The Gold Standard

It seemed like only yesterday Michigan has adding to its streak of quarterfinal losses in the tournament. I admit to rooting against them. It was like rooting against Notre Dame football during the last two years. I was curious to see how low a storied a program could go. What was the point of all the hard work, all the booster money, all cheerleaders with the borderline manly voices (maybe its the acoustics in historic Oosterbaan Fieldhouse), and the ridiculous custom Warrior gloves that only they had, if they couldn’t win two games in a row when it really mattered?

Things have certainly changed in a hurry for the Wolverines. How about their first national championship last  year? How about a 28 game winning streak heading into the weekend? How about having the first MCLA player drafted by the MLL? Not bad at all. Suddenly all that booster money, all the player dues, all the sponsor dollars, all the time in the gym, all the time watching game is paying off and have to ask myself, is it possible for them to go wire to wire two years in a row? Has that ever happened in sports? Two undefeated seasons back to back is the stuff of my NCAA Football dynasty on Xbox 360 but not real life, especially not club lacrosse.

I feel like I’m losing my mind saying this, but not only would I not be surprised but I believe they will finish the season undefeated.

Watch the video against BYU a team that beat D1 Air Force earlier this year and everyone flipped out. They beat BYU another team on the verge of D1 fame whose lacrosse budget is probably twice the size of the D1 baseball budget as well. They beat BYU and they looked bored silly doing it, like their season doesn’t start until the semi finals in Denver.

I don’t mean to suggest they don’t respect their opponent or they have a sense of self entitlement because I know damn well after 7 early exits in the tournament and only one national championship and after losing the senior class that they lost you couldn’t possibly put on the “M” jersey and have a sense of entitlement.

They look bored because they expect to win.

They look bored after ripping an overhand bouncer because they expect it to go in. No surprises.

“My confidence comes from my preparation” – Ben Rubeor

Well, Jesus, how hard are the Wolverines preparing?

At the beginning of the season I was contemplating creating a third division of MCLA teams for teams that either are working towards going D1 and/or teams that charged a certain amount of player dues. I thought it wasn’t fair to teams that had $800 player dues, a part time coach, limited alumni support etc. I thought let’s create this super division of probably 7 teams and let them fight out against each other, throw in some D3 teams and you’ve got yourself a very competitive season. No more 33-8 scores.

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking how do we get Pitt lacrosse to Michigan’s and BYU’s and Minnesota Duluth’s level. And I realized if we had this super division of teams I wouldn’t be thinking of improving Pitt to Michigan’s level but rather Georgia’s or Utah’s or some other team that isn’t a national title contender, no offense guys.

My super division would be stunting the growth the of the MCLA because I didn’t want to lose to Michigan in the CCLA tournament by 20. Suddenly the creme of the crop, the guiding light would be missing.

The MCLA is so much more beyond the games that are actually played because so many people have a hand in accomplishing every season. It’s something we need to embrace and continue to push forward. If we can go from a “sports park” in Minnesota to a MLS soccer stadium in three years we can continue to move our league forward. And we need teams like Michigan and BYU to show us the way, to carry the cross while other teams catch up.

I can only hope they remember my kind words if we meet in the CCLA tournament.


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