Feb. 21, 2012
Day And Knights: Blog #4
Senior forward Bill Day will take Army hockey fans inside the Black Knights throughout the 2011-12 season with his blog Day And Knights. Day has played both forward and defense during his tenure with the hockey program and will offer frequent updates throughout the season.
Since my last installment, many things have occurred. We had a hard-fought series at home with Air Force. For the first time since 2006, we took on RMC and defeated the Palladins at home to capture the Challenge Trophy.
Most importantly has been the rise of Bret Larson's music career. For those of you who don't know Bret that well, he is a not your typical hockey player. If you watched the HBO 24/7 Rangers Flyers special, you would know who IIya Bryzgalov is. I would put Lars in a similar category as him. Most of the time he is in outer space. He is a real deep thinker and if you ever had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time you would know that he always has something on his mind and some interesting philosophical take on everything. Lars is also known for his unique sleeping schedule. While most people will do their homework after practice and then get to sleep around 11 and wake up the next day, Lars is the complete opposite. He will go to bed around 9, wake up at 2, and then do his homework until breakfast. While most people are getting up for school at 6:30, he already started his day more than four hours ago. If you are looking for him in the afternoon you can most likely find him running to turn in a mechanical engineering problem set or playing his guitar.
Which brings me to my main point. Most of the fans out there don't know this, but Lars is a phenomenal musician. Whenever he has the opportunity he will sit down and play the guitar. After lunch he will sit down to unwind and play for about 20 minutes, then lose track of time and end up running up to the rink to make practice two hours later. I remember going with a bunch of the guys to LTC Sheetz house last spring for dinner and Lars sat down and played for five hours straight. The kid just has a passion for music.
I have heard a lot of positive reviews from my last blog which featured senior defenseman #20 Patrick Ryan. Many people have asked when I would have another interview with him so I thought with Valentine's Day just behind us, the subject of love and the Army Hockey team would be very appropriate.
BD: You seem to be labeled as the `Love Guru' on the team, with many of our teammates coming to you for relationship advice. In our last interview, we found out that you are the oldest player in Atlantic Hockey. But does old age necessarily give you wisdom in the field of Love?
PR: "I will be the first one to admit that age DOES NOT directly translate into wisdom in any field of higher learning. Just by highlighting our team - you don't have to look far to see that there are a lot of older guys whom have absolutely no idea what is going on in the real world. Take for example senior forward Jack Barnes - the guy is `Lost in Space' (LIS) about 90% of the time at the lunch tables: if you want him to pass the food, you will have to ask at least four or five times until it registers. Getting back to your question however, unlike most of the other guys on the team, old age is the number one reason I hold the Army Hockey self-proclaimed relationship expert title."
BD: Oh really...What are your qualifications for such a title?
PR: "I thought you'd never ask... Honestly, anyone on the team that, who in their younger years, have lived away from home playing prep school, Junior, or Professional hockey (Side note - all of the guys on the team who played in the N(a)HL Junior league think they actually played in the NHL, because that's how good they think the league is compared to the others.) Now, where was I?...oh yeah, so all of the guys who've played Junior hockey can relate to the fact that relationships are tough. When you're on the road every other weekend, with long bus trips, busy days filled with practice, workouts, a few hours of TV, part time jobs, and team get-togethers, it is really hard to save time for your significant other, whether that means a simple phone call, email, text, postal, fax, or even a rare visit.
"With that said, if you add in the two years I spent at prep school, two years playing Junior hockey, and now almost four years in college, I almost have a decade of experience in these less-than-ideal relationship situations.
"Now, without getting too specific with names and outcomes (if by any chance they are reading this) I'll try to provide my resumé of qualifications in song. Here's a list of how it typically starts, develops, and ends:
-"Playing with the Boys" - Kenny Loggins
- "Beautiful Girls" - Sean Kingston
- "Haven't Met You Yet" - Micael Buble
- "Hello" - Lionel Richie
-"Let Me Take You Out" - Bryan J ft. Travis Porter
- "Your Love" - The Outfield
-"Good Life" - OneRepublic
-"Something's Missing" - John Mayer
- "Trouble" - Ray LaMontagne
-"Better That We Break" - Maroon 5
-"Please Forgive Me" - Bryan Adams
-"A little too Late" - Toby Keith
-"Last Goodbye" - James Morrison
-"Crush" - Dave Matthews Band
-"All Out of Love" - Air Supply
-"Find Out Who Your Friends Are" - Tracy Lawrence
-"The Boys are Back in Town" - Thin Lizzy
BD: Wow, that's a pretty extensive resume if you ask me. For you and your heart's sake, I won't ask how many times you have gone through that tough experience. But, now that we know you are qualified, what's the scoop on the rest of the team?
