So my name is Michael Bandy, I’m from Orange County, California.
I went to a private all-boys high school, played football and baseball there, chose the football path and ended up playing football at the University of San Diego.
And like a lot of guys here, I pursued the NFL and it didn’t quite work out. I’m still trying, but I was presented an opportunity to play rugby, and that’s why I’m here today.
Now, football and baseball are the only sports I’ve played.
Actually growing up, I raced BMX and was actually able to put on a USA jersey race for the country, which is pretty cool, and hopefully I get to do that again soon.
In college, maybe my sophomore year when I kind of stepped up as one of the starting receivers and realized, hey, maybe I can pursue this, and actually go somewhere with football.
So I think that season kind of kind of opened my eyes, opened up my work ethic as well, and really focusing in on my body and how I can become a better football player.
In college, I was able to put up some really good numbers at the receiver position, was able to be voted first team all-American, two years in a row, my junior and senior year.
So, I mean, I had all the stats, but when it comes down to it, it’s a team sport and there’s other guys to help me get there.
I think sports in my life, it’s the way my father and I always connected.
And, I have a great relationship with my mother, too. But sports have just been something we’ve always bonded over and talked about all the time. I mean, any sport, really. So, yeah, sports are kind of my passion.
This opportunity kind of came out of the blue. I was at the dinner table. I mean, like everybody else here waiting for that phone call from the NFL for a workout to try out or practice squad. Some opportunity in order to make an NFL roster and a call came and it just happened to be for rugby instead of football. But it was actually from my head coach in college who connected me with somebody else who connected to Peter. And Peter was like, hey, we have this opportunity for you to come out and try out in November. And I was like, yeah, let’s do it. I’m not doing anything else. And the camp ended up going really well. I was able to make the team and he offered me and I was pretty quick to respond that I was ready to do this.
I didn’t know much about it, but I was quick to, like, start watching YouTube videos and watching the game. But without these coaches, I still don’t think I would know very much. So they’re doing a great job.
Well, I had a quick conversation with my dad, and after that conversation, I made up my mind pretty quickly. He’s just talking about how opportunities come and more will come. If you take advantage of those opportunities, you can’t just sit around and wait for more to come because, I mean, you just got to jump at them and take a leap of faith.
I love that you get to play offense and defense. You get to hit people, you get to make people miss. But I think the best feeling is putting someone away with a good pass. They can go score a try.
To be selected as captains, truly an honor, especially with not that much experience in Rugby, just similar to a lot of the other guys. But for the coaches to put that trust in me this quickly with the amount of rugby we’ve actually been playing is it’s truly an honor and I’m really excited about it and ready to move forward with this team.