The 1971 Big Ten Championships.

This is the mostly true story of the 1971 Big 10 Championships. Back when college teams socialed.

As told by my late father.

OK! Bear with me and I'll try and give you all the accurate details I can call. I was one of the 3 that picked up the live pony and transformed it into BBQ ready carcass. I was mostly involved with gutting, skinning & butchering, but was there from live pick up to delivery at the beer distributor's cooler for chilling.

The pony was a light brown, kind-a stocky, small-to-medium sized mare, maybe ~4' at the shoulder. She came from horse &pony farm on north side of IN 26 E almost out to what's now the I-65/26 intersection. Area now is all built up with Lowe's, restaurants, etc. but at the time was rural edge of east Lafayette, beyond US 52 which was the "by-pass" then. I don't know who made the purchase, but I believe it was in the $25 range, significantly cheaper than the preferred ass or even a hog was going for $70-80 at that time and this was way more "meat". Economy was not an insignificant aspect even then.

After Thursday night practice before the tournament, myself, TW (the chef), and ex-Marine Butch (HS mate of Tits, Jimbo & Big Cat) went to pick her up in an open pickup truck. It was about dark and we were still in practice kit, so the farmer seemed a little curious but didn't give us any trouble. We walked her up a little ramp to load and put a blindfold on her so she wouldn't be spooked, figuring she'd probably not gone cruising with strangers much before? Butch & I rode in back with her from her place on the east side of Lafayette to our destination which was to be some little farmhouse on the southwest side of West Lafayette where somebody's contact said that we could take care of the necessary business. It seemed likely that we might draw some unwanted attention so chose not to drive the most direct route which would have taken us right through the main drags & downtown Lafayette, across the bridge and into WL. Wags, the local boy, was our driver and was sure he could maneuver south around the outskirts of town, over some distant downriver old iron bridge and then right up to our killing station in WL from the south. So that was our route. It was mostly dark now and it seemed like it took forever! I remember being pretty chilled in sweaty practice kit, and will never forget how that little mare, blindfolded as she was, managed to lean into every start, stop, curve & turn in the road, rattle across the Wabash over the old wood-planked, iron bridge and never slipped or took a step for balance.

Anyway, that portion of the evening, preliminary as it was, seemed to be nearly behind us. We arrived on target, but when we got there, the homeowner reneged. Something about he thought it was only playing along on a joke, or his wife was freaking, or.... I don't know. Either way, time was marching on and we were still a long way from finishing up with chores.

With no alternatives, pre-cell phone era and a major job ahead of us still, Butch determined that we could get on with our tasks in the backyard of house where he rented upstairs over some hill folks from WV or KY who wouldn't find so much odd about "making meat". One drawback to Butch's place though, it was only a couple of blocks over the river back into Lafayette on 6th St., just north of Union and at that time rather low-end, central neighborhood where gunfire wasn't unusual, but tended to draw squad cars. [Still is when I lived there in 2010]. The alley behind the house shared parking with corner bar, the "Chatterbox", and the "Squirrel Cage", my preference, bar on the other corner, both grungy, little, old fashioned neighborhood bars. At least it was a short quick drive up WL river road, over the Harrison St. bridge and into Butch's backyard. I don't know if I even owned a watch then, but I'm guessing it was around 9:30-10 by now?

So, finally now in the alley behind Butch's house, Tom backs us in close to the convenient, large "hanging tree" and we all three in back hop down out of the truck. I don't know for sure what the execution plan had been for the original site, but we were now at the new venue and apparently under-armed. We had butchery tools, etc. but not out in the country with the farmer's firepower. Butch volunteered that he had a .22 rifle, and Marine that he was, would be sufficient with a well placed shot. So with the mare tethered to the tree, Wags & I stood back while Butch picked his spot and fired the one kill shot. Unfortunately though... she just stood there, now sputtering us with a bloody spray mist from her nostrils. She didn't make any other noise, and seemed little effected other than showering us in her blood. Horrific as it all sounds now, we didn't want the suffering to be any greater than what the original plan had been. Additional gunfire didn't seem to be wise as the guy across the street opened his front door and other neighbors could be seen peeking out of their windows. Not wanting to involve any law enforcement, we weren't doing anymore shooting, but we do have unfinished business. Butch took off and dashed into the basement of his house and came out with a big iron pipe. Now, Butch was a similarly built guy to Demakis (for perspective) and he took a home-run swing with the pipe right between her eyes and she dropped like a rock. The Marine took over and she'd hardly hit the ground when he sliced her throat ear to ear. Frantic action followed by the hush & gush as she bled out.

After an already long evening of readjusted plans, things pretty much went as expected the rest of the way. It took the 3 of us to get her hoisted a bit hanging from the tree, and we commandeered 3 or 4 full sized garbage cans from the nearby alley and completely filled them with guts, head, hooves and such parts. Earlier in the evening we'd had inspired thoughts of what we could do & how we could make the most of such various unique components, but at this point we were all tuckered out. Removing the leftovers from the site relative to Butch's house was a logical step so we hauled them out to one of the WL apartment dumpsters for deposit.

