Monday, October 21, 2019

G is for Gutted

Last season our tall tough ace defensemen Riggsy and Grace were gradually absorbed into our Junior A affiliate team and were not around for our historic playoff push to the conference finals and not beyond. After a Scooterville Tigers executive meeting the other night I am told we will lose the following this coming year: Junior B leaders L-Robb and (goalie) Naggs; Our fan-favourite ace defenseman Downtown Brown; the occasionally-brilliant and always-entertaining Aggador-Spartacus and… the Wizard.

The Wizard. The guy who is worth the price of admission every game. The guy whose stick skills alone were enough to make me fall in love with this game again - though I do credit that to the whole team.

“How is he not in Junior A?” I once asked an assistant coach.

“I think they think he’s too small and gimmicky.”

“Great. Their loss.”

I am kind of broken-hearted. Have I been in denial that this is a development team? And as such we are always at a disadvantage against the outlying lacrosse-first communities who throw all their best players into their junior B program and maintain those kids’ loyalty through to age twenty-one.

We are a team of perennial teenagers, waiting for their shot at Junior A. How am I supposed to market this team as THE elite spectator sport product of Scooterville? (Yes, even better than the supposedly-professional basketball team and supposedly-professional football team and threesome of Junior hockey teams. None of those teams will send more of their players to actual pro leagues then we will send to actual pro lacrosse. The guys I have named will all have a shot at the NLL.) How do I adopt such an elite professional attitude and posture in terms of marketing when few of our best players can really fully commit to us? It seems incongruous to me.

“Don’t worry. We’ll have another good team,” said my old pal; our GM and head coach; our guru, “We’ll just be younger.”

I don’t care how good we’ll be. I was invested in some of these guys. I’ve been planning how to market them. I’m fond of them.

The Wizard. Well god damn it. I’m happy for him if this is what he wants. But I’m sad for me.

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