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Why Lacrosse Players Seem To Be Enormous Bags Of Douche

Kinda looks like a big cup.  Wait, did I say big?  ON YOU, MAYBE.Dave Jamieson of Slate.com answers something I had been wondering about. I haven’t said a word about the Duke Lacrosse fiasco, mainly because I don’t think it’s a sports story. In the realm of sports, I wouldn’t give a fuck about Duke Lacrosse, no matter what they did or didn’t accomplish. A rape was alleged, something I’m very reluctant to comment on anyway, and I don’t think it becomes a sports story just because the guys involved hold sticks with nets on the end of them. That’s not a criticism of any other sports outlet that’s covering the story, but that’s just how I personally see it.

Anyway, completely unrelated to what’s going on in Durham… consensus seems to be that lacrosse players are the world’s biggest dickheads. I’ve only known three lacrosse players in my life, and they’re all decent enough guys (except for you, Jim). But from what I’ve seen people saying elsewhere, my experience is the minority. And here’s one explanation as to why:

More than any other sport, lacrosse represents the marriage of athletic aggression and upper-class entitlement. While a squash player might consider himself upper-crust, he can’t prove his superiority by checking you onto your ass the way a lacrosse defenseman can. And while lacrosse may share with football a love for contact, it is far more socioeconomically insulated than the grid game (except in odd places like Maryland, where it’s managed to cross class lines). Some aficionados take pride in the fact that their sport was invented by Native Americans, but I don’t imagine many members of the Onondaga Nation end up playing lax at Colgate.

Still, how could college lacrosse players be any more misogynous than your typical football-team steakhead? Perhaps it’s because, unlike their football brethren, an unusually large proportion of college lacrosse players spend their high school years in sheltered, all-boys academies before heading off to liberal co-ed colleges. Most guys from single-sex schools are able to adjust. Others join the lacrosse team. The worst of this lot become creatures that are, in the words of a friend of mine, “half William Kennedy Smith, half Lawrence Phillips.” In the warm enclave of the locker room, safe from the budding feminists and comp-lit majors, their identity becomes more cemented. How else to explain the report in a Duke school paper that, roughly two weeks after the alleged rape, members of the team were spotted drinking in a Durham bar, chanting, “Duke lacrosse!”

I don’t know if he’s right or not, but it sounds like a pretty sound theory.

Matthew J. Darnell

21 Comments

  1. The way they turtled and refused to help the detectives in charge of the investigation ultimately led to a lot of the speculation and assumption of guilt, and fueled the media fire far moreso than it had to.

    If nothing happened, what did you have to hide? I think the D.A. has something we don’t know, and I’ll be damned if I believe any fucking defense attorney press conference til the investigation is over. And if I’m wrong and it was all bullshit, a coach ‘resigned’ for nothing. Right.

  2. You are absolutly right about lacrosse players. I went to high school in Maryland and to a person, every single lacrosse player was a cocky son of a bitch. They refuse to belive that anything but lacrosse is the most popular sport in America and that they are gods gift to the world.

  3. I wouldn’t believe any politically ambitious DA either, especially since these players have apparently been convicted in the media already. The race and class issues don’t help either.
    It’s one of our constitutional rights “not” to cooperate with the police, who believe it or not sometimes get too focused on proving what they think happened, instead of what actually did.
    Not that I would know anything about that. Heh, heh.

    And no I’m not a fucking Dukie either!!

  4. I would like to say a few things about Lacrosse’s race issues.

    Yes- there are tons of white people that play, and basically no black people. One of the main reasons for this is that in many areas there are not city-sponsored programs. As a result (much like hockey) those who want to develop at a younger age must be able to afford eqipment.

    A lot of people knock the sport for this, but fail to realise that high school and recreational leagues spend basically all their money on football equipment. Not beefing with football, just pointing out that a less kids would be playing if they couldn’t get their gear for free.

    Second, I have no doubt that there are people who want to keep minorities out of lacrosse. However, I would also like to point out that, like it or not, this is also the case with college football (the race boundary for players has already been crushed. But what about coaches?). It may not be as extensive as it is in lacrosse, but it still exists.

    Third, because Lacross is not a widespread sport anywhere, there are no lucrative contracts waiting for athletes at the end of their college/high school playing days. On top of this, high school football coaches will often identify the best athletes, get them to play football, and refuse to let them play a second contact sport, preferring to have them train in the spring.

    All issues aside, it’s hard for me not to believe that Lacrosse coaches at the best programs who have tremendous pressure on them to win aren’t juicing themselves at night thinking about reggie bush playing midfield.

