Delayed Lacrosse Weekend Report

I apologize for the slowness in getting this one posted. I had a bit of a busy week.

On Memorial Day weekend, I made what is turning into the annual pilgrimage to the NCAA Lacrosse Championships. This year would be my fourth year in a row attending and the fifth one overall that I have been to. This one was different because I did not have to travel out of state to go.  The Championships were held at the Patriots stadium in Foxboro.  A good thing because it was closer to me but bad because Foxboro is nowhere near Boston and the other sites were all smack dab in a major city.

The weekend could not have gone better with all of the logistics, games, meeting up, etc.  The way the weekend goes is Division 1 semifinals on Saturday. The Division 2 and 3 finals on Sunday. Monday is the Division 1 championship game.  Since the game was local, I had some people to attend with too. Adam as usual came out from Minnesota. On Saturday, our friend Craig met up with us, on Sunday, various family members were coming down too. I also met up with a Patriots tailgating friend for the weekend.  More moving parts than usual but it all worked out perfectly.

The positives on the weekend

The weather, except for Monday we did not have any rain or any scorchers. Usually the weekend brings one or another. It was a little hot on Monday but I think I was bit a more sensitive to that to a stomach ache and after effects from my Saturday sunburn.

Friends and family! I had a great time meeting up with Mark and his family over the course of the weekend. As always it was great to spend so much time with Adam. Who else would be able to direct me to the place to get gaggers at 1 am? We also saw his brother Todd on Saturday night. Craig made it down and brought pictures of Big Ben. Craig also hooked us up with the Tufts Lacrosse tailgate on Saturday. Nothing like free pretzels, Natty Lights and Bud Lights!  We also hooked up with some of Adam’s Minnesota peeps thru the weekend and they were all super nice. Sunday, my brother came down with his son and my brother in law came with two of his sons, so it was a Tools’ family tailgate on Sunday, which was really special. There should be photographic evidence of that. On Sunday night, before the 1 am gaggers, we met up with our friends Sara and Steve in Providence at a Tools’ favorite bar, the Wickenden Pub.

The lacrosse! Four of the five games were excellent. The Division 3 championship being the only downside and even that was close most of the way.  The Syracuse-Virginia double OT game in the semi’s was amazing.  The vibe of the whole weekend is fabulous. It is people who love lacrosse and show up all weekend to celebrate it. Plus the 10,000 kids playing in the parking lot.

 The YouTube moment of the weekend. Among many, I have to go with the pickup game between adults and kids that was going on by our tailgate between games on Sunday. Let’s say some of the parents were a tad overserved. One of them kept screaming, “not today!” while playing defense. Another decided it was ok to check 8 to 12 year olds to the ground. One 12 year old got a face plant into the grill of a GMC truck courtesy of a crosscheck from a frustrated 40 something.

The food! We had excellent grilling conditions on both Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to Mark for grilling on Saturday. My nephew Joe took the bulk of the duties on Sunday. Special thanks to Adam for quickly assembling my new tailgate grill on Sunday. We did the burgers, dogs and steak tips deal. Plenty of chips and snacks to go around as well.  I don’t know if it counts as a food but my nephew Paul downed possibly the largest freeze pop I have seen in a while. Not bad for a 10 year old.

The downsides to the weekend

Foxboro is not Baltimore or Philly. The ability to walk or take public transportation to and from the game is a major bummer.  Also, the lack of plenty of evening options including Major League Baseball or bar hopping without driving was not good. We had fun both nights but it was not the same.

The construction around Gillette Stadium. The Kraft Family is turning the whole stadium area into a mall/office/crap area. The construction dust was flying and it also made walking around the outside of the stadium cumbersome.

Syracuse fans. Once again they prove to be an obnoxious lot.

The final teams. I hate Syracuse and can’t stand Johns Hopkins. It left me with no rooting interest other than the game going into overtime. Two deserving teams just not a team I cared for.

Overall, it was a great time as always. I plan on being in 2009 and can only hope that more friends and family can make the trip!




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