my cousin Celeste, who used to play rugby, will be coming down to Madison for a visit this fall to see one our games. Yeah!

Yesterday morning, despite my mother’s directives that we needed to make an appearance at the gift opening (ugh!), I made my sister get on the road early so we could get back home early enough to have some of our Sunday left. We left at 10ish and after some stops for caffeine and gas were crossing the Wisconsin state line (hallalujah!) at 11 a.m. and then back in Madison by 3 p.m. However, my day was stretched a tad longer since Tim – at his own cousin’s wedding – forgot that he gave his car keys to his mom (who returned home) and then was locked out of his car and stuck in one of Wisconsin’s charming little small towns for the day.

Thankfully, he hitched a ride from Pinkie returning home from the USA 7s to Madison, so then he and I checked on my cat (who was fairly pissed off at the long weekend of my absence, but otherwise fine), found his extra car key packed away in some moving box and then made the 90-minute round-trip drive to return his car back to Madison. I got some yummy chinese food out of it though, so it was cool.

The long day seemed at its end until my cat, obviously still pissed, decided to chew on Tim’s brand new laptop computer cord and somehow severed the cord’s wiring that allows the battery to recharge from the wall plug-in. My cat enjoys the attention which chewing on computer cords gets him, and my additional worry that he will electrocute himself doesn’t seem to matter to him, but he had never actually caused real damage until last night. So now, I am dropping $30-60 on a new cord in payment for leaving my cat home alone for the whole weekend. The little furry bastard doesn’t even pay his own rent …

Anyway … trying to catch up on my workload today from missing office hours Friday. Stay tuned later on …

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USA 7s Kicks Off Saturday in Milwaukee, Wis.

Good luck to all of you playing or planning on attending the USA 7s in my awesome home state of Wisconsin!

I’ll be road-tripping with my sister to Minneapolis for my cousin’s wedding … again, let’s all hope the cake is good. For me that can make or break the weekend. 😉

Send in any updates to share if you are playing this weekend. Here is the USA 7s release from USA Rugby:

8-18-2006 – ALL-STAR SEVENS MEN’S, WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP SET FOR MILWAUKEE
MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Rugby Football Union and Eagle Sports Management, LLC are proud to present USA Rugby’s Men’s and Women’s All-Star Sevens Championship on Aug 26 -27 at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex in Franklin, Wisconsin.

Sixteen teams (eight men’s and eight women’s) composed of elite rugby players from across the nation will be competing for the national championship. Twelve players from each territorial union (Northeast, Mid- Atlantic, South, Midwest, West, So Cal and Pacific) have been chosen to represent their own region of the country. The eighth men’s team will be composed of 12 Combined Services players whereas USA Rugby’s Women’s U-23 National Team creates the eighth women’s team.

As the Men’s West and Northeast Women’s Territorial Sevens Teams play to defend their titles, a profound showcase for the sport of rugby is inevitable. Games are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday with matches to follow every 20 minutes.

Admission to the Milwaukee County Sports Complex will be $10 each day, with an all-access weekend complex pass for $15. Children’s two-day passes will be $5. Detailed event information can be found at http://www.usarugby.org or http://www.wisconsinrfu.com.

USA RUGBY, founded in 1975, is the national governing body for rugby and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Rugby Board (IRB). For more information, please contact Sara John at sjohn@usarugby.org.

For media interested in attending this event, please contact Denise Hussli, of the Wisconsin Rugby Football Union, by phone at (608) 386-8122 or by email at rugby.events@yahoo.com

Anticipate no blogging today or this weekend … have a good one!

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I’m kinda pissed about this whole "Pluto doesn’t count as a planet anymore" thing

Ummm … hello? You’re downgrading Pluto from a “Planet” to a “Dwarf Planet”?

Adults everywhere will be screwing up Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit answers for years now. “What are 9 planets Alec? No, wait … 8? No, 9?”

Are we then supposed to be politically correct and call Pluto and his new friends, Ceres and Xena, “Little Planets”?

By the way … I found it interesting that the URL for this article was labeled “planet mutiny”. Some editorializing by Yahoo News, perhaps?

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Thunderstorms, Scaredy Cats, Wedded Bliss

Last night I had a meeting in Brookfield (near Milwaukee) which didn’t end until almost 10. I am glad I went, but it would’ve been better if it wasn’t last night when I was super tired. This week’s schedule has been hellacious.

The entire ride home I watched lightning ripping across the skies. I talked with Tim and he said there was a big tornado alert and I should be careful. Why am I always driving during tornados? And at night, would I really see a tornado coming my way? Probably not.

I got home and it had just started hailing with a hard rain, so I had to park my car and walk through my parking lot to my apartment building with hail balls hitting me. They were small and the rain wasn’t bad though. At the house across the street, there were a bunch of girls hanging out on their porch playing a game, laughing and screaming. Maybe playing beer pong?

When I opened my door, my cat was waiting right there for me. I think he’s okay with the new apartment, but being alone all day gets old and boring. I am worried about him for this weekend while I will be gone for my cousin’s wedding. Granted, he’ll be fine but who wants to be locked up in an apartment for an entire weekend by yourself? I’ll only be gone two days, but I still feel bad. It is a big apartment though and he’ll have everything he needs. Thankfully I don’t have a dog of my own. Eventually I’m going to get Jib a friend. His name will be Jab (and not my dad’s request that it be Spinnaker).

I talked with Tim again – he was half asleep – when I got home. He asked if there was somewhere I could go if a tornado came. Where does one go if you live on the third floor of a large old brick building? I figured my best bets would be my interior closets which are in small enclosed hallways or if needed, I could run down to the basement with my cat. This was not the best way to fall asleep …

It thundered all night, but obviously I am still alive and no tornados struck my building. I am glad it is Thursday though. This week, Thursday is my Friday since my sister and I are driving up to Minneapolis tomorrow for my cousin’s wedding. Plus, we are taking the super weiner dog, Lulu. This could be quite the adventure. But I hate this drive because it is pretty long and boring and one I have to make quite often for rugby, at least once or twice a season. *ugh*.

I am also not really looking forward to this wedding. My first one in a few years and it will be nice to see family … but I find most weddings pretty typical and boring … and I really only like the cake and flowers. It had better be good cake.

We have team practice tonight … and I don’t really want to go. I could use the time more wisely on other more pressing concerns for today, but I’ll go nonetheless. I have to give one of our rookies a ride anyway. Seriously, this is kind of a blah day … thank god it’s almost the weekend.

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