A national champion in rugby at Cal in 1991, Mark Bingham was playing on the San Francisco Fog, a team in the International Gay Rugby league, when he had the idea to move to New York City and start a similar team. Before he could, tragedy struck. Bingham was one of 44 people who died when United flight 93 crashed in Shanksvillle, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001. In his honor, a few of his friends started Gotham Knights RFC in December of that year. Though it took nearly three years for the team to win a USA Rugby league game, Gotham has become a haven for gay and straight ruggers alike, an intense brotherhood that has been life-changing for some.

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