Blame It on the Al-koe-hol
What would you put on your bucket list if you found out you only had a few months left to live? It’s a question people love to speculate about, but I don’t think you could possibly know the answer until you are actually faced with your own mortality.
When my grandfather, Konstantinos “Gus” Ilvanakis, was told that he had anywhere between two and 12 months left to live last July, his answer was simple and not at all surprising to anyone who knew him:
“This is Harvard Hockey, A Tradition of Excellence.” The tag-line on Harvard men’s hockey’s media guide doesn’t leave much room for error. 21 Ivy League titles, 12 Frozen Four Appearances, the 1989 NCAA Championship; the Crimson’s history dating back to 1897 backs up the guide’s bold claim. More than any other Harvard sport, save for crew, the men’s ice hockey program here in Cambridge boasts accolades not only impressive for a highly-academic school in the Ivy League, but also relevant on a national level.
With nine NHL Draft picks, a returning First-Team All-American in captain Danny Biega and a No. 17 preseason ranking, the Crimson appeared poised to reignite that tradition of excellence this season. Instead, with four regular season games left on the schedule, Harvard currently sits in last place in the ECAC at 4-12-2 (7-15-3 overall). For the seventh straight year, the Crimson entered February with a losing record. My question to Harvard coach Ted Donato ’91 and everyone associated with the program is: What gives?
It’s Nov. 13, 2010. The Harvard men’s soccer team has just upset No. 18 Penn on the road in the last game for a senior class that has gone 17-8-3 in the Ivy League, including a 2009 conference championship.
It is a cathartic end to a disappointing season which saw the Crimson finish in the middle of the pack in the Ivy League after being ranked as high as No. 6 in the country under first-year head coach and former assistant Carl Junot.
“We can’t hear you! WE CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
Jersey clad and scarf-wearing Bentley fans drowned out a small group of Crimson faithful as they attempted to put together a dismissive “Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye” chant in the closing minutes of last Saturday’s dominant 5-0 Harvard men’s ice hockey victory at Bright Hockey Arena.
Call me crazy, but I think the Harvard men’s soccer team (1-5-3, 0-0-1 Ivy) is looking better than it has in a long time. Allow me to explain.
The last two seasons were plagued by high expectations and a lot of individual talent not realized as a team. The Crimson began both campaigns as a national contender and instead finished near the bottom of the Ivy League—including the program’s first winless conference season and a last-place finish in 2011.