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A time to play crud

F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. -- What is crud you ask? I could spout off the book definition of the fast-paced military game originating in the Royal Canadian Air Force played on a snooker table. However, my personal definition of crud would describe an historic game of camaraderie played throughout every club in the Air Force. 

I have heard several Air Force members around the Trail's End club talking about crud: "Only flyers play crud," or more common, "Crud without combat rules is ridiculous." Sounds like quibbling to me. 

I thought about giving you the rules to crud, but I know I could not do the game justice in words. Come to the Trail's End and learn the game from Col. Mike Morgan, 90th Space Wing vice commander, or just watch a match. 

You are probably wondering why a contracting Airman is writing a story about crud? Well, I've played crud around the world; I've played combat crud, tournament crud and Canadian crud. I have even played crud between a Greek colonel and a Turk major. 

What is great about crud? It is like life: You are going to win some, you are going to lose some, but it is how you handle the adversity of it all when you royally screw up in front of your peers that matters. What are you going to do when it's you vs. the world? More importantly, what are you going to do when you face four opposing crud players across the table and your "knocked-out" teammates are relying on you? Quibble? Give-up? Nay, I say. You are going to take that cue ball and save the world -- or at least your team's reputation. 

So far, the best crud players I have seen at Warren are from the 90th Security Forces Group. I have played with them and against them, and I'm not sure if it is the pepper-spray or batons that gives them the upper hand, but they always find a way to win. 

The funniest team to play with or against has definitely been the 90th Space Wing judge advocate's office. They have a great sense of humor, painfully pointy elbows, tremendous blockers and some of the luckiest shooters this side of Omaha, Neb. 

My biggest disappointment has been the 37th Helicopter Squadron. For Airmen wearing "bags" with flying badges, I expected more of them. It is early in 2007 though, and I have recently seen them as a unit at the club one Friday night with their new commander, training hard with push-ups for missed shots and 'weak lags.' I have huge expectations for the 37th HS in the upcoming tournament. 

And don't underestimate the newly-arrived 30th Airlift Squadron. They looked tough in recent crud matches.