Cleary Has His Reasons

B.S. on Sports

Well, I'm back from the land of hourlies. Did you miss me? No? Well then, may Larry Hobdy do his touchdown dance on your solar plexis.

I promised myself not to write anything about the football team, because I find the 1977 version of the gridders about as hard to fathom as those little plastic and metal model kits that Chem 20 students play around with.

We've got one week left in the season and there's a solid chance for a four-way tie for the Ivy League championship. The last four-way tie I remember was in seventh grade in the waltz contest at Dick Champagne's Dancing School. I'm confused, so let's just shelve all those motion penalties for a second, okay?

The big news is that the start of the hockey season is only a week away. The iceman open their season next Tuesday night in Watson Rink against evenmore-obnoxious-than-they-are-in-football Dartmouth. It's a prime opportunity for everyone to go down to Watson and needle the greenies about how they choked away the football title.

But all pokechecks and buttends aside, the coming of hockey season has brought about quite a tradition here at The Crimson over the past few years. Every year in mid-November The Crimson writer who covers the hockey team saunters down to Dillon Field House to ask Head Coach Billy Cleary if he plans to talk to the paper this year.

And every year Cleary says no.

It's been five years since Billy Cleary last talked to this newspaper, five years since, as he feels, this paper last abused his players.

In fact, it's been so long since Cleary has talked to The Crimson that when I recently went down to beg for quotes for the upcoming season, I really wasn't sure why he'd stopped talking to us in the first place.

All I knew was that about five years ago in the middle of the hockey season Cleary told The Crimson that Dave Hynes, Harvard's answer to George Hughes in the early seventies, had been suspended from the team when in actuality Hynes had been expelled from the University for academic irregularities.

The Crimson got hold of the real story, ran it, and the Boston Globe ran it from The Crimson, both with the nice, big WAR IS OVER type of headlines.

Cleary, meanwhile, was livid. He couldn't believe that two newspapers could be so insensitive. He boycotted talking to the Globe for a year and to The Crimson apparently forever.

This was all I knew, and as I stalked down to Dillon last week, I was all set to tell Cleary not to be such a big baby over one mistake, to give us a break like he gave The Globe. I figured this approach, along with a backrub and a new Volare, would do the trick.

Sure, Cleary gave me the same story that he gave Mike Savit, Tom Aronson, and Bill Stedman before me:

"Now I don't have anything against you, but..."

"Jees, I'd love to talk to you, but..."

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