Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society | HP Classic Vol. 3, Bruce Carter Edition
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HAIL PELICUS!

HP Classic, Bruce Carter Edition

When I took over the Hail Pelicus I had some very large shoes to fill.   Dr Bruce Carter, Pelicus Scriptoris, Dux Deux, was taking a step back from his many duties within the Flock where he was, at one time, the President, Scheduler and Editor of Hail Pelicus.   Oh yea, he also refereed matches… every week.   He had been one of the top referees in the country in his day and when he took over the NCRRS he pioneered and institutionalized many of the traits that made the Northern California Rugby Referee Society the greatest in the country, if not the world.  (Disagree?  I will fight you!)   He emphasized continuing education and instituted our monthly meetings where we would review the laws, discuss technique, preparation and thought processes and, of course, pay up for any ties that had been refereed in the previous month.  He really emphasized the concept that we are a team, a club, not unlike the clubs we belonged to as players.   He emphatically suppressed the notion that a referee was an island unto himself sent out to hostile territory alone and unsupported.   While the language in the previous sentence may seem a bit over the top to some, many referees, especially newer ones and referees from less evolved societies will nod their heads and think yea, that is what it’s like, because in a very real sense you are alone on the field when you referee.   You are aloof, neither part of the home club nor the visitors and must maintain that independence while simultaneously being an integral part of the game – a delicate balance indeed.

But you are not alone.  That may be the greatest legacy of the Bruce Carter years in Nor Cal Rugby.   The sense of team and community that he fostered in the Society that has been ably carried on by his successors Pelicus Iudex Pennipes and Pelicus Caledonius.  

Of course, that is not his only legacy.   Dr Carter is deeply read and classically educated with a love of the Greek and Roman civilizations that he wove into the fabric of his writings and into the Society itself.   His love of Pelicanland was evident in the long pastoral essays describing the beauty and wonder of the lands he was travelling through.   He once describe Hail Pelicus to me as his “weekly love letter to rugby”.   I knew that when I took over this noble organ I had to maintain the same traditions, love and reverence while adding my own voice.    I had no choice, really.   Once you, dear reader, read (or in some cases, re-read) the stories below it will become painfully obvious to you what was instantly apparent to me: there is a flow, a rhythm, a joy and depth of language to Bruce’s writing that I can only strive for but never transcend.  

This edition is dedicated to those same ideals that Bruce Carter embodied.   Here is Our Bruce Carter Edition.  Enjoy!

But First…

Actual Current News!   From the BoD of the David Williamson Scholarship:

The David Williamson Referee Scholarship Committee is now opening the application process for the 2020 recipient.  Pelican referees 18-22 are invited to click the link and fill out the form.  The deadline for submitting is May 30th.

If there are any problems with the process, contact scholarship committee chair David Hosley at davidhosley@pelicanrefs.com..

Because of the COVID 19 situation, the scholarship this year will have additional flexibility.  If a trip to Alberta, Canada is not feasible in the months ahead, we will work with the recipient to create a similar multiple match and ref coaching experience closer to home.   And the time span can be extended through the end of 2020 and into the first half of 2021.

Here’s the link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fM2gnbZ90go8Tb1-7nbGJ2yw5kA9V566eJlxpR0lhgQ

And now on to the Bruce Carter Classics.

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We start with the legend of the Eternal Pelicus.  This is the source of one of the finer and often sillier traditions in the Nor Cal Referee Society- yes it can be both at the same time.  Many clubs have a tradition of giving everyone a “rugby nickname” and ours is no different, except that our names are in Latin – or at least Latinish – and start with the honorific “Pelicus” for the Pelican mascot of Northern California rugby.   The nicknames are personal and often come with double or even treble meanings.   Pelicus Scriptoris means “writer” and refers to Bruce being the editor of Hail Pelicus.  Mine is Pelicus Pedem Referre which kind of looks like “foot + referee” and refers to my being a goal kicker and known for often kicking in open play as a player before becoming a referee.  The literal translation is “retreat” which is a common referee command.   Some more of my favorites:

Pelicus Filius Parva Digitus (Liam Bretz) – Son of Pinkie (inside joke, but hilarious to those who know it)

Pelicus Spaghetticus (Dave Pescetti)They aren’t all clever puns, sometimes they are basic puns

Pelicus Scoticum Poeta (Robert Burns) – Scottish Poet (sometimes they write themselves)

and my all time favorite:

Pelicus Narcissus – This was actually proposed by Bruce after learning that the ref in question had asked be called Pelicus Hot Refficus.  The Senate Shall Not Be Mocked.