Job completion came about 11:30 when we arranged to meet the manager of the beer distributor to leave two sides of meat in his walk-in cooler to chill before starting the slow cooking procedure on Friday for Saturday's event. He took one look at the sides of carcass as we carried them in, us all spattered in blood, and he says "that's no hog". No arguments there.

Tom took care of all of the cooking for Saturday, and did a masterful, slow-roasted job that produced tender, tasty meat that most thought to be roast beef until otherwise enlightened. I recall one young lass who was enjoying the fare at one moment and projectile vomiting the next, upon being informed of the facts. Lamenting the loss of alternative parts we'd originally hoped to use, I had Tom roast me a whole cow's tongue which I got a lot of mileage out of searching for "G" spots & inspecting cleavage

The party was for the Big Ten tournament in 1972, I believe, maybe '71, but pretty sure '72. The party venue itself was an empty old brick structure that was originally the power generating plant for the original electrified inter-urban trains, public transit system of the early 1900's. It was along the "Big 4" rail corridor, beside the Wabash for easy coal delivery, and long gone. The newer bridge that carries one-way traffic east from WL to Lafayette passes almost directly over, slightly north, of where it had stood on the east bank of the Wabash.

I remember whoever it was that was pissing off of the rafter trusses, got up there by climbing up electrical conduit that sparked & sizzled. I don't recall how he got down, but damned lucky he wasn't fried on the way up!

Now, this is all an accounting of a politically incorrect episode. I did find out after the fact that coincidentaly the national headquarters of the Shetland Pony Association of America was in WL. This animal was forfeit to the economics of livestock at an agricultural institution. As far as I know it was never a pet, per se, and certainly to us it didn't have a name & we weren't in any relationship with it.

This leads me to the question of what kind of barbarians cold-heartedly sacrificed dear sweet "Moose" after giving him a name, a loving lifestyle, personal relationships and an ever expanding circle of friends? He too was tasty, but as I recall, not as expertly prepared.


I found the Purdue Exponent newspaper article from the weekend. "Bill James" was one of the Rugby players under a pseudonym.


USA Rugby, WTF IT?

Dear USA Rugby:

It's 2015. You are never going build Rugby in America if you keep having "IT issues". I can watch MLS soccer and other random stuff (PlutoTV) through any device I own, including my TV (novel place to watch sports). They have a channel that is nothing but cat videos from youtube 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I'm sure you can get get a USA Rugby youtube channel in there.

Team up with Netflix or Amazon. Be the First live sport on Netflix or Amazon. The one thing people are holding out on cable for is their sports. It's 2015, start acting like a 2015 sport. Going to a website that is jittery, crashes half the time and has a chat room limited to 250 people isn't going to cut it. Do you have any idea how many hoops we are willing to jump through to get Rugby at our pub or on our TV? It shouldn't be this hard. Some of us old Ruggers no think words so good, make it easy.

When we asked why you turned off the sound on the second field it was "because of vulgarity". I came to watch Rugby and I came to watch Rugby the way Rugby is watched Saturdays in America. It's the way it was played when my mom played. It was the way it was played when my dad played. "On" the sidelines cheering for my team and occasional swearing.

How many people do you think you lost over having no audio on Field 2 and terrible coverage over how many you think you retained by having a Rugby sidelines PG? I grew up on the side of a pitch. Us Rugby kids turn out just fine, even if they hear the occasional vulgarity.

My friends and I ended up resorting to vLine so we could yell for our team (Go Chicago Lions!) together. If it's that important to you set up an 18+ area where us Ruggers can sit and watch the Rugby game. Gamers audio chat all the time. I want a 50 person party line to celebrate with. If you want quiet docile fans stick to another sport. You've already made this realization in Vegas.

I want to see a periscope from the sidelines. I want to feel like I'm standing next to the pitch.

In September if you want to actually appeal to Rugby players do an "ESPN Game Day" from Soldier Field's Parking Lot. Send people around the crowd. That's where the true action is. That's where USA Rugby is. It's not the 22 people on the field. It's the 61,000 CIPP paying people that got there at 8 am to hang out with team-mates. I ran into more Ruggers that I ever knew I knew and what's what makes this sport great. I'm probably not even going to buy a ticket. I'm making the 5 hour drive from where I live to hang out in the parking lot to turn around and go home. If you want my money you need to stop pretending I don't exist.

I drove 13 hours to go to a Georgia Rugby tournament because it was there. I would rather spend my money on that stuff because you seemingly don't care about those of us that actually built and carry this sport in America. It certainly shows in your IT effort to broadcast my friends games.

If you're still at a loss as to how to handle the IT, maybe you can ask Mark Cuban how he did it with IU basketball games. (It only earned him a billion or so). That was in 1999. You are now just slightly worse than IU Basketball coverage was in 1999 done from a single ISDN line.

