Jack Parker's Wiseguys: Book Excerpt
by Tim Rappleye/CHN Reporter
The following is excerpted from Tim Rappleye's new book: Jack Parker's Wiseguys.
Dartmouth hockey fans were the perfect role models for John Landis' rowdy film project Animal House in 1977. Miracle Man Dave Silk found himself smack dap in the middle of the Dartmouth frat scene. This passage is excerpted from author Tim Rappleye's new book: Jack Parker's Wiseguys.
The Terriers’ next test was up in Hanover, New Hampshire, facing Dartmouth and their rowdy student fans in Thompson Arena. This was a game in which BU’s fresh faces once again rescued the upperclassmen, and a Terrier veteran returned the favor in the pre-game.
A controversial incident occurred during the pregame, in which Silk obtained a DNA sample from one of Dartmouth’s most boisterous fans. Like so many other road buildings BU played in that year, Thompson Arena was a tempest of negative energy during warm-ups, with fans perched on top of the Plexiglas to make sure they could express themselves fully.
“All the Dartmouth frat boys are hanging over the glass,” said Silk. Keep in mind that the movie Animal House was in production at that moment, and director John Landis and the late writer Harold Ramis both stated that the lm was based on Dartmouth College and its raucous frat party life. The undergrads hanging over the glass on that December afternoon were essentially Animal House role models. At least one had obtained a roster and done enough homework to connect names with uniform numbers of the enemy players. And they desperately sought Silk’s attention.
“We’re skating around, and the frat guys are yelling, ‘Hey Silk, hey Dave!’ And as I look up, he spits this big loogie in my face, all over me. So now I’m thinking, that son of a . . .” Rather than stop and confront this real-life Bluto Blutarsky, Silk skated a tight circle around his zone, picking up speed like a Roller Derby villain, intent on getting even for the obscene injustice. Silk arrived just prior to another DNA deposit. “As I do a loop, I see the same guy yelling, ‘Hey Fidler, Fidler! Hey Mark!’ So I sped up.” Just as young Bluto puckered up to unload on the unsuspecting Fidler, he noticed a blunt object heading his way, with evil intent. Somehow the Blutarsky wannabe was sober enough to pull a Keanu Reeves Matrix dodge to avoid the heel of Silk’s Christian Brothers stick. “He saw me coming at the last minute,” said Silk, “and ducked down so my stick broke over the glass, not over his head.” The frat party on the glass immediately broke up, sans bloodshed but not controversy. “It might have glanced him,” conceded Silk, “but it certainly didn’t hurt him.”
Silk added insult to psychic injury when he scored early at Thompson Arena, but BU had difficulty shaking the Big Green, who pounded thirty shots at BU netminder Brian Durocher. Coached by clever tactician George Crowe, Dartmouth held a 2–1 lead entering the final period. That’s when BU’s freshmen stepped up once again with the game on the line. Daryl MacLeod got the tying goal early on a feed from Billy Cotter, and then Cotter banged home the winner with helpers from classmates MacLeod and Miller. BU secured the 3–2 victory, a game that could have easily gone sideways. It was Durocher’s first Division I win of the young season, and the Terriers were ready to steal away into the frigid New Hampshire night with two valuable points. Then the long arm of the law arrived.
Silk remembers being in his birthday suit when he was alerted. “I’m in the shower, and one of the coaches says, ‘Dave, come out.’ And there’s a couple of Dartmouth cops, and they want to press charges,” said Silk. “I remember Al Sid, a friend of BU hockey, was there, and they all huddled up with Jack Parker and the coaches.”
BU radio play-by-play man Artie Moher arrived at a scene he clearly didn’t expect to see: Silk dripping wet, wearing only a towel, being questioned by men in badges. “Campus security was there,” said Moher, “and one of these kids claimed that Silk hit him with his stick. For a second we were thinking we might have to wait a little longer than we thought to get out of Hanover.” Fortunately, the Dartmouth athletic director saw what actually transpired and was a compelling witness. “Seaver Peters came down, and he pretty much put the blame on the students,” said Moher.
“There was a summit meeting outside,” said Silk. “One thing led to another, and it all went away.” After dressing, Silk was now free to get on the bus and head home with the rest of his teammates. As for his accusers? “Those knuckleheads were right out of central casting.”
There is no definitive record of Dartmouth AD Peters’ next meeting with the frat boys in question and whether or not he uttered the phrase, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.”