Hot Pot

Hot Pot: What You Do, Not What You Wear

A couple weeks ago, Connor talked about his least favorite word. Now why I might not agree that it’s my least favorite word, I definitely agree with all the points he makes, and wanted to expand on it from my own perspective in this week’s Hot Pot.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read Connor’s article, this is your last chance to before the aforementioned word is used. Ready? You sure?

The word Connor deems his least favorite is swag. Connor goes to great lengths to explain the difference between swag and swagger, and in a nutshell he sees swag as an obsession with looking the best and swagger as confidence that comes from putting in hard work. Again, I completely agree with him, but I want to take this a bit further.

Growing up in Southern California, I’ve seen companies like Adrenaline grow and change as I did. I hear a lot of criticism from teammates that aren’t from SoCal about how companies that sell neon jerseys with fancy patterns, tank tops, and snapbacks – companies like Adrenaline and LXM – are in turn promoting “bro culture” and the swag phenomenon. I don’t buy into that argument, though.

What I do believe is that neon is a eye-catching color that can bring attention to your program, that it makes perfect sense to wear a shirt without sleeves if it’s hot outside, and that people have been wearing hats long before any “lax bro” culture existed. I think people mix up “swag” and “bro” with a little bit of California culture. Adrenaline is a SoCal company, based in San Diego. Tank tops and snapbacks make sense when it’s sunny every month of the year.

Kyle Harrison

The jersey with neon pink inserts isn’t important, but the game grower wearing it is.

Staying with the LXM example for a second, who is the first player you think of when you hear LXM? Kyle Harrison. Does that guy scream bro to you? What he does scream is athlete, hard worker, and game grower.

LXM travels around the country to different areas, plays a high-level lacrosse game, puts on a huge lacrosse tournament for youth through high school players, and throws in clinics to boot. Now if that isn’t positive growing of the game, I don’t know what is. I could spend an entire other Hot Pot arguing why LXM and MLL can coexist for this exact reason, that LXM serves a game growing function while MLL fulfills the professional-model of other sports that the lacrosse community wants, but I won’t get into it now.

Now I just did a quick google image search of “lax bro,” and one of the first pictures is the guy from the “Ultimate Lax Bro” YouTube video. And yes, he is wearing a tank top and a hat. But if you only see what he’s wearing, how is that any better than stereotyping anything else? Is this video what started the lax bro movement? I doubt it, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think this video helped spread the wrong ideas to young lacrosse players. It’s unfortunate that most seem to miss that this video is a parody, meaning it is a joke, poking fun at the idea of a lax bro culture.

beach lacrosse

Me, last summer, at a non-lacrosse camp, growing the game on beach day. Doesn’t seem like neon makes the man, does it?

Does wearing a tank top and a snapback make you a bro? No, it means it’s hot and sunny outside, and you want to be comfortable while you’re having a catch on the beach. How you act defines the kind of person you are, not your wardrobe.

So remember, it’s what you do, not what you wear.

Comments or questions? Sound off in the LAS Community!

About the author

Kevin Rowen

Kevin grew up in Irvine, CA where he started playing lacrosse in the 6th grade. He played for multiple teams in the Adrenaline Starz organization back in the days before Adrenaline was an official sponsor, and played four years for the Northwood High School Timberwolves. Now, Kevin attends UCLA and plays attack for the Bruins. Follow Kevin on twitter @krowen.

7 Comments

  • First off great hat second I never got into the whole lax bro thing in high school or watched the lax bro videos. I was more into playing the game and being the best out there. When people come and say oh you play lax so you are a lax bro then as if it was a bad thing i would say im a lax bro as in brotha because i am black and play lacrosse as a joke. The whole lax bro thing kinda put a bad spin on the sport and took the focus off the effort real lacrosse players put in and not the posers. I like the fact the even ADRLN has a movement to cancel out the lax bro thing and bring the focus back to the sport.

  • To start I like occasionally wearing tanks and hats outside and the occasional neon shirt. I never really got into neon clothing and things like that, my current coach is very adamant about the fact that we as a team will never wear flashy stuff. To me the difference is, if you enjoy the look of that type of clothing or lacrosse gear, go for it. But if you wear all of that stuff and call yourself a “lax bro” I would hope you live in California because thats where it originated from, if not, I would think you are being rather silly. I think the reason some people like me, who truly love the game and what its done for me kind of resent the “bro” culture. I mean “bro” as in someone who plays the sport, wear the flashy clothing and gear, but don’t have any swagger such as it is defined by Connor and @krowen. Any talent. Or personally I believe passion would be how I differentiate between someone who likes flashy stuff and cares a whole lot, or even is from SoCal, and someone who is a poser about the game. If you like neon and love the game as much as people like I do, power to you.

  • @jackmish what makes you think it started in SoCal? Despite all the growth in the recent years, lacrosse is still pretty new here. I think it may have caught on here faster, but I don’t think it started here. And do you believe that all lacrosse players from SoCal are “posers” or are you saying that just the ones with a passion for the game that also happen to be from SoCal? Because I think that anyone who lacks passion for lacrosse could be considered a poser by your definition.

    I’m genuinely curious if SoCal really has that bad of a reputation. I’ve played here my entire life and I know that there are people, like myself, that are absolutely dedicated to this game and its growth. And, like any other area, there are people who aren’t as dedicated. Thanks for you comment!

  • Great way to put it, but Lacrosse is a fast growing sport and you will always have different looks in the sport. Not that long ago neon what totally eighties! Now it’s back everywhere.

    Come check us out at Black Star Gear, and no we don’t sell neon colors!

    blackstargear.com

  • @krowen I did not mean to talk badly about SoCal at all, that was not what I meant and I don’t think I accurately stated what I meant. I did not mean to say that it originated from California at all. In the article the “bro” lifestyle was said to have come from there, as in wearing a tank, wearing sunglasses and everything like that. I meant to define a poser as someone who played lacrosse and was a lax bro but didn’t care about the game, but tried to make it seem like they did. I did not mean anyone who played that didn’t have an intense passion was a poser. I apologize for not specifying.

    I don’t believe SoCal has a bad reputation at all actually, I think California and other states along the West Coast could potentially be the next hot pot like the one that New Jersey, Maryland, and New York is.

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