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Hot Pot: When I Was A Kid…

When I was a kid…

Those words bring up a lot of different meanings and concepts for different people. A lot of it depends on where you grew up, when you grew up, and who you were surrounded by, but the point stands: things have changed! In today’s Hot Pot, I take a look at what things were like in the 90s, and how so much has changed, so quickly, to bring us to where we are today.

From bucket helmets, to college, to box and more… things have changed!

When I was a kid, no one dreamed of playing pro field lacrosse, or wearing a jersey with Bud Light logos on it. That simply didn’t exist. College was the preeminent level of the game, and after that, most guys went on to do other things, outside of lacrosse. There was no “lacrosse in 2025”, there was just lacrosse NOW.

When I was a kid, offset sticks were new, but not everyone used them. The focus was on a great pocket, being able to run, and on stick skills. Even if you did go with an offset head, you pretty much had to use the Edge, which was really wide. Stick skills came from hard work and strong legs, not technology. Brine and Warrior were not owned by New Balance. Sorry Ed Chang!!

When I was a kid, we had to walk to school, uphill, both ways. Just kidding. I took the bus.

When I was a kid, Massachusetts was still a non-traditional lacrosse area. Public school lacrosse was small, but growing. NYC only had THREE PS teams (now they have over 30!). Private/Prep schools still dominated the landscape. Lacrosse in Montana, Idaho and Oregon basically didn’t exist.

When I was a kid, Cascade helmets were new, and most people thought they were heinous in comparison to the standard bucket helmet of the day. Little did we know they were the future!

When I was a kid, you got ONE piece of swag from your team, and it was a Boathouse jacket, which you saved ALL SUMMER to pay for. Custom gloves didn’t exist. Sublimation was still over a decade away. Helmet stickers? Who had money for helmet stickers? Dye jobs existed, but they were often done at home.

When I was a kid, every good team had at least one or two kids who could string any type of pocket. These guys might not have been the best players on the squad, but their stringing abilities made the team better. I remember hearing about a kid on Loyola who never played, and just strung sticks. Who knows if it was true, but it certainly encompassed the mindset of the importance of a good pocket!

When I was a kid, you would still see coaches using wooden sticks to warm up goalies. Teams still ran circle offenses. Takeaway defenseman were to be avoided at all costs. Defensemen wearing football cowboy collars were to be dodged on always, because they were always awful. I never saw anyone toe drag, ever.

When I was a kid, young players knew about Jimmy Lewis. They knew about Jim Brown. They knew about Jack Turnbull, and Eamon McEneaney, and everyone loved Hubbard, Hess, and Massey. John Gagliardi, Dave Pietramala, and Pat McCabe were the best longsticks to ever play the game. Sal LoCasio was the end all, be all, for goalies. Casey Powell was the new guy on the block, and making the US team was the biggest honor in the game.

When I was a kid, the game was different. The people who played it were different. And the culture was different. I’m not saying it was better then, as that is a totally subjective call, but the fact that it was different is indisputable.

Thinking back on the way things were is fun, and the above represents just a fraction of what was normal then, as opposed to now.

I’m curious to know, what was different about the game when YOU were growing up? If you’re a kid NOW, what stories have you heard about the “good old days”, that make you curious about decades past?