‘Just an excuse for a party’

Want to enjoy Varsity? Wrap up warm, don’t provoke the tie-wearing protein shaker and enjoy the nakedness, says RUPERT DAVIS.

The bright eyed and bushy tailed Leeds Fresher, with the ‘Jack Wills Varsity’ image firmly engraved on his or her mind, will get quite a shock heading to Headingley this Wednesday.

A game where the most eventful scrum takes place at the entrance to the stadium is a far-cry from the picture-perfect Varsity brand peddled by the ‘University Outfitters’ to all those who have not yet actually been.

Don’t get me wrong – the Leeds Varsity match is an exciting event – but more because of the sheer challenge of survival. The excitement of the sporting triumph by either university tends to seem less important. For the people actually taking part, I’m sure these events are great fun (and let’s not forget the extended squad who sit in the stand proudly wearing their prestigious ties). Of course they have fun; this is testosterone town, and they rule this shire.

Just a warning though, for all those who will not be warmed by protein-shake camaraderie, those who will be sitting in the freezing cold and damp, rather than running around in it, Jack Wills is not a suitable outfitter for this particular university event. I suggest something significantly more thermal.

Having said that, there’s a select group of people who are always present at these games, they never seem to feel the cold at all. For most, these geniuses of comedy and self-sacrifice are the highlight of the evening’s entertainment. I’m talking, of course, about the famous strippers. We’ve all seen the strongly worded warnings about disciplinary action and on-the-spot fines, but it’s no secret, we’re all hoping at least someone ignores the threat, or it’s just not worth us turning up. As they say in sex-ed classes: if no one’s going to strip, no one’s going to come.

For all its short-comings, Varsity is a very good excuse for a party, and therefore highly worthwhile – this is just a heads-up to the bright eyed and bushy tailed – it isn’t an event out of the Jack Wills Autumn handbook. Wrap up warm, don’t provoke the tie-wearing protein shaker and enjoy the nakedness.