Well, I’m standing on the corner of Lafayette state of Louisiana
Wondering where a city boy could go
To get a little conversation, drink a little red wine
Catch a little bit of those Cajun girls dancing to Zydeco
—-That Was Your Mother, Paul Simon
Sometimes I think I went all the way from Dallas to Lafayette just to use that bit of Paul Simon. It’s one of those songs that always sits only a hare’s breath beneath the surface of my conscious mind. But that’s not why we are here, we drove down from Dallas to watch Lee play Rugby. He’s on the Tulane Rugby team, a club team, and he’s here in Lafayette to play the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajun Rugby Team.
I know very little about rugby – I watched some a handful of decades ago, but don’t remember much of anything. It didn’t take long to pick it up though. It was fun to watch the kids play. There seems to be three aspects to the game – the scrum, the weird out-of-bounds plays where players lift each other up for no apparent reason, and the running around.
I have spent so much of my life driving kids to practice or sporting events and sitting on the sideline watching the games. It felt totally natural to drive Lee from our hotel down to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette intramural fields and to stroll the sideline while he and his team played a spirited, but ultimately meaningless, game.
One thing about rugby, though. It is the only sport I know about that actually encourages unsportsmanlike behavior. The language used by both teams and the referee crew was amazingly obscene.
The people from long ago that played rugby said the best thing about the game is that both teams would party together after the game. Since this is South Louisiana, that means food, and the other team, the home team, provided bar-b-que. They had a big smoker trailer going on the other side pouring out blow smoke and delicious odors all day. The ribs were pretty damn good, but the local, artisanal sausage (three varieties – hot ‘n spicy, geen onion, and smoked) was absolutely amazing. I have to find out where to get some of this stuff.
Laissez les bons temps rouler