A Good Sport
Many things changed when I first moved from Illinois to the eastern United States.
For one, I discovered this strange body of water called an “ocean,” challenging my view that water only gathered in creeks or lakes. Also, life sped up—with people taking less time to do more things than in the relaxing Midwest.
And there were many, many fewer cows.
But here’s what shocked me most: the prevalence of three-letter window stickers advertising car owners’ favorite vacation spots. For example, I began to recognize fans of North Carolina’s Outer Banks from the OBX oval in the back window.
One of the labels, however, befuddled me.
No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much creativity I forced to flow, I could not figure out why so many easterners enjoyed visiting Los Angeles International Airport. Everywhere I went in the mid-Atlantic, I saw the ubiquitous decal.
It took several years of silent humiliation before an unrelated conversation revealed to me that these labels had nothing to do with air traffic in southern California … but instead show their love for a very East Coast sport: lacrosse.
And finally, last weekend, I gained a full appreciation for the sport. Yes, for the first time, I watched lacrosse matches.
In case you missed it, between the shenanigans of Lindsay Lohan and the concerns over drug-resistant TB, we just had one hell of a comeback story. Duke’s men’s lacrosse team—after more than a year of a bungled investigation, overzealous prosecution, and a cancelled season in 2006—overcame a huge deficit against Cornell to make it to the NCAA final match against Johns Hopkins.
The fact that the Blue Devils ultimately failed in the championship against JHU, falling just short of tying the game again as time expired, does not diminish the extraordinary effort. These were two of the most exciting sports events I’ve watched in recent memory.
And to think it was a sport I’d never even heard of back in the 1990s. I feel like celebrating.
Maybe I’ll fly to LAX.