...go get 'em, Lumberjax!!
Back when I was just a slip of a lad, living back East, I used to play lacrosse. Helluva great game - probably the only real "American" game, if you want to split hairs, since what we call "football" was originally rugby and our baseball descended from a bunch of at-and-ball games but probably principally "rounders". Fast, exciting to watch and play, requiring considerable skill but easy enough to understand: ball, stick, goal. Easy, right?
I still have a love for the game that has survived age, increasing slowness and a move to the Pacific Northwest, where LaX is just catching on. I've even scrounged up a little stick for the Peeper and played catch with him this summer (he calls it his "hawk" stick - for "hawkey"?). Tonight my lovely bride gave me the night off to go play, so I took in the first game of the season of our Portland Lumberjax.
The Jax looked pretty ragged tonight, losing to New York 14-11, with a better second half salvaging possibly the worst single period of lacrosse I've seen in twenty years: Portland trailed 7-1 at the end of the first fifteen minutes and even pulled their starting goalie, perennial All-Star Dallas Eliuk, who was getting shelled.
Portland's defense was...mmm...sketchy at best, and the team looked out of shape and disorganized at times. I have to say I was embarrased for the Jax, and that's saying something since I still remember the fucking child-abuse comic book...
One thing I noticed tonight is that I really HATE the "offense/defense" style of play that appears to dominate the NLL. This involves a complete turnover of players on the floor everytime possession of the ball turns over. It's not necessary, it looks idiotic and it slows down play tremendously. Ted Montour at e-lacrosse called it back in 2006: "O/D lacrosse is no longer "the fastest game on two feet". Field lacrosse middies run possibly several thousand yards a game, every game...surely an indoor "transition" can run more than a couple of hundred feet!
And, Angie? (Angela Batinovich is the team owner and husband of one of the players) The damn dancers don't really add anything. And it's really OK for there to be times in the game where there isn't any canned music, fakey chants and hyped-up crowd noisemaking announcements. Lacrosse is a great game - but if you act like you don't think it an work without the hokey "professional sports" crapola, well...we won't either
But minor bitching aside, I still had a lovely evening; I enjoyed watching skilled players play the Creator's Game, luxuriated in a late steak dinner at the Widmer Gasthaus at N. Interstate and Russell and home to a sleepy house. A little blogging and a little internet surfing and it's time for bed...I love my wife, my kids, my home and my life.
But it's nice to take a couple of hours and just be me.