So with that, here is the legend of the Eternal Pelicus and the origin story of the Hail Pelicus newsletter as written by Dr Bruce Carter.

ETERNAL PELICUS

A Centurion wanders the ages and the continents in his quest to find Pelicus. He tirelessly searches because since the Fall of Rome only Pelicus represents the ideals of Empire: striving for glory through achievement and honor, physical and mental perfection, dedication to one’s craft and celebration of the human spirit.

Appearing for the first time in the current era at the Chicago convention of referees in 1998, the Centurion demanded to know who, indeed, was Pelicus. From his military bearing and antiquated manner his intent was mistaken to be evil. Nonetheless, the Northern California Rugby Referees Society stood as one in a great chorus, proudly and defiantly calling “I am Pelicus!”

Bob Woerner of the Eastern Rockies joined the flock at that moment, an act of courage and camaraderie that earned him a mascot pelican.

The Centurion reported back to the Senate, who were pleased to adopt the NorCal Society as their representatives in this modern age.

Mr. Woerner then traveled to New Zealand and was photographed holding the Bledisloe Cup with the pelican peaking from his pocket. The Senate was pleased to award him the sobriquet Pelicus Ubiquitous.

Other pelici then clamored for nomenclature. As their merit is proven, names are bestowed. Members of the Society may petition the Senate on behalf of worthy candidates.

One note of caution: Matt Eason mocked the Senate by proposing a name in pig-Latin for himself. Thus he will be known unto the tenth generation as Pelicus Littlus Dickus. After performing some good works he then petitioned to have his name extended. Thus, he was granted the appendage Priapismus.

When awardees of Pelicus names greet each other they make the sign of the Pelican and hail each other by their macaronic names.

The Senate makes a weekly pronouncement regarding the events of the flock and issues periodic bulletins announcing new members and other worthy events.

HAIL PELICUS!

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This section is from the HP when I wrote about  the farewell party thrown by the Society to Bruce as he moved to Arizona for semi-retirement.  

A Grand Farewell

Oh what an exit that’s how to go.
When they’re ringing your curtain down.
Demand to be buried like Eva Perron

– Andrew Lloyd Webber, Evita

No, Bruce Carter is not dead but the sentiment remains:   If you are making an exit, make sure you do it in style.   This past Friday the flock and attendant guests gathered together in San Francisco’s Marine Memorial Club to honor and pay respects to one Dr Bruce Carter, Pelicus Scriptoris, Dux Deux, who has retired and will be moving to Arizona to chase the wild iguana or something like that.   He wasn’t the first president of the Northern California Rugby Referee Society and he wasn’t the first editor of Hail Pelicus, but he embodied both so completely it is difficult to separate them.    For my entire playing career and nearly all of my officiating career he has been an omnipresent stalwart ready to dispense humor, knowledge and, quite often, diagnose an injury or pop an offending joint back into place.   He was one of those referees who, when you saw he was in charge of your game, you though “excellent, we have one of the good refs”.   As an official, higher praise is difficult to find.    You knew you were going to get a safe, fair match determined by your sweat, effort and skill rather than an errant whistle.

His exploits on the field as a player and a referee were not his only contribution to the game, because as the “Dux Deux” in his Pelican name will tell you, he was our second NCRRS president.    He brought a level of organization and comradery to the Society that, in the words of several well-wishers at his banquet, made us more than a society, a collection of referees, but made us a team.   There is not enough space and time to detail his accomplishments here nor to repeat the stories that were recalled during the many toasts, but let it be known that the NCRRS is considered to be the best society in the country largely due to his leadership.   His effect was not just local, however.   Dr Carter spent time (and possibly still does) on the USA Rugby Laws committee and in other national positions.  The next time you see him ask him about the Law change that he personally got passed by the IRB.   (Hint: It involves the ball in touch.)

Everyone dressed in their finest formal outfits, including Scott Carson who wore his finest rugby shirt.   Toasts were made, stories told, Pelicans canted, nobody recanted, and because the bar had been open since 4:00, we were all eventually decanted into the streets of San Francisco.

