College

Where’s The Love?

Leagueoftheirown

This isn’t going to be easy.  There’s some rumors going the around the playground that lacrosse isn’t a game for everyone.  Not in the A League of Their Ownif it wasn’t hard everyone would do it” sense, but more in the “those without a trust fund need not apply” kind of way.

Time to take a long hard look in the mirror and see if there’s any truth to these rumors.

Our first bully - jitterygoat.com

“Lacrosse is a violent sport. It’s like hockey with no ice. White boys run around on a grass field with sticks taking out their frustrations for Mumsy and Daddy sending them to private school and sheltering their lives from being mugged, picked on, and ridiculed by normal kids.”

- Lacrosse Or Football Which Way To World Peace?

There’s no denying that many of the top high school and college programs are at schools with an annual tuition larger than a small mortgage.  Even so, the growth of the game speaks to its desire to move beyond this stereotype.  Places like Bonners Ferry (Idaho), and Hermiston (Oregon) are currently fielding squads and I’m positive none of those kids refer to mom as “Mumsy.”

Throw in concentrated efforts to introduce the sport to non-traditional areas through US Lacrosse’s BRIDGE program, and statements like these begin to look foolish.  Yes, lacrosse has an elitist past, but attempting to boil today’s game down to that one characteristic is ignorant.

Embellishing stereotypes isn’t enough for the game’s critics, who often go after the athletic capability of the players themselves.

“The appeal of soccer and lacrosse to the intellectuals is easy to figure. No body with any real athletic talent wants to play those games anyway. And those intellectual eggheads are usually the last or the ones never picked in a game of school yard football. They can’t throw or catch a football and they run funny too. They pick a sport nobody else wants to see or play and proclaim it as superior.”

- Lacrosse Or Football Which Way To World Peace?

And this gem from Mike Roche, former sports columnist at Boise State’s school paper:

“If some little league drop out can get a lacrosse scholarship, you can’t call it the next big thing. If you can hand Reggie Bush a stick and two seconds later see a superstar, you can’t call it the next big thing.”

- Say what? Lacrosse is the next big thing?

Browsing the website of our defending national champions and randomly clicking on five names, I found that all five Syracuse players had played a sport in high school other than lacrosse.  Some had even received honors.  Oh, by the way, ever heard of Patrick Kerney?  To suggest that lacrosse is an alternative sport full of non-athletes is simply ignorant.

The biggest question in all of this, however, is why people are so eager to take a shot at lacrosse.  What about the game generates such harsh criticism from people who have never even played it?

If you ask me, this is the culprit:

Picture 3

And this doesn’t help either….

About the author

Gaudet

17 Comments

  • In regards to Mike Roche's comments, the first thing I would ask was if he has ever seen a lacrosse game in person. That's always a fun one.

    Suggesting that a washed up baseball player can earn a lacrosse scholarship and thus lacrosse isn't an elite sport/next big thing is foolish.

    Baseball talent is thin around the major leagues. There are too many teams and pitchers who can soak up innings especially lefties, think Jamie Moyer, can play and get paid well beyond their 40s. Consider that athletes enter their physical prime in their late 20s and you have to wonder how respectable a sport baseball is when there are 40 years running out there every day. Keep in mind, the above isn't even my opinion. This is what my father believes. He spent twenty years in the MLB as an athletic trainer. Might be a reliable source.

    It probably has to do with the minimal contact and the fact that the ball is only in play for 18 minutes over the course of 3 hours. Incontrovertible evidence against the legitimacy of baseball. And I'm not going to bring up the idea that baseball was created in England.

    Back to Roche's actually words. Why did he pick Reggie Bush? Bush is better known for dating Kim Kardashian than being a Pro Bowl football player. Is he suggesting that any pro athlete can be good at lacrosse because its an easy to sport to pick up e.g. the baseball drop out or the average running back?

    Is he suggesting the common racial theory that lacrosse is for white kids that aren't athletic enough to play football?

    At the end of the day if you are going to be upset by a journalist who suggests it takes two seconds to master lacrosse stick skills, you're wasting serious emotional energy and you probably listen to a lot of 30 Seconds to Mars.

    What a goof, good thing he's not from Pittsburgh. Care to retort Striding Man?

  • I played a similar game with UVA's roster, some random, some I targeted. Just to name a few:

    Shamel Bratton:
    • First-team all-state and first-team Newsday All-Long Island football honors at wide receiver as a senior
    • Lettered in basketball and earned all-conference honors

    Brian Carroll
    First-team all-state and Baltimore Sun Defensive Player of the Year as a senior

    Colin Briggs
    • Three-year starter on the football team and earned all-state honors as a senior tight end
    • Named his school’s outstanding senior athlete

    George Huguely
    • Quarterback of school’s league championship football team as a senior
    • Received all-conference honors that season and was named team MVP

    Mike Thompson
    • Running back and safety on the football team that won two state championships
    • Forward on the basketball team
    • Received the Rob Kelly Spirit Award and was voted his school’s most athletic student as a senior

    Need I go on? Just the uninformed minds of those hoping sports stays as one minded as possible going into the future.

