Nature vs. Nurture
Cornell’s David McKee turn in a brilliant showing in goal
against Michigan State last Friday, one couldn’t help but
reminisce about the movie ‘Trading Places.’ Yeah,
that’s right, the 1983 film starring Eddie Murphy as a homeless
panhandler and Dan Ackroyd as a blue-blood commodities broker.
premise was centered on a wager between wealthy investors Mortimer
and Randolph Duke, played by Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy. The
brothers had argued for years about the prime recipe for success
– was it a result of one’s upbringing, or was it a
matter of merely getting the opportunity to succeed? The Dukes
test their theories by orchestrating a series of events that land
Murphy in high society and Ackroyd in the gutter.
withstand a barrage of shots – 37 in all – in the
1-1 draw last weekend sparked an internal debate. In recent years,
people in the college hockey community have attributed the success
of Cornell goaltenders to the team’s style of play. When
you’re only facing 15 shots a game, the detractors claim,
anyone can be a star.
happened with David LeNeveu,” said Cornell coach Mike Schafer,
referring to the 2003 All-American, “and he produced the
best numbers in the history of college hockey.”
So if a guy
who was a Hobey Baker Award finalist, owner of the best single-season
goals against average in NCAA history and topped Ken Freakin’
Dryden’s school and league record for career shutouts gets
the short shrift, what chance does a kid who calls Irving, Texas,
are always doubts being from Texas,” McKee said. “People
are like, ‘You don’t play hockey.’ It’s
always good to come in and prove yourself.”
numbers from his freshman campaign – a 16-10-6 record, a
1.84 goals against average and a .920 save percentage –
speak for themselves. Consider his 4-1-1 record, 1.19 goals against
average and .947 save percentage through six games this season
as the exclamation point.
is still a product of the system, right? Just like LeNeveu and
Matt Underhill. Just like Ryan Miller and Chad Alban owed their
success to Ron Mason’s system at Michigan State. If that’s
the case, shouldn’t goaltenders who play for teams that
aren’t as gifted defensively – Bowling Green’s
Jordan Sigalet comes to mind – get more recognition?
Places’, Ackroyd and Murphy’s characters realize they’re
being manipulated by the Dukes and join forces to seek revenge,
and they get the job done. Regardless of which side of the nature-nurture
debate one aligns with, isn’t that all that matters?
are going to write what they want to write…and think what
they want to think,” Schafer said about McKee. “I
just know he’s a great goaltender.”