One More Bruce Carter Story

This story has been told to me by both Bruce himself as well as Skippy Givens , the club sports manager at UCSC.    Every year UCSC host their Slugfest tournament and because he lived relatively close by in Monterey Bruce was often assigned to referee.   One year he showed up and saw the teams warming up and goal posts in place, but that was it.   So he found Skippy and asked when he was planning to line the fields.   Skippy looked at Bruce strangely and said “what do you mean?  They are lined.”    Bruce looked around and told him that they weren’t lined properly because he can’t see any from where he was standing.    “You’re standing right on top of the sideline right now, Bruce,” came the reply.    At this point realization dawned and Bruce asked which color paint they used.    “Well, we were all out of blue and aren’t allowed to use white on the upper field so we painted the lines in red.”  

What followed would best be described as a pregnant pause, eventually ended by Bruce.

“I am red/green colorblind.  I can’t see the red lines on the green grass at all.”

I have no idea how Bruce managed to referee that day.  It probably involved a lot of guesswork and help from the touch judges.  

Ever since that day UCSC will not use red lines to mark their field.   

Word Of The Day: Canted

Canted:  noun

  1. insincere, especially conventional expressions of enthusiasm for high ideals, goodness, or piety.

Just in case anyone was wondering.

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Everything from here on out was written by Bruce Carter with introductions in his own words

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This is my immediate thought when asked of my favorite, other than my Christmas tale (Dickens meets reffing). 

No-one ever acknowledged that they caught the tribute to Camper Van Beethoven, from Santa Cruz in the eighties, whose song All Her Favorite Fruit is one my all-time picks. The closing lyrics of that song are exactly the same as mine.

ALL HER FAVORITE FRUIT

Penelope Pelicus was by my side, the Pelicanmobile gassed and packed, playlists queued, with memories in the making on a sunny mid-March Saturday morning.

Our grandson was off at camp – a rare free weekend together for a couple on their second mutual marriage anticipating a second courtship.

We met thirty years ago this September, but are still always on the lookout for the time to keep our relationship current. Plans serve, as do surprises.

Such is the intoxication of togetherness that we left five hours before kickoff for a game two hours away. This allowed for a brief tour of King City, where I work two days a week, and a stop at another of the jewels of the California Missions.

The Mission San Miguel Arcangel was closed due to damage caused by the killer San Simeon quake of Christmas 2003. These straits stimulated a fund-raising drive which was seeded with insurance money paid by Lloyd’s of London and led, six years later, to the re-opening of what must have once looked like the orbiting hotel in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey to the native Californians.

In the mission gift shop we learned that Camp Roberts, where the California National Guard trains, has a museum of military vehicles dating back to WWII that is open on Saturdays. Should have left seven hours before kickoff…

The game at the enviable Talley Farms pitches is recounted below. With rugby in my veins, may I stay forever young.

Penelope and I then took our leave after a single plate of tri-tip, having determined to support rugby sponsors: tasting at the nearby Talley Farms vineyard, directly on your route to and from the rugby facility. Some bottles found their way into our car, liquid memories of another of our chapters of shared joy.

It was warm after the tasting, internally and externally, and especially in the car which had been sitting in the sun. So we dropped the top and proceeded back to SLO the long way, up 101 along the coast through Pismo Beach, the sun winking through the picket of palm trees to westward.

Nearly thirty years ago we stayed at the Madonna Inn on a double-date weekend with Dave and Connie Jaquint. With my wife’s birthday just passed, I surprised her with a room there again. (She thought we were coming home.)

The rugby weekend may take many forms. Increasing the pair-bond is one of the most exemplary of the species.
 
And so to Sunday.

Forget the equinox: Spring has sprung. Last Tuesday’s rains were likely the last until after Halloween. A bumper crop of rain fell on the Golden State this season but that doesn’t really matter because we don’t need rain. We need snow in the Sierra – that’s where the water for forty million people, their agriculture and industry comes from.

An inch of rain along the coast and in the valleys equates to a foot or more of snow in our alpine reservoir. What delights skiers melts soon enough, fills the waterways, storage and transport systems, and delights kayakers and white-water rafters in the process.

The drive ascending the La Cuesta Grade, through San Luis Obispo County’s horse country, into Monterey County and following the Salinas River to the sea was enchanted by the awakening of the Earth, the blossoms, sprouts and tendrils yearning in their heliotropism, the colors of the pastel rainbow set against the earth tones of Terra Firma, the fecundity of life and love. 

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This one overwhelmingly wins the award for positive feedback. I had total strangers telling me that they cried. 

Couple years after this piece appeared on Nov. 3, 2005, I was running touch for a tournament game in Chico, no spectators, you know the drill. I was on the side away from the few reserves and whatnot. 

