Every September 11, the Fog pauses to remember Mark Bingham, our friend and an early member of the San Francisco Fog.
Mark was a successful public relations executive who’d played rugby for the perennial national champions, UC Berkeley. The Fog, by contrast, was a newly formed club that hoped to join the competitive Northern California Rugby Football Union (NCRFU) as its first team geared primarily toward gay men and men of color.
We were mostly complete novices to the game, and our training sessions were horribly remedial, but Mark started showing up anyway. He coached, cajoled, and crashed through our practices, and played No. 8 in our first two friendly matches and in our first tournament (where he promptly dislocated his shoulder). He taught us his favorite rugby songs and made us feel like we were part of something bigger than ourselves. That was early 2001.
Over the summer the Fog did gain entry into the NCRFU. Mark, traveling in Europe, let us know how proud he was of the club’s achievement. He also told us what it meant for him to be part of a rugby team comprised entirely of gay men: “As we worked and sweated and ran and talked together this year, I finally felt accepted as a gay man and a rugby player. My two irreconcilable worlds came together.”
Mark never got another opportunity to play for the Fog. He was aboard United flight 93 when it crashed in rural Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
This Thursday we will gather once again to remember Mark and the many gifts he brought to our young club. And as always, we will honor his mother, Alice Hoagland, too. A tireless supporter of Fog Rugby and of the international gay rugby movement, Hoagland can usually be seen cheering on teams from all over the world at the biennial Bingham Cup tournament, established by the Fog in 2002 in her son’s memory.
For the full text of Mark Bingham’s final email to the Fog, see our About page.
The San Francisco Fog Women traveled down the coast and made a very strong showing at the Tri-Tip 7’s Rugby Tournament hosted by the home club San Luis Obispo RFC on Saturday, September 6, 2008, as the Lady Fog persevered and made it to the final match, losing in the end by a very slim point margin.
The Fog Ladies first played SLO Beaches, an experienced Women’s side, and held their own with two tries a-piece and a final score of 10-12. The next two games “were short work,” as the Fog squared off against Eagle Rock Rugby, a new Women’s Team in California, and the SLO Rookies, a side filled with new ruggers. The final match “pitted SLO Beaches again against the Lady Fog,” and the song remained the same on this day with a final score of 10-12.
Scores from all four games will be posted soon.
The Ladies of the San Francisco Fog are tuning up for their upcoming season by fielding a 7’s side to travel south and compete in the Tri-Tip 7’s Rugby Tournament hosted by the San Luis Obispo RFC this Saturday, September 6, 2008.
Come out to San Luis Obispo to support on the Fog if you can, or cheer them on from back home! Roll Fog Roll!
Place: Damon-Garcia Sports Fields, San Luis Obispo, CA
Date: Saturday, September 7, 2008
Time: All Day
FOG RUGBY - LEARN A SPORT, JOIN A FAMILY
The San Francisco Fog RFC will have a recruiting booth, and also fully staff a liquor booth, at the bear-themed Hairrison Street Fair this Sunday, August 31 on Harrison Street and 12th Street in San Francisco, CA.
Come out to meet us, learn what the incredible sport of rugby is like, and see what our family is all about!
Place: Hairrison Street Fair on Harrison and 12th Street
Date: Sunday, August 31
Time: 11am to 6pm
The San Francisco Fog Women’s Side officially begins training for their upcoming season on Tuesday, August 12. Training sessions are Tuesday and Thursday evening of each week from 7pm to 9pm, as well as non-match Saturday mornings from 11am to 1pm, at the Fog’s home pitch on Treasure Island. These sessions are primarily for the women’s side but are open to all.
Whether you are new to the game of rugby or have played this exciting sport for years, now is the time to start training with the Fog!
Place: Treasure Island on the corner of Avenue D & 9th Street
Date: Every Tuesday, Thursday and non-match Saturday
Time: 7pm to 9pm (11am to 1pm Saturday)