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Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Photo That Epitomizes American Rugby

I want to take a minute to talk about this above photo that, for me, exemplifies the passion and sacrifice that it often takes to be an Eagle. Having been able to cover the team up close the last few years you can see the differences in some of the players. What I've observed is that with only a few exceptions each player sacrifices a lot to play for the team. No player on the squad plays for the team without having to put their job at risk. For players playing overseas that means risking time away from their team when they could see minutes. For domestic players that means putting their job and their stability at risk to play in a few matches a year. These players have to sacrifice (some more than others) to play rugby and represent their country.

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For those reasons and more that is what made that photo of Lou Stanfill so poignant. Stanfill, a veteran of three World Cups and over 50 caps, has pretty much seen it all. He's gone through the traditional powerhouse of Cal, he's been an overseas pro both at a bigger club and at a smaller club. He's coached, he's worked in and out of rugby. He's bounced from California, to Europe, to New York, and to Seattle to play rugby. He has sacrificed the prime years of his physical life to play rugby and represent the Eagles.

Just a year ago Stanfill was dealing with injury (we accidentally retired him) and his World Cup was in doubt. He worked hard to put himself back in Eagles colors and to make what is probably his last start and maybe his last match for an Eagle was something special. You could tell what it meant for him to play rugby and represent the Eagles in that photo. To us, that is the epitome of American Rugby. Perseverance, playing for passion, and sacrifice.


  1. Emotional photo ... Was it taken before or after the match?

    1. Before, during the national anthem.