LXM PRO: A South Texas Perspective

LXM PROs and football lovers. Two-sport athletes!

Editor’s note: 412 Lax and John Jiloty of Inside Lacrosse wrote posts on the most recent LXM PRO event in Florida.  Our own Connor Wilson offered up his opinion on the LXM PRO movement to try to find some middle ground, but let’s face it: all three of these guys are hardcore, full-time lacrosse people.  Clearly we were missing an important perspective on the traveling pro tour: what do members of the lacrosse community in emerging areas think?

Well, our newest contributor, Josh Acut of the Flour Bluff Lacrosse Club in Corpus Christi, TX, weighed in with his thoughts on LXM and we think he brings an important point of view to the conversation.  Take it away, Josh!

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the success or failure of the LXM PRO Tour events, but THE ONE OPINION that truly matters is mine (now heads are shaking and some of you just called me a nickname that started with profanity, but hear me out).

With time, LXM PRO can and will become the X-Games or Dew Tour of the lacrosse world (some purists are already calling for me out to be burned at the stake, but I’m about to win you over).  Lacrosse is the oldest team sport in America, yet it is still the red-headed step child to the “big three” baseball, football, and basketball.  The lacrosse following is strong, but when you look at it from the eyes of someone from a market where lacrosse is extinct, the lacrosse culture does one thing really well… It stays within its comfort zone, plays it safe, and doesn’t push itself out of the box.

In comes LXM PRO.  They have decided to go into “emerging” markets, which in my eyes is still playing it safe, to put on events where it is willing to share the stage with music, in order to bring in another subculture that can witness lacrosse being played by arguably some of the best lacrosse players in the world.

Now why my rant?  Because the Flour Bluff Lacrosse Club (Corpus Christi, TX) and literally all its ideas, growth, and model are based on the YouTube video of the 1st LXM PRO event.  That video is what I have watched over and over again, and is what I am basing an event I am trying to put together on.  The LXM PRO and all of its athletes wanted to introduce and grow lacrosse in “emerging” markets… Well, they have.

Our initial instruction on how to play were YouTube videos of Kyle Harrison, Joe Walters, Brett Hughes, and the Ritz Bros… All LXM PRO players.  Don’t believe me???  The local news even did a piece on the fact that we had learned how to play lacrosse from the YouTubes!

Now after this recent LXM PRO event in Florida, they will definitely have to do some thinking about how to make each event better and how to grow the game to the best of their abilities, but to all the lacrosse players, fanatics, and critics out there who say they “want to grow the game”… When was the last time you really grew the game?  And if you think personally teaching little kids at a lacrosse camp in the Northeast really counts, it really doesn’t because they already wanted to play and would have just gone to the internet like I did.  Reach out to the “emerging” markets and offer to do clinics there.  Thanks to Will Dalton (MLL) for offering to come to Corpus Christi, TX (that event will happen soon!).

Now I hope to get some real feedback.  Call me out!  Try to put me in my place.  But I’ll end with this:

Did I just offend you?  I hope not.  I hope I just inspired you to buy some extra lacrosse equipment, go to the local junior high or high school football or soccer field, turn on some music, and show people who have NEVER seen lacrosse why we all love it.

@LXMPRO: LXM512 is around the corner.  If you need a wingman in TX call us up, FB LAX has your back.

Peace, Lacrosse, and Happiness,
Josh Acut

P.S. – Gotta end it with a laugh.  If any of you are getting married soon, HOLLA at your boy…. I’m also a wedding officiant!  Rev Chewy can RIP THE DUCK!  Shameless plug, but I hope you’re laughing!

(Photo credit: LXM PRO on Facebook)

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  • Since I was in attendence at the 904/386 event, my issues with the event were the event itself. Bad choice in location, bad choice in teaming up with an existing HS fall ball tournament, bad choice in not having a musical act & Jilly Hendrix doesn’t count as a musical act, my old roommate can spin better then she does, bad choice in not having any type of half-time fun (stick trick comp, hardest shot comp, etc). I heard some not so good things about the clinic that was held, something about a 5 minute Offense portion only, but since I wasn’t there, I don’t know for sure.

