Michigan Olde Blue is community of current and former rugby players affiliated with the University of Michigan Rugby Football Club. UMRFC players experience action, travel, camaraderie and adventure during their short stay in Ann Arbor. UMRFC players leave UofM with a solid rugby foundation to pursue rugby careers with clubs throughout the country. Michigan Olde Blue is a nationwide network of past UMRFC players. Michigan Olde Blue is based in Ann Arbor and is run by local Olde Blue.
I read once that marriages last longer when everything goes wrong on the honey moon because, when you go through a lot together, you learn trust. Friendships are also based on trust. In the rugby community, particularly in Michigan, you go through a lot together. Sometimes you take your friends to the hospital after an injury, or your friends take you. Sometimes you laugh at the antics of friends. You tell stories of how a person earned their nicknames, or other amazing stories such as how a player tried to walk over a log in the bonfire and fell in -but was pulled out instantly. You see each other not as dandies but in your least beautiful state, covered in dirt and mud with ripped shirts and those horrid teeth guards and sometimes dripping blood. You tease each other mercilessly. The most teased seem to be the most loved. Without realizing it, you come to trust each other.
We have had wonderful parties at our place, and without fail and without asking, rugby players would arrive the next morning to clean up. My daughter once said she too figured out who the good people were when she was in college: they were the ones who stayed late and helped with cleanup.
Arnold and I began our marriage with all kinds of things going wrong. We went mountain climbing and once I slipped off a cliff on a climb called “soap gut”, only to find Arnold holding the rope so strongly that I merely bounced up and down for a bit on the stretch of the rope. We went to the Solomon Islands and were nearly shipwrecked several times in shark infested waters. In some ways I lost him to Parkinson’s several years before he actually passed, but he knew he could always trust me to look after him. He trusted rugby players and I too trusted them. When he got really ill, I knew where to turn for help: the rugby club.
So let me toast the Olde Boys, wonderful friends, and the kind you know will never let you down!