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My Rugby Career

England - Rugby Ball

Short and violent, that’s how I would describe it.

Rugby was something I played only briefly, in college on an intramural team, but then, For an American growing up in Northern California in the 1970s and early 80s, that wasn’t unusual at all. We played American football, baseball, basketball, and a few other miscellaneous and manly sports like track and wrestling. Soccer, it should be noted, was a sport for foreigners and girls, not something that an American of my generation would have taken seriously, in fact, something that an American of my generation would have mocked, and did mock, mercilessly.

Rugby, however, was another matter. Of all the foreign sports we knew about, Rugby was the only one sufficiently violent enough to appeal to our primal desire to smash another human in the teeth, all in the name of good fun. So, I joined an intramural rugby team my sophomore year of college.

It was a disaster.

In the first place, only three of the fifteen players on our team had ever really played the sport before, an Irish exchange student, and two Anglophilic Americans who had lived in the UK, one for only a single semester in a study abroad program.

In the second place, the rest of us had played high school football, but not college football, which meant that we saw rugby not an organized sport with rules and coherent plays, but only as an outlet for all of the violence and testosterone that had built up since we had left the gridiron behind.

And so, despite the best efforts of our lone Irishman and two England-loving wankers, ours was an unorthodox and dangerous style of play; rugby with downfield blocking and below-the-waist tackling, with blind-side hits and illegal chop blocks. And that was just in practice. The bad news was that none of the other intramural teams we played were any different, a smattering of real rugby players of low ability, and a heaping of thugggish American twenty-year-olds who delighted in knocking each other down in the most dangerous way possible.

I was lucky I didn’t break a leg, or fracture my skull, and looking back on it now, at the distance of thirty years, I know I should have stayed with flag football. But those were simpler, stupider times, and we didn’t know just how dangerous things were, and we loved every minute of it.

(Image courtesy of Tony Pryce Sports.)

Meat of Desire

flame-body-spray

In a bit of nose-in-cheek marketing, Burger King is selling a fragrance called “Flame,” which it describes as “the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.” The fast-food chain has set up a special website for the whopper of a body spray, which features clichéd scenes of romantic enticement, including the hairy-chested, incredibly creepy King character reclining in front of a fire while wearing nothing but a strategically placed blanket (an homage to Burt Reynold’s near-nude appearance in Playgirl?). If the site doesn’t bring a smile to your face and make you exclaim “Ohhh yeaaah” in your best imitation of Barry White, you must be a vegetarian.

Izzy hasn’t inhaled Flame yet, but if it smells as advertised, you can be sure it is exactly the wrong thing to wear when trapped for weeks in a lifeboat with a starving lecher.

From the Manolo: Reader Survey Time!

Manolo says, for the next week the Manolo for the Men blog will be conducting the survey of the readers for our internet friends at the Coutorture Network. If you would be so kind as to please fill out the survey in the column to the immediate right, the Manolo would be most grateful.

Diesel Emissions

Diesel and global warming

Diesel is taking flak for mocking global warming in its latest series of ads. Because, you know, fashion is, like, the traditional home of ethical seriousness.

The Agony and the Ecstasy

As discussed in the previous post, Izzy was put into a deep funk upon surveying the current state of men’s formal wear.

His mood has just taken a 180-degree turn, however, for he just discovered a music group called Gnarls Barkley, and, as the kids say, they are friggin’ awesome. And Izzy does not rave lightly.

You can hear their unique sound, which, for lack of a better term, could called modern soul, here. An even better, live version of their single “Crazy” can be viewed here. Although their album has not yet been released in the States, you can pre-order it at Amazon.com.

You can thank Izzy by not wearing a tie with a tuxedo.

Coming Soon

Manolo says, the Manolo he apologizes to you for the lack of the posting in this forum. The fashion weeks they have been the time of busyness for the Manolo, especially as the Miuccia Prada she presented this week a stunning fall line in the Milan. Of the course, the Manolo he has been doing much blogging about this over at the Manolo’s Prada Blog.

Soon, the Manolo he will return with many good things and with the answers to many of the questions sent to him by his internet friends.