Friday, August 27, 2010

Going Further Into the Closet

Before the end of my last season as a Gettysburg assistance lacrosse coach, I did something memorable for my players and emblematic of where I was spiritually at the time. I gathered almost all of the lacrosse swag that I had collected over the years, with much of it 1990 National Team stuff, and gave it away. Everyone was on the team bus headed to an away game. I knew my players rather well and I walked up the aisle of the bus dipping in a big bag of swag and handed out gear to players who I thought would appreciate it. The players were shocked and thankful at the same time. Perhaps they thought I had lost my mind or received news that I had months to live. I was following the principal of give and it shall be given unto you. I needed to sow some good seed in my mind if I was going to have the kind of harvest that would get me through what I believed would be a tough five years of graduate studies at Syracuse. I was also going deeper into the psychological closet I had entered as a lacrosse player. I was stripping away my Syracuse Lacrosse and US National Team identity because psychologically I thought those identities would not serve me well in the ivory towers I was about to enter. For the next several years I emotionally buried that part of my history never bringing it up around my classmates or professors. Lacrosse players on college campus don’t in my experience have great reputations. As ambassador of the sport, lacrosse players have developed a culture of partying and hell raising that doesn’t impress most college professors.

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