Stanford football battled for roses on Monday. However, this time it wasn’t in the sun-soaked field of the Rose Bowl. No. This battle took place among the infinite sand dunes of Ica, Peru.
“The Bachelor,” the show of women competing for the love of one man, had an unlikely visitor from the Cardinal family. Stanford sports performance coach Ross Jirgl, a man who has taken head coach David Shaw’s run–on–all-downs mentality, made an appearance on the show to relight his love of seven years, Becca Kufrin.
Jirgl has been with Stanford football for the past year, which is almost the same time he and Becca have been apart. But the college football offseason comes with many challenges, including loneliness.
Becca had been enthralled with the current Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., who reciprocated his interest in her. However, the show’s producers decided the right moment to strike was in the show’s penultimate episode.
Jirgl, wearing a sand-colored jacket with a blue button-up shirt, calmly walked like a man who’s determined to run it on 4th-and-goal. He surprised his ex like Coach Shaw sending Jake Bailey on a fake and professed his love.
Much to Jirgl’s dismay, Becca rebuked his love, comparing the strength coach to Ryan Gosling’s character in “The Notebook.”
He couldn’t go back to the Farm without a victory in the south, but the flowers and the strong jawline didn’t impress her. He realized that he was facing an insurmountable lead with no time left. Dejected and rejected, Jirgl left Peru, knowing the only love he has now is in Palo Alto.
Although Jirgl might have felt alone at the moment, he had many Stanford players and coaches and even the brokenhearted supporting his quest for happiness.
Safety Justin Reid took a break training for the NFL Combine to support his former strength coach. His Instagram story depicts his emotional rollercoaster of seeing his coach on TV and then seeing his coach’s heart broken.
Stanford Associate Athletic Director and Director of Recruiting & Football Relations Mike Eubanks voiced his support on Twitter tweeting #TeamRoss and a picture of Jirgl before he was hurt.
#TeamRoss #StanfordMan pic.twitter.com/CNozlKMaEG
— Mike Eubanks (@maeubanks) February 27, 2018
Reid also took to Twitter to show his support.
Coach Jirgl is getting some ELITE pub rn. #TeamRoss
— Justin Reid (@JustinqReid) February 27, 2018
There is even a petition to make Jirgl the next Bachelor.
Whether it’s raining on a boat or in the arid desert, the quest for love is difficult and especially so when you are coaching 300-pound young adults for 10 months out of the year.
But that doesn’t mean Jirgl should stop chasing after roses.
Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.