Saturday, August 28, 2010

We Will Be Judged By the Least in Our Community

Let me explain a little more to those who you who wonder why I became a closet lacrosse player the year I entered a doctoral program in history and returned to Syracuse University where I was an undergrad and student athlete. I've seen my share of teammates at all levels who played high and or hung over on various legal and illegal substances and still played well. I often wondered just how much better they would have been if they were detoxed and in the best possible shape; I hear that Rugby has a similar culture as lacrosse. Not sure how the players coming up today are compared to my playing day in this regard. From what I’ve heard about drug use in high schools and recent heroin overdoses in my own home county, it sounds like the situation is worse. But then again, I am not sure because the college players today are much bigger, faster, and stronger and on rigorous workout routines-perhaps they realize that the abuse of booze and drugs are detrimental to how they play. When I played, I'd seen my share of guys who seemed to have serious drinking and drug problems. It seemed acceptable in the lacrosse community because that was how lacrosse culture and folks bragged about friends and teammates who played well without much sleep and too much of "a good thing the night before." As a player, I thrived on fourth quarter situations in which the partying often caught up to the guy I was covering and I would jump on them like white on rice because chose not to live my life that way and being in shape gave me an advantage. So I hid all association with the lacrosse community for about eight years starting in the fall of 1992 because I felt that the actions of some of members were a liability for me. If you’re a lacrosse person you know how you feel when someone in our community messes up and that makes it into the national news cycle. Say what you will, but we will always be judged buy the perceived negative behavior of the least in our community.

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