Off the Yard: Volume II

Stop the presses, someone emailed me a question!!! As a result, Josh of Monterey, CA. will be the proud recipient of a genuine, untarnished, full ticket from the 1996 Navy-Notre Dame game in Dublin, Ireland. Since the game ended over a decade ago, Josh has two options: He can either save it until Navy beats Notre Dame, and then put it on Ebay; or he can put it on Ebay now.

Either way, Josh from Monterey got something for just sending me a question on email.  Now if only I could answer his question, then, perhaps I would be onto something with this column.  However before we get to his question (and answer), I figured I would respond to some feedback Volume I generated.


Whatcha Talkin' About Willis?


In regards to giving credence to any discussion regarding Richie Meade's standing as head coach of the Navy lacrosse team, I'll just say this.  I said Navy should never fire him.  I could have said, "Anyone who thinks Richie Meade's job is in jeopardy is knucklehead," but I decided to go in a more professional direction.


How About Calling It the Wesley Whoop…


I also received some feedback regarding the Wesley Brown Field House.  Turns out it will have a running track which will be utilized by all Navy track teams as well as the physical education department.  This should hopefully put an end to the "Halsey Hack," a mysterious cough brought on by circling the track in the outdated Halsey Field House.  But what if an undiagnosed throat clearing illness takes flight in the new location?  What would it be called?  Send your ideas to and I'll publish the best ones I receive in Volume III.  Sorry, no prizes for these submissions, just a chance to communicate electronically with a icon.


Future DC Bowl Should Interest Army and Air Force


My commentary on Army being the biggest loser when Navy committed to the Poinsettia Bowl this early was immediately followed the next day by a Washington Times  story about the Washington DC council eyeing a bowl game for the district in December at RFK.  Don't be fooled by the cold weather aspect of this scenario because once Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder gets a tour of the new Nationals baseball stadium when it opens next spring, he will unveil plans to build a new downtown stadium with a retractable roof.  Where will he find the room to build this?  Would you believe right on top of the current RFK stadium?  DC doesn't sound so bad for a bowl game now does it?  I bet not only Army, but Air Force as well would be interested in coming to the nation's capital during the holiday season for a bowl game.  A colleague and diehard Skins fan put the Snyder stadium plan in my head, but since he represents the minority of the public who do not read this column, I figured I could pass off his idea as my own.  Maybe he'll email me at and ask me where I get off stealing his thoughts.  If he does, it would count as submitting a question, so that would be cool.


Now to Josh's questions: First, why does (Navy lacrosse) appear to have so much trouble in the last few years closing out games?  We had two-goal leads on both Maryland and Georgetown in the 4th quarter, but they still managed to beat us.  Unfortunately it seems to be a trend. Second, do you think that Ian Dingman is the best player we've had on our lacrosse team in the last decade?


As promised in Volume I, if I didn't know the answer to a question, I would find someone smarter to do my job for me.  Enter Washington Post writer and contributor Chris Swezey who wrote the following response:


Josh--thank you for asking David a question and breaking up the sound of crickets chirping. I will answer the second part first. Ian Dingman is the only Navy player in the past decade who, as a freshman, could have played for any team in the country. Adam Borcz, Billy and Steve Looney, Eddie McKinnon and Mickey Jarboe (incidentally all from either Calvert Hall or DeMatha) were playing at that level from their sophomore years but not right away.


When talking about the best Navy player in the past decade, my vote is for Adam Borcz. As a senior he played midfield, attack, man-up, man-down and as a wing on face-offs. He was Navy's best shooter--lefty or righty--he was in the best shape and he was probably the hardest worker. Dingman is second on my list. Billy Looney is third, Steve Looney is fourth and Rob Bailey is fifth. (Bailey may have been able to play for just about any program in the country as a freshman as well.)


To answer your first part...Don't forget that Navy scored late goals to beat Maryland in 2005 and 2006 and Georgetown in 1999 (overtime winner I think by Borcz). It cuts both ways. Navy does not have a great record in one-goal games under Richie Meade, but I'd be more critical of him and the team if those losses were to teams Navy should be beating. There aren't too many one-goal losses to Stony Brook or Penn State or Army.


Losing the two-goal leads late in games is frustrating, but lacrosse is a game of huge momentum swings because of face-offs. Against Maryland this year and Georgetown in the playoffs last year, the momentum went their way because their guys were winning face-offs. The Georgetown game this year almost shouldn't count because of the injury to

Nechanicky. That changed everything, not least that it meant the Hoyas could move its best defender (Lambe) down to Mirabito.


One thing that has frustrated me in the past about Navy teams is that in big games they don't always play with confidence. In particular I thought the 2005 quarterfinal against Virginia was there for the taking but the Mids were down 4-1 almost from the outset and, without Steve Looney (he was injured), the fight back used too much energy. Here's to hoping Navy plays with confidence this weekend. – Chris Swezey


I'm not too sure about the crickets comment at the beginning, but Chris practically wrote my entire column for me, so I'll let it pass – this time.  And that brings us to the end of Volume II.  Congratulations, you made it!  Maybe you think you deserve a prize for that alone.  Sorry, you don't.  However, if you cut and paste into the TO: line of an email and be the first person to send me a question, you will win a prize.  What will it be this week?  Don't worry; I just cleaned out my garage, so it is sure to be something good.  Like I said before, this isn't the USA Today, so my prize budget is limited to stuff I couldn't sell at my yard sale.  But hey, ask Josh if he's complaining. Top Stories