Thinking Outside The Box

Mike Murphy is in his eighth season as an assistant coach with the Army lacrosse team. Under his tutelage, the Black Knights have consistently been ranked among the nation's top defenses, while he has also guided some of the most prolific goalkeepers in Academy history. A native of Beverly, Massachusetts, Murphy graduated from New Hampshire in 1996 where he was a three-year lacrosse letterman for the Wildcats.

April 5, 2011

Beginnings, Baby Bieber, and the Bison

As you might imagine I spent most of Saturday and Sunday reflecting on Saturday’s tough loss to Colgate and brainstorming “B’s” for this week.  I will get to Colgate in a minute.  For the life of me, I could not come up with two B words.  Most weeks I have a choice of two letters, but there is no alternative this week, it has to be B, or not to be…wait, what was the question??!!

My little blog turns 1 today.  Yes indeed, today marks the one year anniversary of the beginning of our little behind the scenes look at Army lacrosse.  I went back and looked at my very first blog.  It was 531 words long and was originally supposed to be called “thoughts outside the box.” 

Look how far we have come. Last week’s blog was 1530 words long and the title changed before #1 was even posted. It is ironic though as I look back at numero uno, in our very first blog I talked about having to come back after a defeat. Then the opponent was Hofstra, who kicked our butt in 2010 and we came back to win an OT thriller vs. Colgate, which kind of kick started our 2010 push into the Patriot League Tournament. Well, flash forward a year and now the loss is to Colgate and the next opponent is Bucknell. I guess as some things change, others do not.

As I look back on the year how could I not talk about Colin?! The little guy is approaching his first birthday. Fatherhood has been interesting. I am sure our lacrosse boys will say it’s made me kinder and gentler. 

The challenge of the season is still taxing, but there is just something about going home to see your son that melts the stress away. It’s nice that he still loves me even though we may have lost or had a bad practice.

Our lives have gotten a little crazier between pickups, drop offs, day care and baby sisters. Jen and I joke that it has taken a “village” to raise this little boy. As Jen is still working, Colin has acquired a harem of babysitters. Colin is the envy of all my single male friends; he gets to hang out with more pretty women than they do. 

This everyday interaction with different people has made him quite comfortable around people, but in the end, he still prefers mom. It’s been a crazy adjustment, but as Coach Georgalas reminds me, the fun stuff has just begun!

I have a tendency to nickname everyone, and my son has been no different. When he was in Jen’s belly he was referred to as “peanut.”  When he was born, I started to call him Mr. Magoo because he would give me this kind of googily-eyed look that reminded me of the old cartoon character. But Mr. Magoo has morphed into Magoobers … don’t ask me why or how, it’s just what I call him. My mother laughs and tells me the poor boy won’t know what his real name is due to all his nicknames. He is the life of the party. Jen and I wonder all the time, “what did we ever talk about before we had Colin?”

My wife Jen takes part in a book club with some of her friends; well, maybe it should be called a wine club, because I think the gals drink more wine than read books. Colin is the only male allowed at book club. The other day I got a picture sent to me from one of our friends of Colin at book club and my heart just sank! There was my man sitting on the carpet with THAT hairdo!

Not another Bieber!  There is the original, okay whatever. Then Tom Brady went with the Bieber, that pained me … but now my son!!!!  Here is a picture of the pop sensation and no, not the Canadian one, the Irish one … OH baby, baby, baby!

 I don’t know about that hair style, CJ. 

He is a good little boy and he makes Jen and I laugh a lot! Our little guy is teething, but he is staying strong with the team, no matter the pain – no alcohol.

As we reflect on the week that was, what can I say about the game? Give Colgate all the credit, they made more plays than we did. Impressively, they turned the mistakes we made into goals.  We are proud of the effort our team showed, but you just can’t make as many mental and physical mistakes as we did and expect to beat a hungry team. I give the Raiders a lot of credit – they are a talented bunch who gave us a great effort. 

Garrett Thul was named the player of the game for his four goals and one assist performance. Garrett continues to develop his overall game, and when he starts to realize that he can be just as dangerous distributing the ball, watch out. Sophomore Matt Ghidotti was named the PPOW for his efforts last week. Congrats to both Garrett and Matt.

I talked before about how some things have changed about the blog, but how other things have not. 

Here is the exact quote from my first blog on April 5, 2010. “This week begins a big stretch of some pivotal games for us. First up is Bucknell. They are a talented team that always plays us tough. We will have our hands full.”

I guess we have come full circle because the same can be said in 2011. Coach Alberici asked the guys after film on Monday, “How are you going to respond to getting beaten?” 

I think the old saying goes, life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to it. Well boys, you have been punched in the gut. How are we going to respond?

I hope our most recent history is a good indicator of our future. This group has had a tendency to bounce back. It will not be easy, but who wants easy?

Bucknell has talent all over the field. From the attack, at the face-off “x” and into the goal, they are loaded with good players. Our guys have to get back to what makes us go. 

We have to get back to doing the little things. And it not just the passing, throwing and scooping, we need to communicate, execute and hustle. It’s the Bison for #3.

Thanks to all our blog readers. I have gotten some great reviews, and I hope to continue to give you a nice perspective into our Army lacrosse family.

“If you want unusual results, you need unusual behavior.”

Coach Murph

Previous Entries

Oct. 14, 2010
Jan. 27, 2011
Feb. 4, 2011
Feb. 10, 2011
Feb. 14, 2011
Feb. 22, 2011
March 1, 2011
March 8, 2011
March 15, 2011
March 22, 2011
March 29, 2011


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