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Hot Pot Of Lax: As Usual, Everyone Misses The Bro Point

One poorly written article comes out in the Boston Globe and the lacrosse world loses its mind.

Many people defended the “bro culture” in lacrosse, some agreed it was a problem, and larger sports blogs, Deadspin and Grantland, offered up pithy responses, mostly focusing on the fact that no, lacrosse players in 2012 do not listen to O.A.R.

As usual, everyone misses the point, and draws ridiculous conclusions. Warning: If you didn’t already, you might hate me after reading this.

First off, the Globe article

Jenifer McKim’s “Scoring Style Points”basically picks up a big house painting brush, dips it in a can of paint, and then proceeds to paint the entire sport red, with broad, messy strokes. It was poorly researched, and for the most part, it relied on 10 year old kids, parents, and people involved on the money making side of things for quotes and perspective. It seems like McKim clearly had a point she was trying to make, and used quotes and sources to back it up.

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What's a lax bro?

Yes, that is a backwards way of seeking the truth, but it’s such a common approach in journalism today… especially in trend pieces, I just find it funny that people I know get so outraged when it is about lacrosse and them, but stay silent the rest of the time.

And then we get to the Twitterverse’s reaction

After seeing some of the tweets people sent in Jenifer McKim’s, and the Boston Globe’s, direction, I was actually embarrassed to call myself a lacrosse player for a minute there. Tons of rude language, crass remarks, some really sexist undertones, a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes, and a pretty obvious sense of entitlement.

People didn’t seem to understand that while they were angry at being labeled a certain way by an outsider, their response to that labeling was to act in the way they were being labeled, and in effect, reinforce the negative stereotype. Will any of the responses sent to McKim change her mind about Lax Bros? From what I saw, I highly doubt it.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if her next article is just a Twitter and Mailbag post showing all the hate mail she got from emotionally wounded lax bros. That will be a great follow up, I’m sure.

And then we get to the response Snark

A lot of people have brought up the Deadspin article. Basically, Drew Magary eviscerates the original Globe writer, and then goes on to say that lacrosse sucks. Magary loves football, and only football, so forget him. (EN: thanks Phillip Brooks, Connor thought it was baseball. Do your research, Connor!)

JUST KIDDING! Drew’s piece was funny, and his latent distaste for lacrosse shows just how close the sport is to becoming even more mainstream. Mainsteam sports fans hate that. As long as you don’t read his Deadpsin post too seriously, Drew will definitely make you laugh… If you can laugh at yourself, that is. And since the whole lax bro thing is a joke anyway, that’s really the only appropriate response.

Most people in the lax world are talking about, and sharing, the Grantland article, which mocks the poorly written article in the Boston Globe, and then throws out some sweeping generalizations of its own. That article still has me scratching my head actually… it’s like they just called out a couple of generalizations they thought were wrong, and replaced them with ones they thought were right, and slightly more complimentary. It was weird, but I see why so many lacrosse people are sharing it.

Lacrosse Playground also has a response post up where the writer asks, “will the Bro stereotype help or hurt lacrosse?” and it’s a great question. The writer starts out talking about the proliferation of gear and how manufacturers are to blame, but unfortunately he cuts this portion short. The rest of the article seems to focus on simply dismissing the idea that Lax Bros are what the Globe said they are. And then at the bottom there is a link to a story titled “Why Babes Love Lax Bros”.

Like I said at the start of this post, everyone missed the point here, and usually in a pretty major way.

So what is the point here?

The point is that Bro Culture exists, and there is definitely overlap between it and lacrosse, but beyond that, there simply is no point. If you think Bro culture will help the sport, or help your company, then embrace it. If you think it’s detrimental to our sport, or society, teach the kids you’re in contact with to avoid it, or value other things.

This is nothing new. It’s commercialism wrapped up in people’s desires, and we’ve all seen it a thousand times before. Either buy in to the BS, or don’t… but it’s not some larger lacrosse issue. It’s a life issue, and the choice has always been yours.



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I could listen to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie talk about lacrosse for HOURS!

I’d also love to see him get back out on the field. So, Dr. Opie, if you’re reading this, and want to play/coach some Summer lax in NYC, we’d love to have you!