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Free Form Friday Was Not At That Rugby Party (And Even If We Were We've Deleted The Pictures).

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Maestro it's too late to stop now. Cue the music:


I'd like to extend a special thank you to all the commenters who pitched in this week during Kyle's (relative) vacation. One of the true pleasures associated with writing for SB Nation is that sites like this one create a real sense of community, and are peopled with folks like you who write things that Kyle and I never would have, yet which deserve to be read. Can you imagine if the folks at the AJC started letting their most frequent blog commenters write front page posts for their website? How many different ways can you say "((((45-42 harr harr derp de derp))))"? Give yourselves a hand, commentariat.

Remember a while back when Cal was looking to cut down a bunch of trees outside their football stadium? Remember the ever-vigilant tree hippies who tried to stop the project? Remember how we all totally made fun of the University of California because, really, it was the only place on earth where this could have happened? Well now the University is nearing completion of the project, and has replanted the area with even more sylvan goodness than before. That's righteous, man. Now we can wait 70 years for a new generation of counterculture obstructionists to emerge and save those trees when Cal has to make room for the stadium expansion required to keep them competitive in the Pac-28. It's the circle of life.

I've been known to criticize the gang over at Deadspin from time to time for the fact that their site reads like something Perez Hilton would write if he found a sudden interest in soccer and Santonio Holmes' junk then got a Barbaro memorial tattoo. I stand by that critique. But ever so occasionally they still hit one out of the park. Such was the case recently when they somehow managed to click through Mark Cuban's Google+ photos to find several galleries of the computer mogul and Dallas Mavericks owner's days as a rugby enthusiast at Indiana University.

To their credit Deadspin contacted Cuban and asked for his permission to post the pictures. Ok, they were probably just worried about his friends at Fish and Richardson and that's why they asked. But I digress. Cuban, to his credit, agreed not only to let them post the pictures but also narrated some of them. What's clear from the photos (some of which, and I'm serious here, are rated R) is that you may have had as much fun as Mark Cuban did in college, but you damned sure didn't have more fun than Mark Cuban. The photos also confirm one immutable rule I've learned through the years: serious rugby players are truly and righteously screwed up in the head. Mark my words, if you see some guy running around outside a bar buck naked but for a flaming roll of toilet paper perched precariously atop his newly buzzed head, odds are he plays rugby.

Am I the only one who feels a certain sense of loss at the culmination of the space shuttle program? I understand that private space exploration is increasing and that the marketplace promotes innovation, unmanned flight is cheaper and works for most space research, yada, yada, yada. The fact of the matter is that the next time a U.S. astronaut goes to the international space station he or she is going to have to bum a ride from the Russians. And that's kind of an ego killer. What would John Glenn think? Oh yeah, he'd be pissed. I can't say I blame him. Sure it's dangerous shooting people out into the mystic unknown strapped to two million pounds of rocket fuel and a vehcile with 270,000 moving parts each manufactured by the lowest bidder. But dadgumit, this is America, and crazy risks are kind of our thing. Or at least they were.

Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!