This disheveled guy in a raincoat approached me. Ambient conditions mitigated against the wearing of such apparel, so I was calculating the odds of being flashed versus panhandled. Instead, he surprised me by asking, “Are you the fellow who writes Hail Pelicus?” 

I allowed as to the possibility. 

He said, “I loved that piece about death and the Sierra.”

HAIL, PELICUS!

If all the year were playing holidays,

To sport would be as tedious as to work;

But when they seldom come, they wish’d for come,

And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.

1 Henry IV, 1.2.208-211

William Shakespeare

AUTUMNAL REFLECTIONS

Last week was a rare week here at the Senate, one promising no rugby-related activities on the Saturday. The usual focus of the working days having been blurred, it was left to your faithful correspondent to find another objective, another escape from the cares of the world, a place to put down the burdens of the privileges of patient care for a few hours’ re-creation.

As it does more and more frequently, Yosemite beckoned.

There are many reasons that we are fortunate to live here in Pelicanland. Some of them aren’t even directly related to rugby. Being rugby-centric as we are, myopic on the oval ball, sometimes we have to stop, and blink, and realize that we live in a place which draws folks from all over the world, to gaze in amazement, to look at the bounty that surrounds us.

Such a place is the cathedral of the Sierra, the apse and nave of Yosemite Valley. Go there any day from April to October and you’ll see more people from other countries than from California, nature worshippers and active outdoors types alike, drawn by the same Siren’s calls of the granite walls, communing with God and with secular gods such as nature.

The Senate often adjourns thence for succor and sustenance.

Since last month’s glorious hike from Glacier Point down via the Panorama Trail, we’ve wanted to ascend to that remarkable overlook using the misunderestimated Four Mile Trail, and to return the reverse route. This 133-year-old trail rises 3200 feet via a beauteous and vertiginous series of switchbacks, a stairway to heaven for those who have yet breath remaining.

Our work week begins on Sunday and usually ends on Thursday. Friday was the day we set our eyes on for this trek.

Nature intervened to sweeten the pot: it snowed at elevation on Thursday in California, closing the roads above the valley floor. The number of visitors in the valley declines as Sol slides down the analemma, and with Glacier Point Road closed there might well be no-one else at the day’s destination.

Hikes, like military actions, are best begun early. The miracle of rebirth that accompanies awakening seeks realization in action, the weather is less likely to change drastically before the meridian, and maximizing the amount of daylight remaining is prudent to allow for unforeseeables. So it was that a trailhead cadence was established ere rosy-fingered Dawn could illuminate the valley fog.

In the past year we have suffered loss. Our mother died, after a long life of vitality and love. The death of a parent alters the prism of the world, casting shadows into corners where previously light had suffused. And three rugby friends, all men in their fifties, said goodbye wordlessly and without warning.

We are a man in his fifties. So we seek to celebrate life in our avocations even as we strive to sustain it in our vocation.

The Fates inscribe our arteries with sentences of varying length. Blessed are we not to know their length, not to know how many dependent clauses remain to carry us forward, how many lengthy allusions will sustain us, and how much metonymy, synecdoche and syllepsis will make our days interesting and fulfilling. We pray for sentences that might have been penned by Faulkner or Proust, so that our days might seem to go on forever…

So while some of us exercise in faith that it will extend our sentences, some of us find exercise a means of better appreciating the finite number of days that we have yet to live.

Loneliness and solitude are a glass half empty or a glass half full: they might look the same to a disinterested observer. But as it is our attitudes that most influence our moods, the filter through which we view the world, so those who are inclined by nature to embrace solitude most enjoy such a day in the wilderness, alone yet not alone, awed by vista, inspired by exertion, accompanied by thought and always, always, happy to hear the heart beat and feel the blood course, to see the sweat rise and know that life yet abides.

Life abides in the squirrels that scurry to complete their seasonal shopping, in the birds that are yet to read the signs of the lengthening nights, in the beetles that labor among the detritus, in the lichens that draw nourishment from the very stones, and most majestically in the evergreens that rise resilient and enduring to scrape the sky.

The sap of the Jefferson pine really does smell like butterscotch.

And after going up under brightening skies, amidst shifting clouds, over meandering streams, after rising to the sun and seeing the granite monoliths in their varying aspects, after journeying through the chapel of our devotion we were happy for this day, for the memories that passings have bequeathed to us and for all the days we have yet to see, because the promise of the morrow has been shown us from above.

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On To The (Classic) Game Reports!

