This week we talk to Luke Herbert (NE). This tough-as-nails graduate of West Point has served the United States Army in several dangerous locations around the globe. More recently, he has endangered himself with a hard-running, crash-tackling style of play for the HBS rugby team.
The Harbus found Luke in The Grille, entertaining a group of listeners with an acerbic commentary on French post-structuralist philosophy (in particular Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault). We took him aside to get to know him and his sporting career a little bit better.
Fact File: Luke ‘The Navigator’ Herbert
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: 160 pounds
Marital Status: Single, never been married, looking but not in a desperate way [Editors – expressions of interest should be directed to Luke’s cell or home numbers, both of which are listed in the Classcard system]Favorite Food: Chicken quesadillas
Favorite Drink: Tanqueray gin and tonic, preferably with one of those lovely little umbrellas
Favorite Film: Old School or maybe Scarface
Favorite Band: Three Doors Down
Nickname: The Navigator
How Acquired Nickname: My natural ability to get from A to B, inspired by ‘helping’ John Sheppard (OI) ‘reach’ the hotel in Phoenix, AZ
Harbus: What HBS sports team do you play for?
Luke Herbert: I play for the Harvard Business School Rugby Football Club.
Harbus: What position do you play?
LH: Scrum Half
Harbus: What does that involve? And what happened to the other half?
LH: There is no other half! The position is called Scrum Half as my primary responsibility is to get between the forwards and the backs. From there, I manage the forward play and, in particular, make the transition to backline play. There isn’t really an equivalent position in American football.
Harbus: When did you start playing rugby?
LH: While I was at High School in Barrington, RI, I played in a club team in the town.
Harbus: But rugby is not big in the U.S., so how did you get interested?
LH: Rugby incorporates everything a good sport should. I like the game because it is physical, involves hitting and tackling, and requires conditioning, skill and thinking.
Harbus: Would you describe yourself as the thinking woman’s sex symbol?
LH: [Giggles] Yes. [More giggles]
Harbus: What has been your best sporting moment on the field?
LH: Playing Macgill in Montreal, I received the opening kick-off and a guy tried to tackle me but he went down. That hit really set the tone for the whole game that ensued.
Harbus: And your worst?
LH: Playing Winger against a touring club from Twickenham, England, I had an open passage to the line, but dropped the ball when it bounced off my head.
Harbus: How about your best moment off the field?
LH: Beating Will Swint (NI) in a ‘race’ at the end of season banquet.
Harbus: And your worst?
LH: Having to wash two of the forwards’ jerseys after the tournament in Phoenix, AZ.
Harbus: What is the biggest challenge about being an athlete at HBS?
LH: It’s really about time management. It’s a question of should I study or should I train and you have to make a choice one way or the other.
Harbus: And you spent some time in the military?
LH: Five years, and four years at West Point.
Harbus: In what way has that background helped you with your sport?
LH: I’ve played some football and soccer as well, and the lesson is the same in each – the key to winning is to be aggressive and to exert maximum effort throughout the contest.
Harbus: Do you have any non-sporting hobbies?
LH: Reading cases and regression.
Harbus: Linear or multivariate?
LH: Strictly multivariate regression. And a couple of drinks with friends on the weekend.
Harbus: Thank you for your time – good luck for the coming season.
LH: Thank you guys. And hi Mom.