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New Orleans Mardi Gras Lacrosse Tournament 2011

Comparing Men’s League Players to “The Boys” Characters

Ryan Conwell and I were chatting recently, and we came to two strange realizations about men’s league lacrosse. Not, you know, the PLL or anything. We’re talking about that squad of hooligans you play with once a week during the spring, or maybe go play a weekend tourney with. The first: that every team and every league has a certain collection of guys who are recognizable to anyone. The second: that pretty much all of those men’s league stereotypes can be attached to one of the characters on a show both of us have been enjoying during lockdown this year – Amazon Prime’s The Boys.

In The Boys, these various personalities come together to, well, cause general mayhem. It’s a hilarious, ridiculously over-the-top show that I personally would recommend to just about anybody to watch right now, provided you’re cool with what’s definitely a hard R-rated program. But those same personality types are probably on every men’s league team in America. So, I figured we’d talk about the various types of men’s league players you meet along the way, and how they connect to their counterparts from The Boys seasons one and two. When you’re done reading, pop onto Twitter and let us know which one you are!

Comparing Men’s League Player Stereotypes to “The Boys”

Hughie: Like Wee Hughie Campbell, every team has their brand new, fresh-faced youngling. The Hughie is the guy who just graduated from high school, opting to jump straight into the world of beer league lax. He’s eager to prove himself to the grizzled old vets but equally appalled by being suddenly thrown into a world that’s far more chaotic and violent than they would’ve anticipated (“How is that not a flag?!”). Hughie will have his moments proving himself to the team, both beloved and bemoaned for his innocence. 

Butcher: One of the team captains, even though he’s constantly racking up penalties. Every team has a Butcher – that teammate who somehow the most beloved and least liked player on the team. The Butcher has lost a step since his glory days but has made up for it by just being more and more violent with age. He’ll slash the hell out of anybody trying to get near the crease but still find a way to blame the refs for every call. Every other team in the league probably hates this guy, and you probably hate this guy in practice, but when it’s game time in your men’s league, there are few people you want on your side more. Just be careful where you go for postgame beers.

Frenchie: I mean, let’s be honest, everything about Frenchie just screams “big FOGO energy.” The Frenchie probably spends his whole practice working on draws solo off to the side, if he’s even at practice at all. He’s always showing up either right at game time or 10 minutes into the first quarter. When he does show up, he’s missing an arm pad, but he just borrows one from Hughie’s massive Warrior gear bag, huffs some smelling salts, and wins 83% of his faceoffs. Nobody quite understands what’s going on in his head, but he’s always the first one to back you up in a scrap, does his job, and can teach you a thing or two about life along the way. 

Idaho Men's Summer League

Kimiko: This guy doesn’t talk smack. Actually, he doesn’t really talk at all. In men’s league warmups, he just stands there glowering at the opposing team warming up, and you’re begging that this is the week he can finally keep his head and not get into a fight. Not so much. He averages 2.5 personal fouls a game, fights without hesitation, and eats slashes for breakfast. But somehow, he never misses a game. He takes damage and gives it better than anybody else, but you’ll never hear him brag about it. If he flashes you a smile, he’s probably about to drop the gloves.

Mother’s Milk: He might not excel at any one part of the game, but there’s not a single player on the squad more reliable. He’s going to play all 15 games. He’s somehow the spare pole for man down, the decoy on the man-up play, and the team’s emergency goalie. He’s also got water if you need it, Advil in his bag, and a spare roll of tape. Nobody really thinks of him as one of the team’s stars, but he’ll somehow finish the season with 10 goals, 12 assists, 32 ground balls, and have played every single position at some point or another. He probably won’t join a postgame gathering either, because he has a family thing.

