I’ve come to grips with the fact that swag is going to play a part in our greater society, and therefore lacrosse. Sitting in my brick tower of blogademia, I can easily sit back and decry swag, but this time around I’m going to offer up something a little different, and acknowledge that swag is indeed a part of the game. Come to think of it, it’s been a part of the game for a long, long time, and I’ve been far from immune.
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan
During my youth days I had some of the ugliest equipment on the planet. Plastic red Brine bucket, green Victoria gloves that were way too big, and a basic traditional in a white head. Was the gear on sale or given to me by a family friend? It was good enough for me.
Fast forward to high school and all of a sudden I wanted maroon gloves, because my team wore maroon. I preferred football cleats because I thought they looked better. I wore eye black, and ankle socks always (that was cool back then, I swear), and really wanted my team to get helmet stickers and white away shorts. In college, it didn’t stop. I couldn’t wait to get custom gloves. I got white cleats because a friend of mine had done it in high school, and he was an awesome player. I wanted number 41 (our jerseys only went up to 36 at the time) because Nicky Polanco wore it. I was in college the same time as him!
I was just following trends, and playing catch up. I was always looking for the next best thing, when I should have been working on my game. And somehow, that’s true even from a swag sense! Hear me out…
If I had spent more time improving my game, I may have been a better player. I could have moved up off the all DCL HM team to the first or second team. I could have been an All-NESCAC player, or maybe an All-American… and then kids would have tried to emulate ME. Whatever I did or wore would be swag, because I would have actually been good. The clothes never make the man…
If Paul Rabil started wearing ankle socks, cutting his hair short, and speaking in a British accent, half the lacrosse world would follow suit. If Rob Pannell started eating a banana before each game, how many high school attackmen would do the exact same thing? The point here is that swag comes from being awesome. Then, like Justin Bieber and Kanye, you can wear Hammer Pants and people will say it’s cool.
Ok, that last portion might be pushing it, but know this: Swag comes from ability and success. Once you’ve got those two things, anything you do is cool, because you’re a winner, and that doesn’t need any dressing up.