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On-Campus Interview Series:

This week the Harbus interviews the wrestlers sex ‘symbol, Bryan Vaniman. Bryan hails from Oregon and insists he didn’t wear a cape and a mask when he used to wrestle. Although, we only asked him whether he wears these in the context of Wrestling… …can his girlfriend tell us otherwise…?

Fact File: Bryan Vaniman
Height: 6foot and 1 inch
Weight: 220 pounds
Eyes: Hazel
Hair: Brown
Marital Status: Got a beautiful English girlfriend
Favorite Food: Pepperoni Pizza or Steak
Favorite Drink: Sierra Nevada Beer
Favorite Film: Old School or Happy Gilmore
Favorite Band: Anything country
Nickname: Vani
How Acquired Nickname: A lazy wrestling coach got sick of pronouncing my entire name

Harbus: What HBS sports team do you play for?

Bryan Vaniman: The HBS Rugby Football Club

Harbus: What position do you play?

BV: Eight Man

Harbus: What does that involve?

BV: I’m the guy at the back of the pack. I’m responsible for tackling and running.

Harbus: What’s it like being at the back of seven sweaty men?

BV: Depends what they’ve eaten the night before.

Harbus: Anyone in particular you’d prefer not to be behind, and why?

BV: A guy called DD, and if you’ve met him you’ll know why you don’t want to be behind him…

Harbus: When did you start playing rugby, and why did you start?

BV: I actually started when I came to HBS. I had always been interested as a friend at Stanford played, but my wrestling coach wouldn’t let me miss practice. I came to HBS with a view to try it out. It helped that my room mate at HBS, Ken Ebbitt was a rugby player.

Harbus: Did wrestling prepare you well for rugby?

BV: It helped with tackling, but I had to unlearn some habits I had picked up from American football. For example in my first match I didn’t realize I couldn’t block a defender who didn’t have the ball!

Harbus: What happened?

BV: You should have seen the look on this poor guy’s face – he was under the impression that we knew the rules and out of no where I tackled him.

It started a little scuffle (this is where the wrestling helped.) The referee was not amused and sent me off – not bad for my first ever match.

Hrbus: So it was a memorable match?

BV: Yes, as that was also the match in which a guy ripped off my underwear without removing my shorts.

Harbus: Was it painful?

BV: It wasn’t pleasant.

Harbus: Do men often rip your boxer shorts off?

BV: I try and keep that to a minimum.

Harbus: So that’s saved for special occasions?

BV: Yeah boxing day. (Bryan giggles like a little boy.)

Harbus: What has been your best sporting moment on the field?

BV: When I had my underwear manhandled from me. What a day. (Bryan
sighs wistfully…)

Harbus: And your worst?

BV: When James Nadauld thought he’d tackle an opposition player with his head and missed. He ended up putting his head into my crotch.

Harbus: I see a pattern forming – boxer shorts ripped off and Nadauld lunging at your crotch.

BV: Rugby is a social sport.

Harbus: How about your best moment off the field?

BV: That would be the annual cultural trip to Montreal. We take in a lot of historical landmarks and museums. It’s nice to bond with the team through discourse and debate.

Harbus: And your worst?

BV: Early morning class after any Kangaroo court.

Harbus: Interesting. So what is the biggest challenge about being an athlete at HBS?

BV: Trying to find the ultimate balance between the demands of the classroom and the field. It’s something I’m yet to master. The celebrity status is also hard to deal with.

Harbus: What other sports have you played?

BV: Wrestling, I was tired of being beaten up by my older brother so I took it up when I was 10. I idolized Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jimmy Superfly Snooka.

Harbus: What’s your most memorable college sporting moment?

BV: I made it to the NCAA tournament and got to the final 16 in the tournament. I tried out for the Olympic team, but the call of a career in business was too great…

Harbus: So, can you tell us whether WWF is staged?

BV: Of course it’s not staged.

Harbus: Do you have any advice for young athletes out there?

BV: Yes, stay away from Charles MacDonald (OD).

Harbus: On that note I think we’ll thank you for your time.

BV: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.

April 12, 2004
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