The word "Bayou" derives its origins from Choctaw (bayuk) and Louisiana French. If there's one travel date that is set in stone each year for Rugby PickEm, it's our trip to the Bayou to complete the pilgrimage to one of the great US-based rugby-specific stadiums. This year had to be the Texas Cup.
|The Texas Cup in all her Glory. So close you can almost touch it ... 🏆|
As the RP "Boots on the Ground" 2021 Tour continued in the nation's 4th largest city (population), Sabercat die hard fans Franky Ruggs and Holly Hoops could barely contain their excitement as the group waited for an Uber to Aveva. Frank lives and dies with the ups and downs of being a Houston sports fan, but he loves his teams dearly and one of those teams is his beloved Cats.
|Drop the bags, we're taking a picture|
Hats off to TJ Onyett and the Sabercats front office for making the gameday experience truly memorable. Houston strategically planned this weekend and aligned a USA rugby identification & scouting camp early on in the AM, followed by a multitude of games leading into the Texas Cup to round out the night. Special thanks to Paul Mabry, who in his short interview with Rugby PickEm (if you're reading this, listen to the above audio) mentioned there were teams from Mexico, Kansas City, and just about anywhere in the state of Texas. I know I saw a good amount of Dallas based Regis Jesuit fans in the stands, supporting their head coach Mikey "Bistro" Brown who started at hooker for the Cats. Strategic planning like this is what make a game atmosphere really great. It's hard to just open up your doors and expect people to start pouring in ... you have to work at it, and plan, and follow up with people, and efficiently market your gameday experience ... and you can never stop, because there's always more tickets to be sold.
|Aveva was host to a full day of rugby development. HS players packed the stands when the Texas Cup kicked off.|
As far as the game went, the first 15 minutes of a 0-0 stalemate was some of the more exciting rugby I've seen. The term "on the edge of your seat" was in full effect, as Franky Ruggs was practically ripping his hair out calling for his beloved Cats to "hold the line!". He did take offense when he laid on eyes the Dallas Jackal mascot (must be trying to make an early splash before the actual team debuts?) .... to quote Frank "This is Houston, not Dallas buddy ...". Maybe the Jackal and Scratch were able to put their differences aside on this day and "get along" for the kids ;)
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