(We  naturally asked Bruce for his favorite match report.  This is it with, as usual, his own introduction.)

Of all my games, one is clearly at the top, instantly springing to mind when our editor queried as to whether I had any fond memories. There are other candidates. For one, I was the first (and perhaps still only) American to referee a game on the original pitch at Rugby School

I did 2067 games all told (I count Sevens). I knew it at the time that this was the one as well, as you will see. That’s one of the definitions of ‘flow’, when you know you are precisely on life’s script. I’d been refereeing since 1978, had climbed pretty high up the ladder and then enjoyed the trip down. By this time I’d resigned myself to a less active role.

It’s now clear that I have a type of muscular dystrophy called FSHD. It was stripping me of my ability to sprint even then. Now I have difficulty walking, which makes the memories even sweeter. 

I backed into this game. I was 55 years old and years beyond assigning myself games like this. This was the national quarter-final in whatever the top division was called then, a game at St. Mary’s against UC Davis. I was called in to replace the flown-in ref who proved on the Saturday not to be up to Sunday’s task. There must have been a rash of injuries about amongst the referee corps, is all I can figure, and I thank Dave Pelton for having the confidence to assign me the match. When I got the call my wife asked, “Does he know how old you are?”

I’d like to follow the piece with a letter from a reader that I subsequently received, and you will see again why this was my most memorable game. 

Date: Sunday, April 5, 2009

ST. MARY’S 30 – UC Davis 25 (Overtime: 25-25 after 80)

Referee: Bruce Carter
Assistant Referees: John Coppinger, Chris Tucker


This was the 1,693rd game that I have refereed and yes, I have a list (includes Sevens). These games date back to my first time, the women’s final at a tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, in April, 1978.

But this game – this one makes it into the thinnest sliver of a percentage that can be sliced off the top of the memory tree.

When I resigned from the national panel almost eight years ago in June 2001, I thought the best games were behind me. But old ruggers try never to get completely out of shape despite the ravages of free radicals and regular laps around the solar track; and so it was that an appointment arrived from the Pacific Coast RRS to boil my whistle and polish my boots.

Making the NorCal appointments myself, I was surprised to realize I hadn’t refereed a single D1 first side this season in club or college. My usual priority is to watch another ref, so I generally cover a B side. What a season debut!

St. Mary’s-UC Davis has become the traditional season closer for one of them – this is the third year in a row that they’ve met in the PCRFU playoffs to see who will stay and who will go, and it’s always close.

I was at the game two months ago where the Gaels won 78-3. Davis said they were carrying a lot of injuries at the time and were better than that, a supposition we can now consider proven QED.

Where do the fans come from? A few minutes before kickoff I was admiring the blossoms on the trees and the birdsong, easily carrying over the breeze as there weren’t many people around to disrupt it. A few minutes after kickoff and I found myself having to take separate breaths for each syllable of the engagement sequence to generate sufficient decibels to make my scrum cadence audible to players three feet in front of me.

Let me say right off the bat – good Assistant Referees are the way to go. And EarTec Radios are the best way to go with them. These are the Holy Grail of referee radios.

When you’ve got perceptive and hard-working guys like Tucker and Coppinger on the line and their voices in your ear, it’s like having hammerhead shark eyes.  You can talk to each other simultaneously, like real conversation, and the ref is hands-free.

The game! What a game! St. Mary’s has become accustomed to scoring fifty on a bad day. Their backs merge and diverge and someone unexpectedly has the ball beyond the gainline. But not today: rarely did they manage to generate a one-on-one even after breaking the line. Davis seemed to be playing defense in pods. You try to figure it out. They have. 

(In this season of NCAA basketball playoffs such swarming reminds me of Jerry Tarkanian’s ‘Amoeba’ defense at UNLV and Fresno State years ago.)

Here’s the statistic that reveals the effectiveness of Davis’ open-field defense: of the four St. Mary’s tries, two were scored from 5-meter scrums and two from asymptotic ruck series. No collars-up backs showing their heels.

At one of the five-meter pushovers the peanut gallery beyond the dead-ball line called out, “Use it or lose it!” I thought, “At a ruck? Have I missed a Law every time I’ve read the book these three decades?”

Lots of sons in this game. Of course, they were all someone’s sons, but I knew at least half a dozen proud papas at the pitch, old mates none of whom I wanted to disappoint. And how does a ref not disappoint? By doing the best he can – which I almost achieved.

