Hollander’s Hot Sauce

By Ben Hollander, Columnist

Snapback hats, name-brand pastel collared shirts and Sperry’s as far as the eye can see: lacrosse season is once again upon us during this special time of the year, bro.
Lacrosse’s popularity has boomed in the past decade. U.S. Lacrosse reports that lacrosse has grown 138 percent in the past 10 years among youth participation, far surpassing the immediate growth of any other sports. Yet, many view lacrosse players in a negative light, perceiving them as cocky, immature, affluent Caucasian athletes of the suburbs.
No other sport’s athletes are so quickly judged as a group as lacrosse players are. It seems as though as soon as a non-lacrosse player finds out about a lacrosse player’s sport of preference, his or her vocabulary limits its use of syllables in order to accommodate the audience he or she is speaking to. In addition, these individuals go for some sort of odd hand gesture they deem appropriate for the given situation and end their phrases with “bro” or “brah.”
It seems that whenever NARP, or Non Athletic Regular People, are informed of my lacrosse-playing identity, they are inclined to deliver a disgusted “oh” followed by a disinterested “one of them,” and they display a clear change in perception of my character. It seems like these athletically-lacking types automatically associate my sport of choice with the distinct lack of interest I show towards their NARP-ish conversation topics.
Along with their special dialect, lacrosse players are identified by a specific appearance and are perceived to carry a sort of unspoken dress code and hairstyle with which no other group of athletes can identify. While looking good on and off the field is not proven to have a direct relationship to lacrosse ability, many would venture to say that constantly working on appearance is half the sport’s off-field rigor.
Clearly, America’s fastest growing sport is becoming a lifestyle, a feat that no large scale professional sport can attest to. Though this is an impressive achievement, the general public’s attitude towards lacrosse is unjust and misinterprets the great upcoming sport for what it really is: a sport.
The false elitist persona of my fellow lacrosse players detracts many from the sport and tends to create a negative connotation that it does not deserve. The ongoing struggle between my loyal brethren and the NARP community makes the sport special to its players but unappealing to potential fans.
Perhaps one day, the sport will become as big as the NBA or NFL and expand enough to run barbershops out of business and have leather-bound boating shoe companies strike it rich. Hopefully, lacrosse can become recognized for its athletic play rather than for the absurdity of its original following. But for now, the best we can do is leave it in the hands of the majestic Flowseidon, God of the game.