(Full disclosure ... 'til this day, all the "Pannell Kids" still call me Uncle Terry ... the highest of compliments for a close friend of the family).
(NEWPORT, RI), April 13, 2013 -- The saying that LAX is LIFE is emblazoned on T-shirts from Baltimore to Bethpage and it is amongst the coolest of slogans any sport has ever conjured up in a marketing meeting. For legions of lacrosse fans, the sport is a HUGE part of their lives. The loyalty shown to the sport by its players, fans and LAX-Moms and Dads is impressive.
I am one.
I am a LAX Dad and I love it as I just returned back from my daughter's Winsor Wildcats game at Portsmouth Abbey (near Newport, RI). - an 11-8 W and she had a goal.
I am also a LAX uncle.
My Long Island born and bred niece and nephews played the sport at very high levels in both high school and college. The niece, Kian, is the ONLY NCAA champion in the family, as her CW POST Pioneers took the Div II title among several trips to the LAX Final 4. The rest of the crew were all-county and went on to play some serious lacrosse in college.
As an extended "Uncle," I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my HS buddy, Bobby, and watch his son perform at a level of the sport very few ever achieve. Not only is it amazing to watch as a fan, it's truly inspirational to see the dozens and dozens of family members pile into cars and make the trek to see their kids play, up and down the East Coast.
Increasingly, the sport is being played at high levels by thousands of kids in Colorado, Texas, California and throughout the midwest, where schools like Notre Dame sit high in the Top 10 rankings ... at least until they played my alma mater, St. John's... but that's a BLOG POST for another day.
I really enjoy watching lacrosse.
It's hard to switch back-and-forth between the (outdoor) men's and women's games and its even HARDER to switch from the indoor version to the outdoor. The outdoor is strategy and spacing, control and passing. The outdoor game is all about patience, working the ball and getting very good shots.
The indoor game is... MAYHEM!
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is as physical and game that exists on earth. The NHL? UFC, Rugby? Forget it. Pansies.
The NLL is tough.
Most lacrosse aficionados prefer the outdoor game as it is pure, as in 5-on-5 basketball to 3-on-3, as is the NFL to the Arena Football League... you get my drift. I find both the outdoor and indoor versions of lacrosse equally fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable to a fan. I hope to get/stay involved in LAX, as our local Major League Lacrosse franchise, the Boston Cannons, face it off at Harvard very soon.
Until then, I'll be making the short ride over to Providence to see the Cornell Big Red play vs. Brown with hopes of seeing some amazing play, just as Bobby and I did when we stood together at Harvard Stadium a week ago and saw this...