Oh, darn… dreaming again. But it got me thinking…
This weekend is one of the epic Rugby watching periods of any four year period. This is the quadrennial global version of the Sweet 16 (that’s the USA College Basketball tournament for all you foreigners out there – suffice to say exciting stuff!).
I’ll be watching all four matches on Sat/Sun online on Universal. I’ll be watching Aussie (now the favorite IMO), and check the AB’s to see if they get it together. Can Wales get it together through injury and that devastating loss to Oz last week? And, can Argentina make history and get to a Semi!?
And then I thought about something.. Here I am, once again, turning on my device at 0600 a.m. to watch two other countries play rugby. Sort of like watching other teams in the Super Bowl and thinking ‘My team should be there’.
I am excited to watch the rugby, the contact, try and get a feel for the atmosphere (I always turn it up too loud). But I could give two hoots deep down about who wins.
Visualize this… The American Eagles playing this weekend…
At this point, I’d like anyone reading (particularly if you are a fan of the USA Rugby team) and imagine how different your day would be today (at work or wherever) if the United States were actually playing this weekend. Take a moment and really think about it. What if we were playing? .. all you would be talking about to anyone who cared to listen is that the USA will be playing the first game ever that really counts (a knock out round at the Rugby World Cup)…lets face it for 28 years all we have been able to cheer for is a possible win against a random Tier 2 team. But think about it, shut your eyes and think about how it would feel if the USA team was participating? I wouldn’t be able to think of anything else! I wouldn’t be able to sleep and I would have butterflies all the way leading up to the national anthems, at which time a tear would come to my eye (ala Lou Stanfill 😉 and I’d be so proud to have whatever little stake I have I the game of rugby in America. First time out in a QF we’d probably get beaten, no worries… but what a marvelous build up that would be to a momentous occasion.
Think about it!!! One time, a national buzz (at least in our rugby community) about a game that mattered.
Despite all the negative rave about our team, our results, etc.. this is not far way if we move a few dials.
Let’s do something about this and get there! This can happen. I’ve got my ideas and a lot of people have expressed theirs. The first thing to do is re-assess our leadership of USA Rugby. This can happen. Get people involved who have vision, know what it takes, have the American passion and heart that is unique in the world (it is!), have the leadership skills to motivate, gain consensus, create plans and act, hold subordinates accountable and ensure we move together in an aligned direction. Not everyone will agree with every decision… but get aligned, stop bitching, and move forward together.
And now, I’ll close out and look forward to once again a great weekend of rugby, but with no care in the world who wins or loses.
I have read your passionate posts with great interest. You clearly speak with great personal courage and conviction. You have represented the Eagles as a player and you are former OPSB man and involved with one of the leading U.S clubs Seattle Saracens. I have personally been impressed with what some of our leading nations clubs (SFGG, NYAC, Glendale, Life, Mystic to name a few) have been doing to proactively change the rugby landscape for example the formation of PRP, ARP and the Saracens heading into Canada for better rugby. Can you give some other examples of the work you have been doing with Saracens to make things better locally?
Hi Maurice, excellent points – and thanks for raising them. First, I want to be clear – this movement is not about ‘me’ necessarily. The clubs have been doing outstanding work with little/no guidance/direction/assistance from USAR. Ask them, they’ll tell you. We know this. But the clubs are limited to their own devices… I use the ‘plumber doing the marketing’ example. How about aligning and collaborating with clubs to assist them in professional marketing programs in the markets they serve (we would focus on top 10 markets first). Imagine if there was some professional assistance and collaboration between the clubs and USAR, not the ‘we don’t need you’ culture that currently exists. Does it really help our state of play at all levels do have clubs do their own thing, when there is no clear pathway for players to matriculate as Eagles, and diluting talent at the club level with all the different competitions. For example, what good does it do the USAR state of play on the pitch to have no other teams have to play SSaracens? We are losing opportunity every weekend in this scenario for our top club players to play top competition.
Further, about me… I have made it clear, my incentive has not come from years toiling lining the fields at the club level. My personal impact here is as an experienced Chief executive with the rugby pedigree, executive pedigree, leadership pedigree and the passion to implement/execute. I am not saying ‘I am the guy’, I am saying I am in front and leading the mandated charge to create leadership change at USAR and break up the tenured fiefdom that currently exists.