  • honestly. i want to give everyone a stick and just SEE if they can throw and catch. then see if they talk shit after that. thats what i do with all my friends. then i laugh in their faces and walk away with my middle finger in the air.

  • There has been a ton of damage to the reputation of lacrosse over the years – starting with its appropriation by prep schools and the Ivy League giving it that snotty air (which is still healthy with that f*ing A&F video), a situation made worse by the Duke Scandal, certainly not helped at all by the NLL (which makes it uber-violent) or the MLL (which makes it uber-desperate for ___________ [fans, $$, players who care]) and finally made worse by tragic marketing by the likes of Warrior.

    Lacrosse is one of the truly great games on this planet and lacrosse players are real athletes. While it's a shame that we have a bad reputation around town, it's not insurmountable.

    The fix(es)?

    Be a great lacrosse player. Play hard on the field and outwork every other team in every other sport.

    But be a great person, too. Sure, start your usual shenanigans, but when you tally it up at the end of the day, don't be a douche.

    Coach younger kids! Help improve play at every level and we will all be better for it.

    Be an ambassador! I was once somewhat ashamed to be a lacrosse player, given the reputation on campus at the time. I didn't tell people I played, because I didn't want it to reflect poorly on me. Wrong approach! If you're a good guy, there's no reason to be ashamed! Tell people you're a lacrosse player and next time you invite people to a game they'll say “Oh I know one of those guys, he's cool. Yeah, I'll go to their game.”

    These are just a few things we can do. I don't have the time to write out the solutions for the NLL/MLL/marketing debacle (though I'll find some soon).

    • Great thoughts Reece.

      The coaching part is especially important IMO. It doesn't necessarily have to be a giant commitment either because youth programs around the country are generally starved for young, energetic coaches who can relate to the kids.

      I know that coaching was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had (including when I was a player) and I found out teaching basic lacrosse skills actually helped my own game.

      • Thanks Crave.

        You're absolutely, right. Not a huge commitment, but it has a big impact. Improving the game and promoting GOOD lacrosse at the youth level is a key building block for the future of the sport, and its reputation in athletic departments everywhere.

        My team here at HomeField is volunteering with CityLax.com to help spread the game here in NYC. Great organization.

  • Great thoughts Reece.

    The coaching part is especially important IMO. It doesn't necessarily have to be a giant commitment either because youth programs around the country are generally starved for young, energetic coaches who can relate to the kids.

    I know that coaching was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had (including when I was a player) and I found out teaching basic lacrosse skills actually helped my own game.

  • Thanks Crave.

    You're absolutely, right. Not a huge commitment, but it has a big impact. Improving the game and promoting GOOD lacrosse at the youth level is a key building block for the future of the sport, and its reputation in athletic departments everywhere.

    My team here at HomeField is volunteering with CityLax.com to help spread the game here in NYC. Great organization.

  • I am unsure as to what the FOUR refers to. But overall the OCC shooter is a memorial and sign of respect for a fallen lazer. This past year Jon Fiorillo lost a battle with depression that ended the worst way possible. His smile along with the friendships many had with him live on each day. Jon was an outstanding goalie on all stages that he played. At OCC he was a goalie and wore #20, hence the front of the shooter. On the bottom of it is a photo of the Syracuse skyline, representing that  Jon will always be watching over his be-loved LAZERS. FAMILY has always been OCC’s motto each season and will always remain to. Big thanks to Dieter Treusdell who was one of Jon’s friends, for creating such a great logo. Although OCC is obviously a 2 year school, the friendships made there last a lifetime and beyond…

    On JUNE 1,2,3 one of Jon’s former teammates and friends will hold a MEMORIAL BOX LACROSSE TOURNAMENT in his memory. Check it out on Facebook, “Jon Fiorillo Memorial Box Lacrosse Tournament.” All of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit a scholarship fund jon’s parents have set up.

    OCC’s shooters are available for purchase from a company Nick Gatto(former lazer) started called Backdoor Lacrosse. The proceeds from the shirts will benefit a scholarship fund jon’s parents have set up.

    Also simple cotton t shirts daunting the same logo are available on the graph tex website for purchase.

    Thanks for reading,

    Always A Lazer

  • Irvine Valley College (a community college in Irvine, CA) also has Lasers as their mascot.  They compete in the Orange Empire Conference, which is part of the larger California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).  However, they do not have lacrosse.

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