Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I have a confession...

I confess - I am an lacrosse junkie. If there was a 12 step program I'd avoid it. I love to watch lacrosse!

This time of year I rearrange work schedules to accomodate my addiction. I contemplate travel times to ensure I won't miss a minute of action on the field. Our vehicle is ready for whatever weather we encounter. We have stadium seats for bleachers, chairs for fields, boots, coats & blankets for warmth, umbrellas for moisture and sunscreen... because I'm eternally optimistic.

My camera batteries are always charged; memory cards, lenses and monopod packed and ready to travel. I vow not to miss a single shot!

I am not a crazed fan. I don't hollar at the refs (thought I don't always agree) and I dislike the fans who shout disparaging comments to anyone on the field. I do my fair share of shouting on the sidelines - my presence is known - but encouraging words only - a whoop when a goal is scored - a silent prayer when someone goes down hard - and a delightful cheer when the guys rally.

If you aren't familiar with the sport, lacrosse was originally played by Native Americans. It is a physical, action-packed game, set up similar to soccer; goals, slashing, penalties like hockey; hard hits like football. Instead of using your hands or feet the small hard ball is maneuvered up and down the field using sticks with net filled heads. The players are protected with helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads and gloves. The only obvious illegal hits are the ones to the helmet or above the shoulder - otherwise players are fair game.

When we visited this state prior to our move, our sons saw lacrosse players at one of the high schools and announced they too would be playing when we were living here. They were true to their word.

We began by faithfully sitting on the sidelines watching Matt's games. I couldn't help but cringe while he stood in the goal catching the balls being flung at him. It's not uncommon for those shots to travel between 80-90 mph. The only thing I would do in that six foot box is duck! After Matt finished school, we maintained our designated sideline position watching Krieg.

We've sat through rain, sleet and scalding temperatures. There is something about the sound of contact made when the stick smacks into the chest of the opponent, or the whoosh as the player runs down the sideline with two opponents on his heels. I hear the whistle of the referee and feel my pulse race.

Today Krieg is playing at the college level. He has a great reputation on and off the field. Imagine our daughter's surprise when the coach from U of I came into her work and asked her what he would be able to do to convince her little brother to transfer north from the local collegiate team. We are loyal to Vandal Gold!

Yes, I confess. I'm addicted to lacrosse. On the other hand, if you are looking for me on the weekend I'm fairly easy to locate!

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