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The website Rugby Today represents A. Jon Prusmack's latest version in a 47-year mission to provide exciting rugby news and information to the American reader. The first beginnings came in 1967 when he conceived of a glossy, quarterly magazine called Scrumdown with black and white photographs and articles about domestic and foreign games, personalities, and opinion. (At the same time, on the west coast, Chuck Lyon in Santa Barbara put out the mimeographed Rugby.)
The initial response to Scrumdown was underwhelming. Prusmack lamented in the third issue, "We seem, however, to have made little progress in generating the reader response we had hoped for." But in those first three issues of 1967 and 1968, the template was established for what would become Rugby Magazine, Rugbymag.com, and, eventually, Rugby Today.
Volume 1, No. 3, of the magazine, demonstrates an example of Prusmack's vision. Included were articles on playing lock, the experience of an American rugger in New Zealand, and the expansion of game in the northern California Bay Area. The feature reported on the Boston Tournament with club entries from Old Blue, Olympic Club of San Francisco, Rosslyn Park, and London Scottish. The issue was sprinkled with a few ads, three coming from the famous Upper East Side Manhattan rugby watering holes, Drake's Drum, the Mad Hatter, and Geordies. Other small ads came form Guinness, Nikon, and a rugby clothing shop in Canada.
Prusmack never published a fourth issue, deciding not to continue with an unprofitable venture. He put the concept on the back burner, returning in 1975 with a newspaper broadsheet also called Scrumdown. Later that year, he made two significant changes hiring Ed Hagerty as Editor, and changing the name to Rugby Magazine. For the past forty-years in ever changing forms - Rugby Magazine, erugbynews.com, rugbymag.com. and RugbyToday.com - Prusmack continued to offer high quality, topical reporting and columns about rugby in the United States.
As that 1968's third issue's Uncle Sam in a Scrum Cap back cover appealed for subscriptions, so, too, in 2014, do we at Rugby Today ask you to subscribe to keep the reporting fresh and vibrant.