    Or what about AJ Hawk witha six foot solid oak D shaft playing defense?

    There is a little more than meets the eye behind those disproportionate race numbers. Lacrosse definitely has problems with accepting minorities, but minorities have also stayed away from lacrosse because it offers a less lucrative/in the spotlight professional career.

  5. This guy Jamieson is basically an ass. He admits right up front that he went to Delbarton… so he’s been very rich all his life, trust me. And while sure it is true that there probably aren’t any onandogans on colgate… it isn’t as if there are none playing at elite levels.

    On the issue of race, not many sports have made better strides than lacrosse in the last decade. Last year’s player of the year, Kyle Harrison, was black and went to Johns Hopkins. The coach at St. Johns, Rick Sowell, is black. He left Dartmouth to coach the Johnnies. I’d say Johns Hopkins and Dartmouth are on the same level as Colgate.

    I played D1 lacrosse, and sure we had some meatheads on our team… but no more than the hockey, rugby, or baseball team at my school. This Jamieson guy just happens to have a pole up his ass.

  6. This impression of lacrosse players may be true (rich, white, etc.) in some areas (perhaps especially in the US), but completely wrong in Canada. Believe it or not, but lacrosse is actually Canada’s national game and it originates from an Aboriginal variation of the sport if I am not mistaken. There are, of course, rich kids in Canada who play lacrosse. There are plenty of regular people who play the game as well, however, and in competitions inside Canada there are regularly teams representing the Six Nations that do quite well. I definitely think it is a generalization to comment on the homogenous nature of lacrosse, especially in Canada (which is probably the most fitting home for the sport).

  7. I’m a recent grad of Johns Hopkins Univ – reigning NCAA D1 Lax champs. I can’t agree more with the writing in the Slate article. I really enjoy the game of lacrosse – I played in high school, my brother plays DIII. However, I’m from New England, where lax is played by soccer and hockey players in the offseason. Lax in the Midatlantic is a different animal – played by mediocre athletes from rich white suburbs. The players at my school felt they were entitled to everything, and they got away with all sorts of behavioral and academic fraud. It’s a sickening subculture where the parents and schools put up with the cockiness, reinforcing their attitudes. I’m trying not to be prejudice regarding the Duke case, but the recent hiring of Clinton’s lawyer makes me think that they’re just trying to buy their way out of the charges. I wish the players no unjust illwill, but hopefully the mere existence of charges will awaken these players and thier families to the rest of the world.

  8. Do you really think the lawyers had anything to do with there being no duke lacrosse player dna on the “dancer”.

  9. MJD has picked a pretty weak horse to back here. The actual life experience with lacrosse players cited in his post (“decent enough guys”) is a better guide to reality than the bandwagon-hopping commentary of a guy whose only real gripe seems to be that he didn’t get the respect he felt entitled to as “an heir to the national pastime” in high school.

    Jamieson, who went to the gritty all-male Delbarton School in impoverished Morristown, NJ, offers this in his pithy “sociological account” of lacrosse players: “Lacrosse players hail from the privileged, largely white pockets of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. They unite and form tribes in Eastern prep schools…”

    Duke’s roster has 20 players who went to public schools. Two of the team’s four captains went to public schools.

    Jamieson follows up with this damning observation: “Many grow addicted to dipping Skoal and wearing soiled white caps with college logos on them.”

    Ah, so baseball players are different because…their hats are cleaner? Certainly, Skoal abuse is synonymous with a sport. That sport is not lacrosse.

    Jamieson needs to get over the psychic scars he whines about in the story, scars caused by a comment about his gym bag in high school.

  10. No DNA matches does not mean no rape. The finding only relates that no DNA speciment taken from the players exactly matches the DNA harvested from the accuser. This can mean a number of things: no DNA left (condoms used), DNA mixed (cannot isolate and match), etc.

    As far as the hiring of Clinton’s lawyer: while spending a lot for representation cannot change the evidence, it will go far in changing the media spin on the trial. This match-up is like a Yankees-Devil Rays game: high-priced, talented, experienced lawyer vs. bargain DA. More times than not, the talent and experience wins. It’s probably not a fair fight – something anyone who wants a just trial would have a problem with.

  11. Come on, Canadian! Who are you to get in the way of everyone’s class envy? Let MJD and his toadies wallow in peace.

  12. I’m sick and tired of how this entire Duke lacrosse situation is turning away from the rape and turning into an attack on the sport of lacrosse itself. If your going to attack anyone, attack the rapists, not the people like me who play a game that we love.