St. Mary’s established an eight-point lead on an epic pushover try by #8 Brandon Vedder late in the second half. The pressure was consistent and gradual; I found myself thinking about when my dry cleaning could be picked up. But this may have had an almost-unfortunate result: St. Mary’s may have felt that eight points put them clear.

When they were awarded a kickable penalty minutes later, with the sideline shouting “Points!”, it was a tap and go that didn’t go. Three points were sacrificed to over-confidence.

Davis came back to score a nice try off advantage in the centers. Three-point game. However, the chip-shot conversion bounced off the upright!

Minutes later, as my watch was going beep…beep…beep, a St. Mary’s player held on in the tackle.

We were on the ten-meter line, dead center. Slight gusts of variable wind. While the kicker set up, I took the time to recount to the Gael’s captain which three of his players had held on in the tackle over the course of the eighty minutes and at what points on the pitch. Because they were so spread out over time and space, no card, just a warning.

Referencing the universal penalty for tie games that all referees incur, John Coppinger radioed, “Are you nervous?” But my thoughts were of the last time I kicked a key goal at the end of a match, back in the Pleistocene Era.

Blow this whistle, exalt the arm. Overtime: the only thing better than playoff rugby is more playoff rugby.

Two minutes into extra time, St. Mary’s’ Vedder scored again off another glacial attack, this one at about a three-rucks-per-meter pace. I took a few moments to reset the alternate time zone on my watch from London to Hawaii. Then it was time to award the try.

For the remainder of extra time Davis attacked. They had some good ball and some numbers situations, but either the bounce of the ball or the hustle of the Gaels denied them pay dirt.

I do have one regret, a less than elegant finish to this match. I devote multiple hours a week to putting Hail, Pelicus! together primarily to project the game we love through referees’ eyes. But it’s not all bright primary colors. Darkness creeps in around the corners sometimes.

“Last play!” We were near touch, near midfield. Davis had a scrum. They were down by five. They won the hook and the ball. The halfback was instantly pressured and when he was tackled, released the ball to a St. Mary’s player who picked it up and booted it into the record books.

All I could hear was the combined screaming of hundreds of fans. Something said, probably the Davis bench but maybe my ref instinct, “That Red (St. Mary’s) halfback may have been offside.”

I sought the advice of my assistant referee and asked him the wrong question. Not to get into the exact details here – that is for a referee talk – I didn’t practice positive communication. He answered my question correctly according to how it was phrased and I mistook his answer to mean that no, Red did not deserve to be penalized; they deserved to be awarded a penalty.

Why award the winning team a penalty when the game is over? So I blew full time and saw my AR’s face fall, now realizing Davis should have had one more crack to score a try and tie or win the game.

That’s my confession. Davis partisans may say I’m not the first to admit I was wrong – they knew it already.

But let me say to them: you have the best college rugby team in the USA whose season is over. Four or five teams will get crushed at the USA playoffs in two weeks, any of whom you could have spanked. I wish you could be there to do so.

And St. Mary’s certainly had the best warmup imaginable for the pressures of the nationals. 

 
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The following letter arrived a few days later. I somehow doubt that match officials in other sports ever have this experience.

You refereed games of mine as a player in high school (College Park), a player in college (UC Davis) and as a coach of a college team (UC Davis). After reading your write up on pelicanrefs of the St. Mary’s v. Davis match, which I regretfully missed, I had to email you to thank you for your class. I have always appreciated you as a quality referee who I could always count on to run a good game. You do a sometimes thankless job and for you to give Davis the compliments you do and state that you made an error which you feel may have cost Davis a chance to win the game just reaffirms my belief that you are a very classy individual. It seems from reading your write up you feel fortunate to have refereed this game. You are not nearly as fortunate as the players and coaches of Northern California rugby to have you as a referee.

Thank you,

Sam Licina
Information and Communication Technology/ Humanities
Saint Helena High School
Saint Helena, California

This Week’s Photo

This is the Bruce Carter Edition so Pelicus Scriptoris also takes charge of the photo this week.

This was a referee adventure trip, with Tom Phillips whoring as a ref.  The flock ascended Cloud’s Rest, more than 1000 feet above Half Dome, which can be seen in profile.  We were led by Ed Todd and accompanied by David Williamson, who are no longer with us. 

We all had a glimpse of heaven that day. 

Top, L to R: Bunny, Dixon Smith, Paul Bretz, Tom 

Bottom: Sam Reagle, Bruce Carter, Ed

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

James Hinkin
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