In all of Collegiate Rugby in the US, a relative few opportunities exist to compete at a truly-elite-level venue. Many praise and tout the facilities at Stanford, Cal, BYU, or Army, to name a few, as being the best collegiate pitches in the nation. And while such may be the case, nevertheless anything greater than these does not often lend itself to host a collegiate competition, much less in the sport of rugby.
However, once in a long while, once in a few rotations around the sun, the golden opportunity presents itself... the chance to play in one of the most pristine sports arenas in the country!
From the Rio Tinto Stadium website: "This world-class venue seats 20,000 people for Major League Soccer and other sports events. Capacity increases to 25,000 for concerts. Stadium amenities include 32 luxury suites, a 2,000-square foot Stadium Club, 1,000 premium club seats, five locker rooms, a 60-foot Video Board, and ribbon LED boards stretching 200 feet long on both the east and west fascia."
"The carpet-like natural grass field boasts a surface area of 130 yards in length by 90 yards in width and has been developed to sustain a full slate of diverse sports and entertainment activities. The GTF Kentucky Bluegrass surface and root system is engineered by Graff's Turf Farm in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, the supplier of such hallowed fields as Wrigley Field, Lambeau Field, Busch Stadium and Notre Dame Stadium. Laser-graded to 1/100th of an inch across 105,000 square feet, the field was chemically and organically developed specifically for Utah's high-desert climate to ensure optimal growth and durability throughout the entire year."
All I can say, my friends, is "WOW!!!" To all BYU Rugby fans... if ever there were a time to come to a rugby game, to make the trip to watch Our Boys, and to cheer them to victory, that time is NOW! We may not soon again enjoy such an opportunity to see Our Boys play at such an amazing venue... I invite you to join with the BYU Rugby Superfans and me to yell our hearts out in support of Our team in their pursuit of success!
And to all BYU Rugby players... if ever there were a time to give it your best, to rise to the occasion, and to produce your best rugby, that time is NOW! You may not ever again enjoy such an opportunity to play at such an amazing venue in the rest of your lifetime... I encourage you to give ALL of yourself for your team, for your school, and for your loyal supporters in the pursuit of another win over Utah!
Remember: it won't get any easier in the coming weeks... so all the more reason to work harder than ever NOW! Just look to this game: could you have ever dreamed that you would be able to represent BYU at such a time and in such a place??? It's unbelievable...
Nevertheless, the time for dreaming has past; you must now believe and face reality. The regular season is over within a mere week's time, and then it's off to the great struggle of the National Championship Tournament. This match means a second chance, a primer for greater opposition to come. And, to avoid any 'beating around the bush', it represents the time to be your best... because frankly, your best has yet to be seen!
We BYU Rugby fans have great expectations... we know you aren't the same team as last year's, but that's not actually relevant. Why? Because you are a new BYU Men's Rugby team: you have new faces, new strengths, a new Haka. Because we have consistently seen enough of your successes in the past to move beyond believing in your capabilities... that is, we know your potential is great... so show it to us now!!! Stand together as a true team in literal support of one another! Rise up in collective might to withstand and conquer the opposition!! After all, if anyone knows how tough the Utes of Utah are this year, it's you!!!
My friends, in the face of opposition lies opportunity... and this match epitomizes a great opportunity for you, for me, and for the BYU Rugby community as a whole... no question about it. Be there to spur Our Boys on to yet another Cougar victory! BYU Rugby Forever!!!
(Image from RioTintoStadium.com)