Hall of Fame Inductee: Pat McCabe
Chaos LC offensive coordinator Matt Panetta played with Pat McCabe at Elmont High School before battling against him at Hopkins and Syracuse, respectively, in the early ‘90s. Panetta rattles off the takeaway checks in McCabe’s arsenal with no signs of slowing down or stopping.
“He was throwing standard over-the-head checks. He would throw that righty slap check,” said Panetta. “He would do a butt end dig and rip you. Then he would do a fake – when the attackman’s running righty – he would do a fake over-the-head and the guy would bring his stick in front of him, and Pat would strip him in the front.”
Panetta estimates McCabe had four or five favorite takeaway checks to throw.
McCabe’s cover abilities are put on par with Dave Pietramala’s. And that’s it. Those two are on another level according to their peers. McCabe’s best cover days may have been before MLL was founded. When he joined the Long Island Lizards in ‘01, McCabe’s IQ had surpassed his athleticism.
“Out of all of his respective athletic qualities, I would argue that his anticipation of situations developing was the best,” said Chaos LC head coach Andy Towers. “From a defensive perspective that has tremendous value. When you’re playing on-ball, what your opponent is gonna do. But when you’re playing off-ball, understanding scheme and where the ball is probably gonna go puts him in a position to knock down passes and pick them off.”
McCabe led the Lizards to the league’s first three Championship games. They won in ‘01 and ‘03. McCabe was communicating inside, locking off Baltimore’s crafty crease attackman, Tom Marechek.
“His willingness to communicate and help his teammates success – realizing that their success was his success – was perhaps his greatest ability,” said Towers. “That evolution of him as a player down the stretch of his career speaks to just how much of a student of the game and of that position he truly is.”