Player Spotlight highlights the finer details and elements while supplying insight to the fans on what a player's thought process may be pertaining to a certain play, game or situation. It brings the intensity, passion, and inner most thoughts of the individual player that otherwise may not be felt or heard.
Tom Ryan of the Philadelphia Wings has been one of the most popular players in the Wings organization. Fans have taken to calling Tom, "Dude" for his reggae style dreadlocks.
The Dude thing started when Ryan played for the Boston Blazers. The stadium sound effects crew would play the Aerosmith song, "Dude Looks Like a Lady" in a good-natured attempt to tease Ryan.
Upon his arrival in Philadelphia, it was simply a matter of turning to Dude.
Ryan is always very approachable, and always has a pleasant comment or friendly, "Hello" for fans and supporters.
Tom was injured almost two years ago. He has been suffering from post concussion syndrome. But, as you can see, it doesn't slow him down.
Ryan may be the hardest working man in lacrosse. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Tom for doing this interview with me....
Kevin M. Neibauer had time to chat on a variety of subjects.
|How and when did the concussion occur?|
I got a concussion playing for the Wings back in February of 2003. I was chasing the ball off a face off and was leveled by Rochester's Regy Thorpe. I sat out the rest of the game but was back in the line up for the following week's game against Ottawa and then again two weeks later versus Columbus. There was no particular hit during those games that stick out in my mind. However, while I was driving home 2 hours after the game, my vision started acting up on me and when I got home I noticed one pupil was completely flared up. This visual thing lasted a couple months. My condition has improved a bit since then, but I have not been able to lift or run for the past year.
They say that the dangerous thing with concussions is when you injure your head when you are still recovering from a concussion. In retrospect that is what happened to me.
|How did the rehab and therapy go?|
|Unfortunately, there is no rehab or therapy that I know of… Just taking it easy. It has been over a year and a half now and I feel like I should be improving faster than I have, so I have started looking into forms of alternative therapy.
|You have several lacrosse interests other the NLL and MLL; describe some of them...|
|I work for a company called The Sports Institute that specializes in putting on lacrosse camps, clinics, tournaments and events. I have been involved with deBeer Lacrosse for over seven years and have run the sales and promotion. This past summer I put on the deBeer Stick Trick Competition for boys and girls at various youth tournaments. I also run a lacrosse camp called "Tom Ryan's All Star Lacrosse Academy". For
the past 6 years I have coached collegiate women's lacrosse at Loyola and Towson, in addition I write articles for Inside Lacrosse and have a column on e-lacrosse.com.
|When did you first start playing lacrosse?|
|I started in 5th grade but back then it was just one of many sports that I played. Hockey was my favorite until my junior year in high school when I started to concentrate on lacrosse.
|What do you expect from the Wings this season?|
|I don't know exactly what to expect. I think last year's team lacked senior leadership. The pieces were there but the attitude and energy was not. I think the world of Adam Mueller and Tony Resch as coaches and as people, I don't know much about Lindsay Sanderson firsthand, but from what I understand he is planning on cleaning house a little.
|Is coaching in your future?|
|I have been coaching collegiate lacrosse since I graduated from college over ten years ago. I love to be a part of a team whether playing or coaching. I will most likely coach in the NLL but after being a part of so many teams I am going to wait for the right opportunity.
|You did some television for the Wings last season....can you describe that? And, is television or acting in your future?|
|I was co-host for the Rip Roaring Lacrosse show. It was a series with Rippy Sailing that aired on Comcast SportsNet that consisted of Wings highlights, interviews and skits.
I have been working on a lacrosse DVD called Stir It Up for the past year and a half and expect it to be released before Christmas. It is part instructional and part biographical and should be unlike anything out there. I enjoy the film process and expect to take on other projects when this one is complete.
|Thanks again Tom...|
Kevin M. Neibauer has been contributing articles to several on-line sites in the Philadelphia, Pa. area.
Currently acts as the Philadelphia Correspondent for InTheCrease.com and also Just Hockey. Kevin has been writing for Just Hockey for three seasons and for InTheCrease for two.
Currently being published each month, Neibauer covers the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League for Just Hockey.
Besides those two sites, Neibauer has contributed to several Lacrosse sites, as well as writing for three Philadelphia based, All-Sports sites.
Kevin was introduced to the indoor game of Lacrosse in the 1970's, when as a child, he would attend games in the old Eagle Pro Box League.
Other Lacrosse background: Served as a referee in the Philadelphia Box Lacrosse Association.
Neibauer, a day time construction worker, is married and lives in Philadelphia with his family.
Kevin can be reached at KJIEN@aol.com