Hello All. I'm back! I have been given the chance to sound off monthly, though in this first column I may be a bit gentle. I'm not going to be politically correct and I'm not going to be rated R, but maybe at times PG-13. I'm not the higher power on the game and I will never be, and frankly
I don't want to be. I know myself all too well and I'm not the most well liked player on the field or off, but hey, that's me, and I ain't gonna change. I will guarantee I will be talking straight about lacrosse and not about meaningless crap. If you like Ryan Seacrest from" American Idol", you'll hate me. I promise. I am here to give you my very honest opinion on a variety of topics and I may sound off on some people in the game today, but that should be entertaining for the rest of you.
Before I get into my column, I wanted to first say congrats to the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays for their win over the Duke Blue Devils. I have tons of admiration for head coach Dave Pietramala and was glad to see him win it this year. Throughout my entire career Petro was my idol, even though I went to Syracuse. He always offered me summer jobs at his camps and had kind words to say to me every time I saw him. And for this I can honestly say "Congrats" to a Hopkins guy. Great Job Petro!
I was surprised to see the Duke in the Finals, but they had too much talent for bad coaching to mess it up once again come play-off time. The teams played hard and I didn't know who to root for because THE CUSE was out of it for the first time in the past 22 years. During the championship game I was torn, but my utter dislike for Mike Pressler, Duke's head coach made me root for The Hop. I have a quote from Coach Pressler about me in 1995- "Beardsley is the best defenseman in the country but I can't vote for him, I can't stand the guy." Have no fear, Coach. I am over it by now. I just could not root for Duke because why? I just can't stand the guy! I will say, however, that Duke will be very good again next year and they will be tough! Matt Danowski is a throwback player. I love his game. And he pushes the corner hard like the old school attackmen used too. I wish I could have gotten a chance to guard him back in the day.
I am supposed to be writing about Syracuse not being in the Final 4 this year, but there is not much to say about that and I'm not all that interested in doing what I'm supposed to do. I guess it is a crazy thing to say, "Syracuse not in the Final 4." Huh? What? Now being a Syracuse Alumnus I have been grilled about 100 times about "The Streak" ending. I have thought about what to say each time, and yet, when questioned all 100 times I responded with the same answer "We'll be back!" You should know that the arrogance of any ex-SU lacrosse player pretty much guarantees this response. I am not alone. But, that doesn't mean it's not true. You can never count out The 'Cuse. Ever.
This year was not an off year at all. It was just what it was; a season of lacrosse for The Orange. There are no excuses made; no tears shed. It just happened. I will not be one of those alumni making a big deal of it. Those players did everything they could to win games and they worked hard to be where they are now, which by any other measure is damn good. Some recent critics tend to take for granted that Syracuse would be in the Final 4 every year from now until eternity. That's unrealistic. And we had a shot to make it 23 in a row, but it came to an end at Garber Field against a tough and gritty UMASS team that beat us twice. Give them some credit. But, I know The Cuse will be back. That is something the lacrosse world knows.
I did not hit the Final 4 this year, but I was glad to hear that THE 'CUSE FAN was well represented even in the Orange's absence. I heard that there was a huge 'Cuse contingent there, proudly displaying their Orange flags, tailgating, and have a great time. As they say in the NCAA Tournament ticket selling biz, "Syracuse travels"! After all, that is what lacrosse is all about isn't it? Showing up for the game, regardless of who's in it. I have to brag. Syracuse has the best and most loyal lax fans there are. That can't be disputed!
In 2005, I have a feeling The Cuse will be back in the Final 4
So, now might be a good time to introduce myself. It is tough to describe who I am if you have never met me before. I know that I am still pretty well known for my play and my antics during my lax career because I still get nasty looks sometimes. I guess you never forget being abused by a defender in a big game.
I have played along with and against the best there is in the modern era of lacrosse. Lacrosse has grown so much since 1995 and it continues to grow. This is a great thing to happen to a great sport. Now with the internet, information about the game can spread fast and wide, only helping the game grow more. I look forward to hanging with you all year. Check back each and every month for a column.
Until next time, happy trails.
THE BOOK ON RIC BEARDSLEY:
To give some perspective, Beardsley's defensive assignment was the unstoppable Michael Watson in a National Championship won by Ric and his Syracuse Orangemen (they were "men" back then) led on offense by Casey Powell and Roy Colsey. He's a Roy Simmons, Jr. disciple and is still involved with the Syracuse alumni. Ric was a 4 time AA at Syracuse while winning two national championships and pissing a lot of folks off with his very aggressive play and antics. Off the field he was John McEnroe meets Joe Namath with a touch of Andrew "Dice" Clay. Everyone in lacrosse either loved or hated Beardsley and he hasn't mellowed with age. He's the perfect columnist. So get ready to love or hate him 'cause he's back and he's got a big freakin' bullhorn.
Beardsley's U-19 Championship Team
June 18, 2005
All Photos found and lifted from the internet
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