Peter Shaw moved to the Milwaukee area in 2022 and almost immediately signed up with the Barbarian "old boys" to play in our bi-weekly, alumni tag rugby program.
As a long-time player and obsessed fan of the sport, Peter quickly became a staple with the alumni group, a vocal supporter on the sidelines, a financial supporter of the club as a Sustaining Member, and even an occasional participant at full-contact tournaments.
As you can tell, Peter is the very definition of a "good club man".
So it comes as no surprise that he's dedicating the relaunch of his book The Passion of the Scrum: Life Lessons from Rugby to the Milwaukee Barbarians.
Passions charts how Peter's experience as a rugby player has taught him the principles from the sport that are key to leading an honorable, productive and meaningful life. And the current version has been updated to include the mention of the Milwaukee Barbarians.
Peter will be donating all proceeds from the updated version of Passions to the Milwaukee Barbarians, so be sure to get your copy today!
An interview with the author
What inspired you to write this book?
I love using writing as a creative outlet and had already written one book. That was a murder mystery and shockingly (or not) did contain some rugby in it. I thought it'd be cool to put in one place all of the lessons I learned from playing and watching rugby.
What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
I hope people reading this book will get an appreciation for the sport of rugby union and the universal lessons it can teach us.
Were there any challenges or interesting moments you encountered while writing and publishing this book? Any memorable anecdotes from the process you'd like to share?
One cool aspect was that through a connection, I was able to get former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick to write the foreword after he sent me a personalized and signed jersey. I unfortunately did not get a chance to meet him in person, only corresponding through emails. I saw him from afar at a Rugby World Cup match in 2015 when I was in England but I could not get his attention to introduce myself.
How long have you played rugby?
I've played rugby on and off since the fall of 1987 when I started playing as a sophomore in college. When I say it out loud it means it's almost 36 years which makes me feel really old. Back then we used no kicking tees, tries were worth only 4 points and there was no lifting in line-outs. It sounds archaic, I know.
How did you find the Barbarians when you moved to Milwaukee?
I found the Barbarians on their website when I searched for rugby clubs in Milwaukee to get involved in.
The funny thing is prior to me moving to Milwaukee, my brother found them as well and bought me a Barbarian sweatshirt. He never played rugby but understands how much I love it and joined me to see New Zealand play the US in Chicago a few years back. Sadly he only used his athletic skills, speed and strength for American football. He would have been a really solid center or flanker.
Why are you donating the proceeds to the Barbarians?
Rugby clubs give so much to their members, and this is a small way of giving back. Within two weeks of me moving here I was already playing touch rugby indoors with the Barbarian old boys and felt like I was part of the team for 20 years.
Some of the older old boys swear they even remember me playing for the Harlequins before I tell them I just moved here. Not a lot of other sports provide that kind of instant camaraderie.
One other cool thing is that I was a youth coach, supporter and occasional old boy for the Pittsburgh Harlequins and now I get to be a part of a club that used to be called the Harlequins as well. It was all meant to be.