Name: Thomas Timberlake
School: Columbia College
Major: Sustainable Development, Environmental Science (concentration)
As President of the Rugby Club, what do your duties include?
As a club rather than varsity sport, we, as students, control the direction of the club. As president, I’m ultimately responsible for all decisions we make. It requires a lot of communication through email and phones between players, coaches, other teams, officials, alumni, university administration, and myself. Aw man, I feel like I’m writing a cover letter here. A lot of it boils down to delegating tasks including planning matches, balancing our budget, and ordering equipment to a very capable supporting cast. Sometimes there’s a mess to clean up, but nothing too serious.
How long have you been playing rugby? How did you first get involved?
I started at the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I played football and baseball in high school. I was bored freshman year and missed playing team sports. I realized that I should play rugby, so I got in shape over the summer and was starting games by the end of the fall season.
What do you like about rugby? What keeps you playing?
Running around hitting people and throwing a ball around has always been inherently fun to me ever since elementary school recess. Beyond that, the “violent” nature of the sport breeds a real solid bond between the members of the team. That’s something I don’t think you can get anywhere else in college. The sport has a great culture behind it too.
How does someone join the rugby team? Can anyone go to the practices?
Someone can show up at practice or email me. We’re always looking for new players of all sizes and athletic abilities. We’re real chill about new guys joining up.
What are the most important characteristics to have in order to be a great rugby player?
Toughness and drive. A rugby match is 80 minutes of running around without pads or helmets. Hard hits, eye gouging, and cleat raking are all going to happen. You've got to be physically tough to thrive in such a situation. Drive is an intangible; we’re talking a combination of ambition, competitiveness, heart, and a winning attitude. Obviously, athleticism is always helpful.
Do you want to play rugby after you graduate?
I’m under the impression that real life jobs are either boring and easy, or interesting and demanding. (Let’s hope future employers Googling my name are in the latter category.) Either way, I’m going to need an outlet at the end of the workday. Rugby presents such an opportunity. Cliffnotes: Yes, I do.
Hometown: Berkeley, California/New York
Relationship Status: Single
On-Campus Activities: Columbia University Rugby Football Club. I work with the Earth Institute several hours a week also.
Off-campus activities: Lol off-campus, what’s that? I do go snowboarding every weekend in the winter, that probably counts—Mountain Creek, NJ what up.
Fall Break plans: We’re playing in the Ivy Rugby Conference 7’s tournament, so I’m going up to Massachusetts for that. Voting is fun, so I’m going to vote on Tuesday.
Pet-Peeves: Cigarettes. Also, ads on Youtube, like when I’m trying to swag out to the newest rap videos (especially the type of videos where the rapper rides around on ATVs or dirtbikes cuz those are awesome), Timbo’s really not trying to watch ads.
Dream Job: Run sustainability and environmental initiatives for a bunch of ski resorts. Getting paid to shred and save the world one chairlift at a time would be hella chill.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, you would need: We talking deserted island, desert island, or dessert island? Because I’d choose the latter. If one of the formers, I’d bring along a case of Lagunitas IPA, water, food, and a good book or two or like 5 depending on how long I was stuck there.
Every guys needs these three things: Fitted hat and camo vest swag, a sense of humor, individuality.
Your perfect date in 7 words or less: swag, chairlifts, fresh snow, good food, swag
Favorite off-campus location: 109th and Broadway
Favorite thing about NYC: Real talk though, New York City tap water. I lightweight love to get ‘drated. Superset NYC tap water and coconut water, aw man, you’re going to get ‘drated.
Favorite class and professor at Columbia: Strength Training… Nah, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed a lot of my Sustainable Development electives, especially Fun-damentals of Global Health and Global Food Systems. Everything’s so global, huh? I also lightweight really liked Frontiers of Science though I hear that’s not that popular. Shout out to my parents though; they’re my favorite professors at Columbia.
Spirit Animal: When I have trouble falling asleep, I contemplate which species would win an all-out-to-the-death fight (no weapons or alliances) between a grizzly bear, lion, tiger, gorilla, and hippo. (This can keep me up to 2 in the morning but that’s neither here nor there.) Anyways, my spirit animal would be the winner of the aforementioned fight.
Dream wife: I’m skipping the whole celebrity thing and going the RLG route. Tall, pretty, athletic, laughs at all my jokes, swag of her own, can cook.
One thing you want to do before graduating: 315 bench bro.
Top three albums/songs of all time: Isn’t the correct answer to this an obscure dubstep artist’s remix of an Avicii remix of a Deadmau-5 song sampling some band from the 70s? See, I’m a rap music hipster meaning I ride a musical wave that’s usually about six months ahead of everyone else. It’s a rough life though, because once three to five non-hipsters start listening to an artist, I feel compelled to move on. That being said, right now, I’ve been messing with anything produced by Clams Casino heavy. I did do this interview for the Spectrum regarding my music taste. A full three real life people commented on it, swaaaag.
If you could have a super power what would it be and why: Time travel. I always wanted to go back to 1849 and cake hard in the Gold Rush. (Go ‘Niners, Bay Area Superbowl.)
If you could invite anyone to dinner, you would ask: Dream wife mentioned above. Does that work?
HamDel decides to name a sandwich after you (what's it called and what's in it): Ab-monster – Shredded grilled chicken breast with almond butter, lettuce, and egg whites in a whole wheat wrap. I already proposed this idea to them and they were all, “No, that’s not going to sell,” so I’m boycotting HamDel in the interest of them developing more nutritional products.