  13. From the lacrosse players I’ve met in high school and college, they seem to fit into two categories- douches and great guys. The guys who are nice are honestly some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. However, the ones who are douches, wow are they douches. It always seemed to be that they played up their so called “toughness” because they never played a sport that most people recognize as being tough (football, boxing, hockey). Also, most lacrosse players I’ve met were complete wimps, posturing, but couldn’t win a fight if his opponent had his hands tied behind his back.

  14. Lacrosse is a great sport with athleticism and excitement for the fans. But it is upper crust and leaves its players with a sense of entitlement. I too went to an Eastern prep school and got sick and tired of all the hype around lax players being All-American and superstars. Bottom line: The reason why so many white kids from the suburbs and prep schools are good at lacrosse is that they have very little real athletic competition within their sport, but yet they think they are God’s gift.

    1.) Hardly anyone plays the sport in terms of sheer participants in this country.
    2.) A good athlete can pick up the game in a few years and STILL get recruited all over the place. Look at the top lacrosse programs in the country and notice that almost all the players also played football or soccer in the fall, and basketball or hockey in the winter in high school. How many Texas football players, UCLA soccer players, Michigan Hockey players, or UNC basketball players also played lacrosse? Not many at all. Baseball players (like Jamison) hate lacrosse because their sport takes years of practice and is extremely competitive. How many guys from Delbarton baseball are drafted by MLB or get baseball scholarships to top NCAA baseball programs. Not many at all because they are competing against millions of baseball players in this country and other players from Latin America who are poor and looking for a way out of poverty through baseball, but every year many guys are lax studs and get recruited to top lax programs.
    3.) Even if participant number go up (which they are now) there is no money in the game, so the good athletes play sports where there is a pile of gold at the end of their dream. Lax players are already rich and only hope to use it to get into Dartmouth or whatever before that I-banking job in New York.
    4.) Lacrosse being Canada’s national sport is more a nod to history, not a fact. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_sport…. Good athletes follow the cash. Simple socioeconomics. If there was money in Lacrosse and the good, dedicated athletes started playing it, then the lax heads would find another sport to be good at.

  15. Many of the opinions presented above regarding lacrosse are uneducated and just looking to anger others…especially those individuals that enjoy and respect the sport. Do some research on the issues before you present them as fact (as in the initial piece about the “marriage of aggression”). If you did any research at all, you would realize that most Lacrosse players (indeed many of those on the Duke roster) hail from “public” high schools in NY where not everyone is privileged. And, please let us separate the issues…as they are clearly separate. Rape is one thing. Lacrosse is another. These guys were off in their own world, outside the lacrosse world, when the alleged events took place. They happened to be together (hey, you do develop friendships when you spend all your time practicing together…averaging 6 hours a day at a D1 program…and yes, some call it a “fraternity” or brotherhood). Because of this, they will be viewed as a team, instead of as individuals. Jamieson (wealthy Delbarton boy or not…haven’t yet met one that isn’t) is correct…this is not a sports story, but a story about young men and young women. And stop being so ignorant…they all remained silent, not to protect one another, but to protect themselves. Most likely, they were advised to do so. …from a public high school, former D1 Lacrosse player, now attorney.

  16. I can see where one might look back at the recent history of lacrosse and assume it to be the pastime of upper-class elitists. However, here on the west coast we have seen a Title 9-suppressed lacrosse community growing from California to Missouri, to Arizona, to Canada, to Texas. It is, still, mostly a white, middleclass sport, but it is by no means limited to the elitist Ivy League of the 13 colonies. In Los Angeles, Manual Arts High School’s lacrosse club is a mostly Hispanic/ African American roster. Philidelphia’s big MLL star is an african american-John Christmas, while on the cover of USLacrosse Magazine there is an African American with the heading “The Face of Lacrosse”. John’s Hopkins recently graduated another african american Kyle Harrison. He was a 3 sport stand out and Nationally recognized student/athlete. And of course the most famous lacrosse athlete is still Brown’s superstar Jim Brown. Most of the lacrosse players on the west coast are from public schools. They play with no hope of playing on an NCAA D1 team due to title 9 (unless they beat out the east coast players for an east coast scholarship). All those the east coast, upper-class entitlement ‘crackers’ you refer to are mostly white, yes, but mostly midde class and mostly getin their butts kicked by western rising starz. Do some research!

    As for the legallities of the afore mentioned rape case, let the record speak for itself. If you get off readin the ‘National Enquirer’, knock yourself out. I gotta admit you sound like your ‘entitled’ to your massive rationalization. Better keep your head on a swivel, or while your complaining about those snobby frat boys at Princeton and Yale, someone from Whittier College is gonna knock you on your ass.

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