Something Moore -- Nov. 29
Nov. 29, 2010
Since I have sat out a few games this season due to a concussion, it has given me some time to observe some of my teammates pre-game rituals. No two are the same, but honestly some are just weird. Some players like to get in the zone, ignoring everything and everyone around them just focusing on the game ahead. The Leopards have a few players like this, but none that are more intense than Ryan Willen.
I remember noticing this before the first game of my career at Wagner two years ago. Ryan's face was stone cold. Other players tried to joke around with him and found no success in cracking the mentally focused Ryguy. At first, I thought he was just nervous and maybe scared to play, but eventually realized that it was just his way of preparing.
Our head coach could also fall into this isolated preparation category. During home games, Coach O likes to escape to the third floor so he can look through the windows at warm-ups with his Diet Coke in hand. Sometimes I think he only goes up there because he is disgusted by warm-up music these days.
Other players are completely opposite, tending to relax and joke around with teammates in order to loosen up. For us, J.D. Pelham dominates this group. J.D. is a very exuberant kid at heart. If you have seen J.D. at any time before our games you will understand why I say this. Perhaps the most memorable part of J.D.'s pre-game ritual is his dance after player introductions. Every game, he can be seen doing any dance from the John Wall dance to the Dougie to Rodney Dangerfield's Caddy Shack dance. Rob Delaney and his wise guy jokes could probably be thrown into this category.
If there is one person who takes his pre-game routine more seriously than anyone, it would have to be our team academic liaison Dr. Alan Childs. Many teams at Lafayette work with professors who act as a kind of adviser for the team. Let's just say, if there was a fantasy draft of all the professors in the school for team liaison, Dr. Childs would easily be a first rounder.
He travels with us to every road game, doing everything from helping players with academic issues to heckling the refs from the end of the bench. When it comes to game time, Dr. Childs has a better game face than anyone. On road trips, while the team is getting on the court to shoot and loosen up, Dr. Childs will sit somewhere in the stands with his headphones looking as if he were preparing to watch us play the national championship. The fact is, we're all different in how we prepare, but I guess all that really matters is that we are ready when the ball is tossed up.
We are just beginning our five-game home stand that will last almost two weeks. It's always great to be home and we hope to see y'all at the games!
If you have questions for Andy, email firstname.lastname@example.org