I think Mike is clear that it was the players with previous experience who knew how to win. Conlin and Lough were OLA champs with Brampton(1962) and John Davis had won the Minto Cup as a pickup with Hastings(1961). The 1950s Gaels likely did not have anyone with championship winning experience. Certainly the 1995 Warriors had no such experience.
But I do wonder how much of a factor the Bishop breakdown was. Mike once told me that for road games the Green Gael bus was segregated with the Bishop kids in one half and the experienced players in the other half. Bishop not wanting his boys to pick up any of the older player's bad habits. Hardly sounds like a harmonious team about to go on a Minto run. The mellow Bishop of the '63 playoffs is quite a paradox considering that he was anything but mellow his second stint with the Gaels and his time as Whitby coach. Did he eventually become a victim of his own success? It'd be interesting to know what more knowledgeable lacrosse people who were close to Bishop would think of that. Guys like Bob Hanna or Jim Brady who were around the whole time. I missed my chance to talk to them about that years ago.
Perhaps Fred Whalley is the unsung hero? I remember when Bishop was fired in 1981 and replaced by Peter Vipond. His first decision was to cut practices from 2 hours to 90 minutes. He won the dressing room instantly. The first Green Gael practice I ever witnessed was at Farewell Bowl, a full contact practice on a coarse concrete floor. Every players came off with skinned knees and elbows - a bloody mess! Bishop was simply too intense and fanatical. Maybe the Whalley mid season break was key to the players having something in the tank for their playoff run?
Posted on Oct 18, 2011, 11:06 AM from IP address 18.104.22.168