If extreme expressions of masculinity offend you, then I respectfully request that you stop reading now and move on. Still with me? Great.
I’ve played a dozen competitive sports in my life, but rugby is by far my favorite. You get to tackle as many players as you can, at full sprint, and not get in trouble. Tackling a man relaxes me. In fact, I haven’t relaxed that well since my playing days ended. Ah, the process of tackling: first you set your pace, find your opponent’s angle, catch the look in your opponent’s eyes right before impact—shoulder to belt buckle, head up—then pump your legs as you drive him to the ground. Damn, I miss rugby.
It has come to my attention that the purity of rugby may have begun to shift at the Wharton Rugby Football Club (aka, the Wharthogs). Therefore, as the unauthorized, unofficial and at times out-of-control alumni rugger spokesman for the 1989 and 1990 Wharton Rugby Football Club teams, I hereby declare 10 new rules for new ruggers.
So listen up, current Wharton MBA ruggers:
1. Include Fat Guys on Your Team.
We don’t take ourselves all that seriously, we move piles of men and we’re more fun at the after-party. If you don’t know any fat guys, please contact your local Wharton rugby alumni, and we will provide some for you.
2. Minimize Six-Pack-Ab Selfies.
We alumni ruggers are thicker around the middle now than we’d prefer. This might happen to you some day. If you must take six-pack-ab selfies, at least don’t show them to Wharthog alumni. Please stop. This behavior embarrasses us.
3. Control Your Membership.
You can’t have 15 players on your rugby pitch, with seven substitutes and hundreds of active members in the Wharton Rugby Football Club. Some of our past Hogs teams did not even have enough players to field two teams adequately. In fact, some of us had to play A & B side games back to back due to insufficient membership. We occasionally had nothing to drink but beer. I remember begging for water and my mates kept laughing (as they should). Have we become a social networking club? We know that Wharton teaches vigorous, advanced quantitative methods because we went through it. However, these membership metrics don’t reconcile.
4. Beat the Harvard MBA Rugby Football Club.
This rule is non-negotiable. Listen to the voice of experience here. The key is to ensure that the Harvard MBAs have hangovers, while the Wharton MBAs are adequately rested and well hydrated. This strategy only works once every three years. We know because we’ve tried.
5. Shake Hands Occasionally.
Please stop hugging each other so much, unless you must. Rugby is by definition a gentleman-barbarian’s game.
6. Have a Throwback Uniform Game to Honor Your Wharton MBA Rugby Alumni.
In our day we had one purple-and-gold rugby shirt, one pair of shorts and one pair of socks, all of which we washed monthly. (We odoriferously intimidated our opponents and scored tries as they retreated with olfactory offense. Just as there is no crying in baseball, there is no cologne in rugby. During rugby season, you may apply cologne only after your monthly shower.) Modern-day Wharthogs look like a European Football League team, in state-of-the-art athletic gear (see below). OK, we get that. However, you are not auditioning for male-model jobs at GQ; you are playing rugby. Moreover, you may not take off your shirts after scoring the winning try, due to new rule #2 (unless you beat Harvard—then no rules apply).
7. Maintain Your Sense of Humor.
A Wharton rugby player is trapped in a room with a tiger, a rattlesnake and a Harvard MBA rugby player. He has a gun with two bullets. What does he do? He shoots the Harvard MBA rugby player—twice.
8. Win! Or at Least Don’t Reconcile.
In the unlikely event that the Wharton Rugby Football Club is defeated, platitudes would only make the situation worse. Do not try to reconcile an improbable defeat like it’s a financial statement.
9. Stay Tough.
Play under any conditions. Remember: They named the sport “rugby” because the name “assault and battery” was already taken. The violence of rugby scares NFL players. (Anecdotally, if you choose to imbibe at the after-party but your teammates take one look at you and demand that you go to the emergency room, note that you will not receive any anesthetics. Instead, request a towel for your mouth, as I did.)
In addition, remember:
Be strong for your teammates when you feel weak
Be brave for the man next to you when you get scared.
Play for each other and collectively you will play better than any of you can ever play individually.
Be humble in victory to honor the tradition of the game.
10. Uphold the Brotherhood
You are maintaining the brotherhood better than we ever did. Heck, we can’t even remember some of each other’s names without help from multiple teammates. This also might happen to you. We are proud of you and happy for you. Remember, if you ever find a Wharton MBA rugby player or supporter in need, help him or her. The most important rule is to have fun. Enjoy rugby. Go to the after-party even if you really should go to the emergency room. Continue to sing the most disgusting songs you will ever hear in your lifetime—in a controlled environment. You will never again experience what you do on a rugby pitch at Wharton—at least not without it resulting in handcuffs.
Editor’s note: In the interest of being fair and balanced, we’ve included the following video from the current iteration of the Wharton Rugby Football Club to allow recent players to speak for themselves—though, of course, we welcome all current players to send their thank-yous and well-wishes for John McAdam directly to us or post them below in the comments section.