PR: "Well thanks Bill, I appreciate your compassion. At this point, I really don't know if I have anything left from all the heartache over the years. But, if there are any good girls left out there that are reading this, and can handle a guy with a broken heart and a lot of baggage - please let me know, I'll be waiting anxiously by the phone/email/facebook. You're right though, enough talking about myself - let's get on to the team.
"Now, from what I've seen, the team is pretty well divided when it comes to Love. From single, to dating, and even to being married (engaged), we have a large range of relationship types. The weird thing is though, each class year is pretty much on the same level of love. Not surprising, each year at the Academy brings new challenges and opportunities, so it's common to see the classes develop on the same pace.
"Let me start with the rookies (freshman). To be honest, when it comes to the love department, this class is having a tough time. Frankly, I don't think any of them have even thought about talking to a girl since they first got dropped off at West Point on R-Day almost eight months ago. Given, freshman year is tough - getting used to cadet life, academics, and the hockey schedule - I am not surprised that their personal lives have taken a back seat. Still, I hope some of my life lessons rub off on a few of them, realizing from time to time it's ok to put the homework away and branch out.
BD: Well I am sure they will figure it out sooner or later. How about the sophomore and junior classes?"
PR: "Funny you mention them Bill - contrary to the freshman, the sophomores, even though small in numbers (two), have already made great strides in the Love department. Whether it's just a friend, `best friends,' or even a girlfriend, the sophomores are rarely seen alone. Complete opposite of the freshman, the sophomores have no problem trading homework or extra time in the gym for a few more minutes in deep conversation with a significant other. For the most part, with some minor hiccups along the way, things have worked out relatively well so far...but with two and a half years left, judging by experience, anything can happen.
"As for the Junior class, the jury is still out. Most of the juniors keep a tight lid on their personal lives so it is hard to classify them as a whole. However, as the Love Doctor (another one of my many nicknames), I have spoken with a few of them, but have been sworn to secrecy. Other than Cody Ikkala, who is a proud member of the (dreaded) marriage club, they are an interesting group to say the least, so it's hard to see where they will end up - but I wish them the best of luck.
BD: Ya, I think most guys on the team would agree with your comments about the sophomores and juniors - especially how the marriage club is a dreaded place to be. Now, let's get on to the main event, the class that everyone reading has been dying to hear about - the Senior class."
PR: "Unlike the rest of the team, who seemed to be on the same level within their own classes, the seniors are well diversified. Naturally, as the leaders of the team, we are hitting all the levels equally - giving the underclassmen fine examples of what they want or don't want. Guys like Danny Colvin, Mark Dube, and Mike Hull have been main stays on the table-for-one singles list. If you ask me, a lot of them aren't exactly single by choice - it's hard for a girl to enjoy a dinner-and-movie date with Mark Dube when his favorite flick is "Conan." On the other hand, guys like Kyle Maggard, Marcel Alvarez, and Jack Barnes are currently locked up with a significant other. I think Maggard is trying to see how long he can date the same girl (seven years so far) without actually having to ask her to marry him, which is like playing with fire if you ask me, but hey what do I know..... And then there is the dreaded Married Club. It's true, cadets cannot be married until after graduation, but that doesn't stop some of them from getting engaged. Unfortunately, we have three of those in the senior class who decided to take the plunge - Alex McRae, Bryant Skarda, and Bret Larson. For me, it's sad to lose these close friends and teammates to such an eternal, everlasting, relationship, but at least there is one positive to such a depressing situation......bachelor parties.
BD: Well that was a nice in-depth look at the situations and troubles our team is facing in the love department. Thanks for sharing your insights, experiences, and lessons with us - I am sure we could all learn something from them - no matter how ridiculous they are. Do you have any final words in closing?"
PR: "Ya, so who's paying for this session.....as most of the guys know, my services aren't free. "
BD: Thanks for your time Pat. Always a pleasure talking with you.
This week is senior night so next blog I will have an in-depth look at our graduating seniors including yours truly.
Get Big Low,
#23 Billy Day