Homelander: His gear is all top of the line. He’s got that perfect Ivy League haircut. Based on the photos he puts up on Instagram, you think maybe he’s going to go pro any day now, especially after those shirtless workout videos. But then comes game time, when he subs out for the pole every single time the ball gets turned over but stays at the front of the line because he “barely got on for that shift.” He’ll ask if he can go play attack just for the man up, then stay out there all game, and everybody is just a little too afraid of starting drama in a men’s league to ask him to come back off, and he was also just so nice when he asked. He acts like a showman out there, might even be wearing a visor, but do not piss this guy off. He’s got some serious anger issues under the surface. 

Maeve: The team’s goalie, 100%. Doesn’t bother to take warmups, just hangs out vibing on the sidelines. Shockingly athletic considering nobody has seen him work out since high school, and he smokes constantly. Generally a calm and collected presence but will freak out exactly once a season and deck three guys coming out of the crease, because the defense isn’t doing their jobs properly. Probably played in college, but nobody is entirely sure because he wears an actual men’s team helmet (for sure a Pro 7) instead of his old one and never talks about college.

Ohio State goalie photo credit: Tommy Gilligan

Starlight: Just graduated from college, where they had a totally solid career. That said, they still think they’re in college, working out 4-5 times a week. Starlight scores six goals a game minimum, constantly initiating the offense and even doing the little things like hustling back to prevent fast breaks. Constantly frustrated that the rest of the team isn’t taking this as seriously as they are and will go off in the huddle about how some of us need to start working out on their own if we’re going to make the playoffs this year. 

A-Train: All of his gear is still from his DI team, even though he transferred to an MCLA team after sophomore year. Claims that he would have made it pro if he hadn’t gotten injured back in college and is constantly rocking a different knee brace to try and make up for the complete lack of cartilage. He might not quite be the athlete he used to be, but he’s still running circles around most of the people out there. He mostly fits in with the team, but people really wish he’d stop talking about his DI days and just move on with his life and maybe pass the ball a little more. When he has the ball on a fastbreak, everyone knows it’s not leaving his stick.

Black Noir: Plays every field lacrosse game in full box lacrosse gear, no matter the heat. It’ll be 95 degrees and muggy for a summer tournament, and this guy is rocking his rib pads and biceps. Absolutely none of his gear is new, but it’s not exactly old. It’s just that all the labels are worn off everything, and he has a pocket you’ve never seen before. Nobody knows if he even owns a field helmet. All he does is lurk on the crease and score goals, which he never celebrates. Nobody knows much about him. People assume he’s probably from Canada because of all the box gear, but nobody knows that for sure. Nobody even really knows where he lives. But every game day, he shows up, goes through his own unique stretching routine for 30 minutes, straps on the pads, and does his job.

The Deep: This guy was probably really good in high school, but he basically only touches his stick on game days now. He’s a fun presence on team trips, but you have to keep him in check or he can cause a lot of problems. He somehow has a friend on every single team that you play, and all of them are basically just generic clones of one another. The younger guys think that he’s got it all figured out, and the older guys all think he’s an idiot. But he loves the boys, and he’s always gonna RSVP yes for the out of town games, so it’s important to keep him around.

Translucent: This dude, when he’s on the field, seems like an absolute degenerate. He’s constantly shirtless, wears the shortest possible shorts, smack talks more than most on the team, etc. Every time the team travels, he’s leaving empty cans and dip spitters all over the hotel room. You just assume he never grew up past college. Then, one day, he adds you on LinkedIn, and he’s wearing a suit in his photo, and you realize that he’s, like, an insurance agent with a wife and kid, and the team is just his last remaining excuse to let loose. 

Stormfront: Stormfront is the guy who shows up midseason and seems pretty good at first. He’s carrying the offense, pulling out BTBs, and making the offense click. But as the season progresses, the sideline banter goes a little too far, and nobody quite feels comfortable around him. Thankfully, he moves out of town for work before the playoffs, and nobody cares about the hole in the offense. Everybody is just happy not to have to have him around the squad anymore.

Ryan Conwell contributed to this piece.

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