This was briefly mentioned during In Da Club’s video post on Friday, but if you haven’t heard already, Major League Lacrosse will only be fielding six teams this summer. The victims? The Philladelphia Barrage, New Jersey Pride, Los Angeles Riptide, & San Francisco Dragons. Additionally, the defending champion Rochester Rattlers will be playing in Toronto.
Quick question: Do any of you care?
I mean honestly, did you do anything more than let out a small inquisitive “hu” after hearing this news for the first time? If not, don’t worry, your’e not the only one sleeping soundly.
But why? Why isn’t the fact that the MLL lost 40% of its league even slightly depressing many of us? The reason is that lacrosse fans, despite the amazing skill of the players in the MLL, still prefer to watch the college game.
First of all, the college game looks like the game many of us still play. There’s something pure about high level lacrosse that doesn’t incorporate a two point arc or a shot clock, things that many of us have no experience with. Second, it’s easier to feel connected to teams with storied histories and distinct styles of play. It’s hard to be a fan of an organization that has only been around for a year or two.
Finally, there’s simply more meaning behind the college season. Listen in on a couple of high school players talking about the lacrosse games they watched over the weekend. Both of them might mention the awesome behind the back goal they saw while watching an MLL game, but do they have any concept of where either of those teams sit in the standings? Do they even remember what the final score was? The conversation about a college game, on the other hand, will likely revolve around the amazing finish, or the strategy utilized by both teams.
So what do you think? Are you depressed by the news of a shrinking MLL? Do you think it means bad things for the sport? Or do you believe that so long as the college game is growing, we’ll all be just fine?