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How The SVELTS Were Born....
In preparation for the 1992 Ohio Sevens championship tournament, held on the verdant fields that grace the southern rim of the OSU Horseshoe, Scioto Valley selectors again followed tradition and avoided picking any tight-five players to represent the Club. Surly, balding and disgruntled at news of their continued rejection, and simply missing the chance to play the game they love each summer, a glandularly-confused and clumsy set of forwards decided to buck tradition and enter a team of all over-200 pound players in the tournament. They chose the name SVELTS (Scioto Valley Elephant Leg Touring Side) for the same reason that you call the fat guy on the bowling team Tiny, and you call Rapid Rapid...because they aren't, weren't and very likely never will be.
At the Friday night pre-tournament drink-up, many jokes were made at the new team's expense. Most memorable was the prediction of the wise, pure-hearted but occasionally hallucinatory Schubert, who ranted about the probability that the SVELTS would not just lose every game, but be humiliated at every step. There is taped evidence to suggest that he bet each of the Club founders $1,000 that the SVELTS would not score a point all day, a bet which he continues to deny having made and which remains shamefully unpaid to this day.
The team's on-field strategy was simple and began with the premise that if the other team ever touched the ball they would surely score. So, Boys, keep it in, keep rolling, keep possession, make sure you never go down unless at least two of their players are on you. Beautiful simple rugby, the way it s'pozed to be, played out that day under a cobalt blue sky on a fine July afternoon in the firm bosom of America's Heartland.
And, amazingly, it worked. Sort of. (Note: never bet on the SVELTS when they are playing their third game of the day. And it's hot. And there's beer.) I think you can guess what began to happen to the team as the day proceeded. Like the heroes of any great tragedy, these mighty warriors were eventually brought low by the very qualities and desires that had first brought them greatness.
But even now, the SVELTS emerge every year to smush the grass of pitches located nation-wide in search of worthy opponents and willing and easily confoundable female party guests. Even now, the SVELTS can be found busily punching new holes into already over-taxed belts and planning their next World Tour, which they never take.
Other SVELT-ly stories to be told at other times:
SVELTS Eligibility Test
While the original criteria was that each player exceed the 200-pound weight limit, it soon became clear that SVELTly-ness was more of a state of mind than just a set of embarrassing triple digits on a bathroom scale. In fact, Scioto Valley is truly blessed with numerous players that can be loosely described as 260-pound men trapped in 185-pound bodies. Fiesty and Bodine ("The Pollinator") come immediately to mind, along with many other fierce and appropriately self-destructive, mighty warriors. So...how to choose?
(additional suggestions, for consideration, welcome.)
The Official SVELTS Song
By Dave Mockensturm
Sung to the tune of "The Moose Song"
(refrain, with gusto)
[Go to the SVELT'S Book of Stupidity]
"It really hurt a lot, then I gave the fat little bastard to a pack of wolves to raise."
Quote attributed to a SVELT birth-mother who chose to remain anonymous, for the purposes of this story.
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