“Is it time for booze?”
Since most of us imbibe on a regular basis, this would normally fall into the “dumb question” category, but it wasn’t even noon yet and we were the biggest sponsor at the event. People who start drinking before noon get labeled as “high risk” and we’re a young brand trying to make a good first impression. Being drunk isn’t the way to do it, but it was also colder than a Nun at midnight mass and Wind God kept threatening to steal our tent. So our liver told our conscience it was time to shut the fuck up and drink.
Within twenty minutes Tommy Batboy, our ever-so-skilled Logistician, proved once again that he’s the best in the business and produced bottles of Kahlua, Bailey’s, and Maker’s Mark bourbon to “accentuate” our coffee. The day suddenly got marginally better, but marginally was good enough.
“Who’s playing over there?” I asked. “Memphis and Santa Monica,” someone answered. This was the National Women’s Rugby Championships in Virginia Beach where American Sin Bin made a splash with our big guns. And by big guns I mean our badass 20-foot by 10-foot tent. There was only one problem…it was acting more like a parachute than a tent. Seems no one coordinated for good weather and our iPhones all said “BLUSTERY” when we punched up our Weather Channel App. True story.
It wasn’t like we planned on selling loads of shirts to make the trip profitable. In fact, we knew that was an improbable outcome. We were there because we gave a crap about the biggest women’s rugby event in the country and wanted to show our support. We thought a butt load of vendors would think the same and made sure our tent had priority placement on the main footpath. Turned out it wasn’t necessary.
The crowds were sparse and the vendors even sparser…if that’s a word. When they watch the replays of the games they missed, they’ll regret it. While we're talking about that, where was the excitement that this event deserved? These awesome games, comparable in excitement to any sporting event, wasn't even streamed online. How are we going to make rugby competitive with other sports if we can't even get the highest level of women's rugby in the country streamed on the internet.
Aside from tham the whole weekend was awesome, though not without its frightful moments.
A Dip in the Ocean…What Could Go Wrong?
Two lessons we learned on this trip – fences are there for a reason and flip cameras are the greatest invention ever. Two of our guys decided midnight was the best time for a dip in the ocean and took the flip camera with them. After all, we were at Virginia Beach and what better way to experience the local culture than to test the local security force? What ensued was a hilarious account of two drunk dudes jumping fences, running into an ice cold ocean, and sneaking back into their hotel...through the main lobby...with no shirts...and no keys to their room.
The video mysteriously disappeared, but one phrase keeps getting echoed in the ASB camp - “There’s no going back now!”
The Vodka Tasting Challenge
Unless you’re a school-trained sommelier, don’t ever try to convince your friends that you can tell the difference between one brand of booze and the next. I drink a lot of bourbon, but I’m certain my tastebuds are defective and would never know the difference between Blanton’s and Shitbag Farms.
The man who designs most of our shirts, Luciano, knows this lesson now, but it was only through extreme personal embarrassment. Instead of telling you the story, watch the full video here.
We Showed Up
What surprised us the most about the National Championships was the lack of vendors at the events. This is the highest level of women’s rugby in the United States, yet all those brands that claim to love the sport stayed home. Where were they while we froze our asses off, supported the gals, and drank WAY too early in the day? Where was the “I play this game for free because I love it” pride that others use in their commercials? Who stuck their toe out the door and decided it was too cold to leave the confines of the couch and the Discovery Channel? We’re not ones to bash our competition, but damn folks…way to pussy out.
If rugby is going to grow, it’s going to take more people on the sidelines, more revenue for the athletes, more media coverage, more interest, and finally more…everything. The brands that sponsor the teams have no excuse for not being at the games. At least that’s the way we look at it, even if our view is a little skewed.