    It was also reported the Casey Powell would’ve been in attendance, but I’m assuming with his new rep’in Easton duties, pulled him out for the ND vs JH game out in San Fran, that Easton put on.

    I was honestly excited for this event, as I watched the youtube(s) vid’s of previous events, saw all the photo’s, just like you did. But when we walked up, my first reaction to the “venue” was.. what is this? Where is the stage, where are the fans, where is anything that resembles what I saw previously at past LXM events. Thank god I didn’t fork out the $75 for VIP either.

    The game itself was a very, very entertaining game and the guys who played were excellent players. It was a great thing for the young guns in attendance to see some pro players, live and in person. The chance to interact with the players after the game, was also huge for the young kids. If I wasn’t a washed up 30 year old with bad ankles, and was still trying to live the dream as a 15 year old lax bro, I would’ve been asking for autographs and taking pictures with all of those guys. I can’t imagine what that did for those kids and only wish I had the opportunity like that, when I first started playing.

    Also, in the long-run, paying $20 bucks to see Kyle Harrison, play, in person for the 1st time, wasn’t all that bad.

    I’m not saying that LXM is dead like 412 did, I just hope that LXM takes this failure and makes sure that it never happens again. AND that they return to Florida and make up for this flop. Preferably in Orlando.

    BTW, I’m out there, growing the game as a youth and HS coach.. in Orlando, so don’t assume that the only critic’s out there, aren’t doing anything to help the sport.

  • Thanks for the reply Mike. First, I’m not trying to discount anybody’s efforts when they are truly trying to Grow The Game, like you and coaching Youth and HS LAX, but I’ve read alot of articles lately all over the place, as i try to learn more about the game, of people saying they want the game to grow but they just sit there and do nothing but talk about it. I really just want to get some people thinking about “doing” not just “saying”.

    Thanks again,

  • As somebody that is actively working to grow the game, I support the mission of LXM. As somebody that takes growing the game very seriously, I feel LXM is failing.
    Sure the first few events were successful, but those “emerging areas” have been emerging for better than a decade. The lacrosse being played there is already of considerable quality and the programs are fairly established. But I don’t disagree with those cities (except Baltimore*) because the tour needs an audience for the lax games to be successful. I understand that catering to a fairly developed lacrosse community is essential from a business standpoint.**
    Jacksonville was the event’s first real test and they failed miserably. Despite the Dolphins’ moderately successful first NCAA season, Jacksonville was the first true “emerging area” to date, yet the event could not book a venue in the city. Not having a half time skill contest was a bad decision as marginal and even non-lax fans can appreciate fastest shots, stick tricks, and trick shots. These are tools that nearly every sport uses to get the attention of would be fans. And failing to sign a real music act was the biggest mistake of all. The whole point of the concert portion of the tour is to attract the same marginal and non-lax fans that are captivated by the trick demonstrations. Without those gimmicks, this is just a meaningless club lacrosse game. Granted, some of the best players in the world were on the field, but it is still meaningless.
    If LXM truly wants to contribute to the growth of the game, then they need to stay out of Baltimore, Long Island, Upstate NY, etc. and focus on places like St Louis, Seattle, Ohio, and Michigan. Or even newer lax areas like Kansas City and Salt Lake City. If they just want to make money, then by all means hit the old school hotbeds. Either way, they need to include the sideshows – concerts and skills competitions – to draw the marginal and non-lax fans. These are the people that will be a part of the desired growth; catering to established laxers does nothing to actually help the game grow. Lastly, they need to find a way to put some meaning into the games. Who wants to drop cash to watch a scrimmage?
    *If LXM’s mission truly is to grow the game, then why the hell would they go to Baltimore? That’s like going to London to help soccer grow. Or Dallas to help football grow. Or Toronto to help hockey grow, etc. It was a money grab and counterintuitive to their supposed mission.
    **But why a second trip to Austin when there are hundreds of cities hungry for lacrosse?

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