All teams have fund raisers. Some teams give back to community organizations or causes. Then there are times when a group gets together and decides to have a benefit. This weekend on October 8th two teams will come together to remember a young player who passed away suddenly.
I spoke with Norn Smyth, a Chicago Blaze Fossil and the Event Director for the iYRA to learn more about Chris ‘FBI’ Chapman.
Chapman played with the Chicago Blaze and the Chicago Blue. He came out to the blaze in the spring of 2010, to get support, be part of a brotherhood and out of curiosity to learn more about the game of rugby. Nicknames are common in the rugby community and Chapman’s ‘FBI’ name came from him being, “an investigative guy” according to Smyth.
Smyth said “Chris would as a lot of questions, wanted to know what was going on, always trying to get more information. Some asked ‘What are you a cop or something?’ The nickname FBI came about and it stuck.”
Though by trade he was a carpenter, when ‘FBI’ traveled with the Blaze to Sweet 16s he embraced the nickname, sporting FBI gear of a coat, badge and even an ear piece. Chapman also traveled to Lake Front 7s and played with the Chicago Blue, the CPD rugby team, and has been called a great player, who was developing his game, and would do anything for anyone. Around Memorial Day Chris Chapman became quickly ill, and passed away leaving behind two young children. He was in his mid-twenties and now the Blaze and Chicago Blue are coming together to remember a man who was lost too soon.
This Saturday, the two teams will play with a goal to raise money for Chapman’s son and daughter’s college fund. Players will donate money to participate in the game, the teams will be holding a raffle, and will be taking donations as well. When organizing this event, it wasn’t until after it was planned that Smyth learned that October 8th, the day of the game would also have been Chapman’s birthday. The game will be again, this Saturday October 8th, kick off at 3pm at Thornley Fields in Lemont. If you would like to donate you can contact the Chicago Blaze through their website or contact Norm Smyth firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Blaze is also mourning the loss of Salsa, who was a team mascot at every practice and every game. Salsa the dog was only 8 years old and also passed suddenly after getting ill last week. Every rugby team has a dog that’s seen at every game, and Salsa will surely be missed by the team and the fans.
This weekends Games:
Air Force A v Norte Dame A
Northern Illinois B v Notre Dame B
Saturday Day Games:
NW Woodsmen v Chicago Blaze @ Thornley Fields
Chicago Blue v The Fossils @ Thornley Fields
Lincoln Park @ Chicago Dragons
Chicago Riot @ Lake County Gladiators
Springfield @ Manhattan Shamrocks
Lincoln Park A @ Westside Condors A
Kellog @ Westside Condors B
NIU @ Fox Valley
Austin Valkyries v North Shore @ Wilson West 9am
Wisconsin v North Shore @ Wilson West 11:30am
Northwestern v Loyola (both Men and Women’s Clubs)
NIU v Chicago (both Men and Women’s Clubs)
Chicago v Lewis University (Men)
Elmhurst v DePaul
Indiana University v Notre Dame (Women)
*kick offs @ 1pm unless otherwise noted