March Madness for college basketball, and the Lacrosse Love Affair, also known as the month of May (since no one calls it the LLA besides me), share a number of traits in that they are both NCAA tournaments, and that they are both heavily attended. But the comparisons really stop right there. Simply put, March Madness is HUGE, while May Madness is huge, but onlyin the lacrosse world. SOo let’s have a little fun here and see if lax could ever rival ball! Quint is right up there with Dicky V right?
During March Madness, offices, groups of friends, and groups of strangers across the country fill out brackets by the millions, and often bet on the outcomes of the college tournament. While college lacrosse doesn’t need the betting aspect to enter the equation, it would be really cool to see people everywhere filling out lax brackets like mad. It gets people involved in college basketball who usually don’t care for it. Sometimes these people turn into rabid fans, and they can really drive TV ratings up and the prominence of the sport. The Bracket Craze might be the single biggest difference actually. So how can we do it without all the betting?
We’ll be sure to come up with something even better this year before May begins! But increased betting might just be an unfortunate consequence.
But aside from the betting issue, could that bigger plan work? Could college lacrosse’s brackets become the real deal in the eyes of the public?
As lacrosse grows, I think the answer is yes. Basketball’s biggest draw is that teams from ALL OVER the country come together to play in one huge tournament. It’s one and done and 100% Old School. There is just something about that set up that is special. And lacrosse is very similar. There is not the regional diversity as of yet, but it does seem to be coming, and when it does, I think lacrosse will offer a very similar style tournament to college basketball. And lacrosse’s Final Four is already an amazing weekend, much like the FF is for basketball. Having a cornerstone weekend like that to rely on would only help. Plus a good number of the college lacrosse games are televised already.
But it would still be missing one thing. And that’s a person or group to simply take it over the edge, and thrust it in the face of the public. And it couldn’t be faked either. Someone with a huge amount of influence would simply have to start caring about college lacrosse publicly, and a floodgate could open. The President filled out brackets. THE PRESIDENT. So we need to think big here. Peter Dante certainly does his part to promote the game, as does Jim Brown and many others. But we need someone who is fully entrenched in the pop media world to back this thing at the very leas. And beyond Billy Bush (star of many hollywood TV shows and ex-Colby lacrosse player), here’s where my plan falls apart. Billy could probably do it though, he seems pretty on the ball.
So yes, there are some major differences between March Madness and the Lacrosse Love Affair (May), but I don’t think that the two are so far apart that lacrosse couldn’t seriously trim the gap. The betting issue still rubs me the wrong way, so I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on how it could be eliminated, or if it simply here to stay. Beyond that though, lacrosse might not be so far off from being a pop culture craze.
Does lacrosse have what it takes to compete with college basketball? Or did I get too much Sun today?