Lacrosse Makes the Whole World Smile

June 10, 2008 |

Last night I ran into an old friend of mine,  “Angry Tom”, who was seated on one the stools in my favorite tavern in Govans.   I’ve known the guy since high school.  He’s greasy haired, portly, pockmarked and he’s just one of those guys who hates everything that’s good about being alive.  Hates sunshine.  Hates hotdogs.  Hates Maxim magazine.  And REALLY hates lacrosse. 

So I offered to buy him a beer and set him straight about this whole lacrosse hatred thing.  Naturally, he hates beer and ordered a Jack and Coke instead.

Our conversation went like this:

Me- You know, Tom, I understand why you don’t like sunshine.  I mean you have pretty light skin and too much sunlight can cause problems, sure.  But, lacrosse?  Come on, lacrosse is the greatest sport there is.

Angry Tom- Oh please!  Lacrosse?  Are you kidding?  Bunch of spoiled rich kids not talented enough to play a real sport?  I’d rather sniff Aubrey Huff’s jock after a late July double header than watch that stupid excuse for a sport!

Me- Whoa… Tom, hear me out.  First of all, it’s not just rich white kids who play it.  In fact, more and more minorities are figuring out that lacrosse is the most wonderful sport in the world.

Angry Tom- Really? 

Me- Sure.  I’ll tell you something.  Lacrosse requires speed, agility, dexterity and can be pretty brutal at times.

Angry Tom- Interesting.  Because I always thought the most dangerous thing about the sport was taking one too many beer bong hits at the post game “kegger” and getting a DUI.

Me- Well, actually, a lot of lacrosse players have fathers who know someone who’s a judge so they can usually get off with just a stern warning.  But that’s besides the point.   Point is, this is a sport with a rich history- a rich tradition.

Angry Tom- Sure.  Just something else stolen from Native-Americans.  Bad enough we gave them small pox, we had to steal their sports too!

Me- Wow, Angry Tom, you really ARE angry.  I’ll bet if I took you to a lacrosse game, you’d change your tune.

Angry Tom- Except I wouldn’t go to a lacrosse game if you promised me an hour of “whoopee” with Jessica Biel afterwards.   In fact, I’d rather be violated by Kimbo Slice  than watch a lacrosse game.

(At this point, I ordered another round and considered a new tack.)

Me- What if I told you that lacrosse can bring peace to the world?

Angry Tom- I’d tell you to order a coffee. 

Me- No, really.  I mean think about it.  In all the years that lacrosse has been around, have you ever heard of a major fight happening during or after a game?

Angry Tom- How would I know?  I don’t watch it.

Me- Well, trust me.  Going to a lacrosse game is like going to a big, old “love-in”.  Just a lot of really friendly people, cheering for their favorite team and wearing comfy sweatshirts.

Angry Tom- Yeah, and G-DDAMN khakis and LaCoste shirts and a whole bunch of other crap!

Me- Stop it!  You’re being cliche Angry Tom and that’s not fair.  Think of this for a second.  I’ll bet that if, instead of playing soccer in the Middle East, if we introduced lacrosse to the region, we could ease tensions and create a safer world for everyone.

Angry Tom- Forget it, Marc!  You might be the biggest lacrosse supporter around, but I see through that elitist crap.  Lacrosse is boring and that’s final.

Me- Okay.  I hear you.  But let me play amateur psychologist for a moment.  Is it possible that your disdain for lacrosse really comes from your own childhood issues.

Angry Tom-  What dya mean?  I had  a great childhood.   Except for the part when my dad was drunk and beating me with a garden hose.

Me- I’m just saying that maybe you have a bias that has nothing to do with lacrosse or sports…  Did a lacrosse player steal your girlfriend or something once?

(Angry Tom drained his Jack and Coke, ordered another and waited before answering…)

Angry Tom- No.  The sport just stinks!

Me- Well, Tom, I’m sorry but I tried.  I don’t think I can help you.  As for me, I will continue to follow Maryland’s unofficial state sport and revel in the notion that lacrosse makes the whole world smile.

(And that’s when Angry Tom punched me.  Too bad some people just don’t get how wonderful a sport lacrosse really is.)