Atlanta Bucks switch jerseys and cleats for halters and heels to kick off the year with the infamous, ridiculous and fabulous Miss Ruck-N-Maul pageant.
By Mike W. Paris
No question about it: 2016 was a drag. But don’t despair, because the jocks of the Atlanta Bucks rugby team are ready to ease you into 2017 with the squad’s annual Miss Ruck-N-Maul drag competition.
And trust us: If you’ve never been to a Ruck-N-Maul drag show, this is the year to go.
On Saturday, Jan. 21, six Bucks exchange their jerseys and cleats for halters and heels, and take the stage to compete. This year, the Bucks share the proceeds with Ready 4 Hope, and the show is hosted by Brian McCall, David Atlanta’s Man of David 2016.
The 11th annual Ruck-N-Maul is ready to raise the bar with “A Beautiful Mess” theme. Last year’s All-Star show featured past winners like D’Kweena England, Barbie Q Sugarbaker and French E. Faux Pas. This year’s Bucks are ready to raise the standard – and the hemlines – even higher.
For 2017, the young Bucks twerking on the stage include Martina McDaniels (elegant and graceful, like a classic movie star), Oxomo Delmar (spicy, energetic and unpredictable), Scarlett O’Hell-No (a Southern belle with an attitude), D. Juana Falk (a fierce competitor who knows how to slay), Ora Leigh Popular (the quiet one, no one knows what to expect) and the exciting debut of Miss Tootie Duvet (no boundaries, no shame, all shade).
With those bios as their guide, there’s little doubt that the performers can live up to the phrase “A Beautiful Mess” in more ways than one. To make sure they bring it, members of the community (including Hotlanta Softball League) will be on hand to pass out awards for the evening’s messiest moments.
As an extra bonus, the team hosts a Silent Auction during the event. The Bucks are set to auction off a variety of items donated by local businesses, with starting bids as low as $30. Learn to cook or dance, enjoy a relaxing massage, take a movie studio tour, and much more. Payments for winning bids can be made with checks, credit card or through PayPal, so don’t worry about bringing cash. The proceeds help the Bucks pay for necessities, such as field rental, balls, ruck pads and more.
Come early to bid on items at the silent auction, have a few drinks from the bar, then throw some dollars at the lovely ladies. The performer who raises the most money will wear the crown, and the others will simply leave in tears and shame.
The Bucks were named the March David Atlanta hero in 2016 for their penchant to give back. Beneficiary Ready 4 Hope started as an AIDS Walk Atlanta team and is now a non-profit that throws parties and events all year to raise money for AID Atlanta. In previous years, the Bucks have raised funds for organizations including Pride School and Lost N Found Youth. They’ve also donated their time to service projects like the AIDS Walk and appearing in a PSA for Protect Your Monster. Basically, they wanna Ruck You.
Miss Ruck-N-Maul is one of the largest Atlanta Bucks fundraisers of the year, but it’s your only chance each year to see the rugby boys in drag. Once the show is over, the team heads back to the pitch the following week, hosting a team from Savannah, and they’ll be all business.
If you are interested in learning a new sport or cheering them on, you can find the Bucks at Cheney Field every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., or come watch the Bucks play on Saturdays during the spring season that starts in March.