Volume 92, Issue 75

Wednesday, February 10, 1999


SPORTS

Mustangs spike Guelph

Squash team's a smashing success

Lacrosse will rock you

Mustangs can't beat Irish luck

Competition overpowers Mustangs

Lacrosse will rock you



Crushing, bone-jarring hits, high levels of offensive fire power and non-stop action – this is heaven for many sports fans and they can find it in an unexpected place – lacrosse.

Make no mistake about it, this is not some sort of twisted humour. Lacrosse offers everything spectators desire. It has energy, violence and visual satisfaction all wrapped up in one. Lacrosse is a cross between the scoring punch of Micheal Jordan and the senseless violence of Tie Domi. It caters to every desire of spectators and cannot stand in the shadows of its younger sporting brother much longer. It is only a matter of time before lacrosse becomes the next craze in sports.

Let's face it, the other professional sports have had their day in the sun. No longer do they have the same appeal.

The complaints of fans are valid. The National Basketball League was the last sport to break into the mainstream and 15 years ago it was fresh, exciting and innocent. The recent lockout compiled with the league's intolerance in allowing seven-foot freak hoopsters to throw the odd punch has left the league as a dying fad.

The NBA isn't the only professional sport which is shooting themselves in the foot right now. The National Hockey League is also doing an admirable job by not battling the issue of dwindling scoring. Teams are taking the defensive game plan onto the ice and finding success. This is good for the team but horrible from the viewpoint of the fan.

What about Major League Baseball, you ask? After Mark McGwire saved the mighty ship last year many people think the American pasttime will return. Well, you think you have issues to deal with?

Baseball will never again have a season like that and will once again return to the struggle of holding the imagination of spectators.

This leaves the timing perfect for lacrosse to make its move into the mainstream public eye and the National Lacrosse League may be the perfect launching pad to do so. The league has teams in some major markets including Buffalo, Toronto and New York. The foundation for lacrosse has been built, now the people must come.

And when they sample the goods, most will return. The action will keep them on the edge of their seats with players racing down the field launching aerial slapshots at condensed nets. Steam engine collisions which seem inhumane will satisfy the primitive in everyone.

Fans' identification with the athletes will no doubt also become an issue leaning heavily in the favour of lacrosse. The multimillion-dollar players of other professional leagues have lost sight of the average fan in attendance. They are concerned about a signing bonus, while the lacrosse player is more interested in signing an autograph. For once, dollar signs will not be clouding the eyes of sporting heros.

As an added boost, the NLL is also reaping the rewards of a glut of North American sports coverage. CTV's SportsNet has picked up a handful of Toronto Rock games and American stations are beginning to pay a little more attention to their own local teams.

There is no question there is a void missing in the realm of professional sports. Fans are demanding more and lacrosse has the cure for the spectator's blues.



Ian Ross can be reached by email at gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca


To Contact The Sports Department:
gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1999