The thing you have to remember is that Mikey was ALWAYS expected to do great things. He was the #1 recruit in the country coming out of high school. At Syracuse, he met these expectations – 4x 1st Team All-American, 4x Trumbull winner, 2x Tewaaraton winner, 2x NCAA tourney MVP and rings for 2 fingers. Statistically speaking, he is the greatest player to ever come through the Carrier Dome.
What people forget, is that pressure of that intensity on a young athlete is very hard to deal with. If you look at Mikey’s academic record at Cuse, he was constantly in and out of academic eligibility and struggled while he was in-season to keep his grades at a point where he could play Fall Ball. This is pretty indicative that the ONLY thing he cared about in season was lacrosse, so that he could meet those expectations. While this still happens today, I feel that it is handled better than it was in the past.
I interned with the Cannons in 08, and saw first hand the hype behind him as a player. Pre-game he would come out of the locker room and there would be an immediate crowd. If I remember correctly, there was a camera crew following him around for some documentary. As he left the field his path would be blocked and he would be swarmed by a thousand fans. (Some people don’t know this, but he struggled with cramps and needed a ton of treatment before and after games) You could see how much the pressure was affecting him. It was no shock to me that he stepped away after that season.
Will Mikey return? Perhaps. Maybe this time off was what he needed to finally get the chance to be himself and not have expectations to live up to. However, once he returns, he will be thrust right back into the spotlight that seemed to drive him away from the game. Time will tell, I hope that he can find a happy medium where he can still play and keep his sanity.
Because, honestly, who didn’t enjoy watching him play??
A aside, I can’t find his music on Spotify, is it worth listening to? Where can I find it?]]>