It's 2015, not having a decent stream isn't how you grow a sport. That's how you kill one.

Edit: If anyone wants to know what I'm talking about. This is what fans were treated to for 8 minutes today before the start of the Men's Finals.

Dear Ruggers:

If you want to know why Club 7s coverage is so terrible the company they are using for the streaming is SoundQue out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Take a few minutes to poke around their: They've been webcasting "since 2004", and it shows. The features they use to upsell their basic service are a DVD of the event and a broadcast on an "applicable broadcast channel". Raise your hand if you're all able to tune in local public access station 4 and have used a DVD recently. Here is/was their facebook page. Does that look like the sort of company you want handling your online streaming in 2015?

If you're having trouble with the streams check out my short instruction manual on how to play it in another porgram. You can even download your team's matches so they can watch it (Seriously USA Rugby, I had my friend's matches up less than 5 minutes after the final whistle. For free. From my home. 600 miles from Iowa.)

[As for the broadcasting company, they're not even using Facebook correct]:


-- RuckIt

2015 USA Rugby Club 7s Finals

Update: Looks like SoundQue got them taken down. Thank goodness for USA Rugby's continued commitment to getting stuff online. GoLive SportsCast still doesn't have them up on their website either

If anyone would like to see them I still have them saved on my hard drive. It looks like they can't figure out the DCMA procedure for and I can also host them locally.

Why is it that some guy sitting on his couch typing with one arm and a screaming baby in the other was able to do this faster & better on 0 notice. (I threw this together last minute before watching my friends' team play on Saturday.) And with, in my opinion, better instructions for streaming.

Seriously, get your technical shit together USA Rugby.

Chicago Lions Women @ 2015 Club 7s Championships

USA Rugby TV Streaming

If you are like most people you are probably having trouble watching anything on USARUGBYTV.

Here is how to play them locally through a VLC or a better program. For those that know how to use RTMP streams the links are:

The best program to use is VLC. It is available for free no the VLC Website:

Setup (For Both Streaming & Downloading)

Step 1. Open VLC.

VLC Program

The window should look something like this:

VLC Program


Step 2. "Media" > "Open Network Stream..."

Also: ["Ctrl-N" on Windows, "⌘-N" on Mac.]

VLC File Menu

Step 4. Enjoy

Enjoy the full resolution stream (Sorry, I made this tutorial during a break):

VLC Window

Step 5. View both fields

Open VLC again (Windows only) and start streaming both fields. Enjoy without having to have a browser open.

alternate text


Step 2. "Media" > "Convert / Save..."

Also: ["Ctrl-R" on Windows, "⌘-R" on Mac.]

VLC File Menu

Step 3. "Network" Tab

Copy and paste the link from the field you want to watch into the "Please enter a network URL:" input dialogue:

  • Aug 30, 2015, Elite 7s: rtmp://
VLC Network Stream Dialog

Click on Convert / Save.

Step 3. Edit video settings

If you also want to watch the stream at the same time check "Display The Output"


Step 4. Select File

Click on the "Browse" button and select somewhere to save the stream.

Click "Start".

Downloading, Advanced Users

Step 0. Download RTMP Dump

Download RTMPDump from their website:

Step 1. Extract the zip file

Step 2. Open a command prompt.

Change to the directory where you extracted the zip files.

Step 3. Run rtmpdump.exe

  • Aug 30, 2015, Elite 7s: rtmp://

Paste the link for the field you want to watch after

  • Field 1: rtmpdump.exe -o "Elite7s.flv" -r "rtmp://"

Optional, but fun

Set up a vline with your friends. I will be cheering on the Chicago Lions Women's team with a few other Chicago area fans. It's not quite like being there but at least here the Sir can't object to my calls.

To anyone at USA Rugby:

This shouldn't be necessary. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find the stream, and record, transcode and upload the video. I have both LionsW matches from this morning already on Facebook and

To say the coverage is lacklustre is an understatement. What exactly is Emirates paying for? Where are all my CIPP dues going? This isn't the first time you have had terrible tech support. In no particular order:

  • Field 1 is 16:9 but Field 2 is 4:3.
  • Field 2 has no audio.
  • The camera men look like they've never shot a Rugby game in their life.
  • You have scaffolding in front of cameras on both fields.
  • Field 2's cameraperson seems to not understand aperaturue. The morning was dark, the afternoon is washed out.
  • Chat is limited to 250 people.
  • Chat is 'all in one' meaning both Field 1 and Field 2 are chatting in the same window. Add some taxonomy. (And add a "social" chat too)

If you need someone to explain this to the 'old guys' in charge I would be happy to have a teleconference with anyone in USAR to explain it in what ever terms you need to understand what is wrong. Rugby in the US will not grow if you continue to have issues like this. Your average highschool AV class could do better with a laptop, Canon DSLR and CDN. It's 2015 and there is absolutely no excuse for it.

Also, have someone in PR contact PlutoTV and get yourself a channel there. They play MLS games there is no reason they can't be playing USA Rugby content 24/7.