Sunday, May 8, 2011

The king of sports?

Let me first acknowledge for the record that I am insanely jealous.

I mean, despite the handicaps of growing up in the SoCal suburbs, I had a great childhood. I got to be a ridge runner in Wrightwood instead of a suburban mall rat. I was a pretty good baseball player and mostly enjoyed it. I played tennis and had a ball collecting bruises in rollerblade hockey. All good. But I really missed out on something in my athletic endeavors.


I would have loved to play lacrosse — loved it. But from the vantage point of ’70s and ’80s Southern California, lacrosse was an old American Indian game or the obscure sport of elite northeastern colleges. Actually, nobody paid any attention to lacrosse at all.

Now it’s all the rage across the West. I hope the Outlaws know how lucky they are. It seems like they do — the sport sure has caught on.

Lacrosse may be the king of sports — along with hockey, which it resembles. It’s fast, it’s rough, it’s got a true American pedigree. Heck, it even played a tactically significant role in a major battle in Pontiac’s Uprising in 1763. How cool is that? (Actually, not so cool for the British garrison of Fort Michilimackinac, but c’est la guerre, you know...).

Now lacrosse is a big deal in Sisters. A really big deal. As in bringing more than 1,000 people to town for a tournament, where they eat, sleep and shop, infusing tens of thousands of dollars into a local economy that can really use the shot in the arm.

Hats off to Bill Rexford and Andrew Gorayeb, to Ryan Moffat of the Sisters Parks and Recreation District and all the others who put together last weekend’s Sisters Annual Lacrosse Invitational (SALI).

This is how Sisters’ signature events — from the quilt show to the folk festival to the rodeo — happen. Individuals with a passion for a sport, an art, a way of life, come together manifest something that benefits the broader community.

And for all of us pining away on the sidelines, maybe we can get some novice play for creaky middle-aged guys...

Jim Cornelius, Editor

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