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ESPN Cares About Lacrosse?

2 - Published March 4, 2009 by in Grow The Game

If you’ve made a visit to ESPN.com’s lacrosse section any time within the last five years, you may have thought you were looking at a stagnant page. Stories from the previous spring would grace the screen for months at a time, moving only when the higher ups at the World Wide Leader thought it was time to throw the lacrosse community a bone.

There were even “what is lacrosse?” style articles written by Quint Kessenich, making the sport look as if it were some side show that nobody outside of New England had heard about.

Recently however, the sports giant has started to pay attention to the fastest game on two feet. The top four articles on the lacrosse page were written within the last two days, covering everything from the college game to the NLL. Granted, much of the content is swiped straight from Inside Lacrosse, but even Kessenich’s articles have transitioned from “how-to” guides to thoughtful analysis of the current state of the game.

Screenshot of ESPN’s Lacrosse homepage

Maybe it’s because of the recent influx of games being shown on ESPNU, or because more people are marking lacrosse as their primary sport on their ESPN Profiles. Whatever it is, ESPN is starting to recognize our game as both legitimate and worth its time.

But why should we care what ESPN thinks? After all, we have sites like this to help fans get their lacrosse fix.

I agree, and I also believe that the most passionate and highest quality content will come from sites run by current and former players that still have a hand in the lacrosse community (i.e. LacrosseAllStars.com). But whether we like it or not, ESPN’s opinion of a sport is a huge factor in determining whether or not the game is considered to be on the fringe, or mainstream. Without that “mainstream” moniker, the game will have a hard time growing.

Perhaps one day lacrosse will be one of the sports with a link right at the top of ESPN.com’s main page. For now, I’m just happy I’m reading about 2009.