I'm not sure what led me to check on the Internet for professional lacrosse. I can't remember ever playing the game. I wouldn't know the MVP of any professional league if he hit me in the face with his stick (I would just think he's a client). I vaguely remember being interested in watching the NCAA Lacrosse championships at Foxboro last year, but that was it. Despite having only a rudimentary understanding of the nuances of the game, we headed into Boston to check an early afternoon game out. Maybe my seven year old will take a liking to this game and play it himself.
1pm. Boston, MA. Trying to talk up the game to my seven year old, I focus on the hitting and the fights we might see.
"You mean they try to hurt each other with their sticks?" my sons asks expectantly.
Fast forwarding to later tonight with his 5 year old brother: "Yes, but they get into a lot of trouble; they get sent to a small box to sit while everyone else plays."
"It's called the penalty box, Dad." He answers. I just don't give the kid enough credit sometimes.
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Getting club seats at the Garden for $20? Sweet. But alas, my excitement is toned down when I'm told that I have to get my own beer and popcorn because they don't have people serving you in the club seats at these games. I also forgot that there are no bathrooms up here. Damn you Vitamin Water. The Club Seats are actually the worse seats in the house at Blazers' games, it turns out.
After waiting in line for drinks and the bathroom, we sit down just as the teams are introduced - the Boston Blazers vs. the Philadephia Wings. The Blazers come out of tunnel while cheerleaders called the "Sparks" cheer them on. (I now know where you go if you aren't a Patriots or Celtic cheerleader, but you have too much pride to become a Hooters girl or a stripper. Welcome to the Sparks!) The Blazers have only won one game this year but they look confident today. The good guys are led by the four time all star (Dangerous) Dan Dawson and the 2 time all star Goalie Anthony (Oh!) Cosmo. Enough of the introductions, let's get it started!
First Half. The game is actually broken into quarters, but never mind, I don't remember if some of these things happened in the First Quarter or the Second Quarter, so First Half it is. The Blazers look ready this afternoon, as they jump out to a quick 2-0 lead, including a goal scored by Dan Dawson (when he scores a goal the P.A. Announcer says in his deepest Barry White voice, "That's dannnngerrrrous." No, that's disturrrrbinnng.) and a goal against the Philadelphia Wings goalie that got lost in his uniform and dribbled into the goal as he was frantically hopping around looking for the ball. "That was awesome, Dad!"
After the second goal, the Wings come down on an odd man rush (Is that the proper term?) A behind the back pass to one of the forwards produces a bullet shot at the goalie. What a diving stop by Boston's goalie, Anthony Cosmo! We're then treated to the other arena gimmick. All the lights turn red, the scoreboard goes haywire and the P.A Announcer exclaims "Great save by Oh! Cosmo!" Even the crowd gets into it. Considering the Blazers record, he must have a lot of shots against him.
As play continues, Dan Dawson nets a couple of more goals (That's Dannnngerrrrrousssss!) for the Blazers while we're waiting in line for popcorn. Just as we sit down, we're entertained by a Philadelphia goal with one second left in the half. Not playing defense is dannnngerrrroussss.
Halftime. More Sparks. T-Shirts and Qdoba burritos are hurled at us. And of course, the mascot tug of war. Need I say more?
Second Half. The Third quarter is one of the most entertaining quarters I've seen in any sport. These teams really don't like each other, as both teams pile up the roughing penalties, culminating in a scrum in front of Oh! Cosmo! that causes the mild mannered goalie to lose his cool. He starts pummeling the offending forward as the pile on top of the two of them grows. We are all going crazy. I think I even heard the words "kill him" come out of my mouth, but I'm not sure, it was kind of loud. Goals were coming fast and furious. Although some were negated by in the Crease infractions.
Back and forth the game went as the Blazers struggled to stay on top. I notice that Indoor Lacrosse combines a lot of recognizable elements - 2 minute penalties, a shot clock, instant replay, cheesy promotions and of course, the scoreboard dance cam. Speaking of the dance cam, if you want to be seen on the scoreboard, wear a Spiderman mask and dance like your head is on fire. I guarantee you will be on the scoreboard.
Before we knew it, we had to leave. A long delay caused by a shoving match and an instant replay on a Wings' goal meant that we had to leave with 10 minutes left in the game. We had to be home in time for the other half to get to work. Blazers were winning though, 9-8. They ended up taking this match 11-9 to improve their record to 2-3. Meanwhile, Philadelphia fell to 1-4. We ended the day the same way we started it. Freezing cold. But we have a new lacrosse fan too. Maybe this will stop him from wanting to play Pop Warner football next year. Probably not.