It’s Ok To Miss Lacrosse
By Mike Simon | Apr 21, 2020
It’s been over a month since college lacrosse was canceled. At first, like many others, I questioned why teams and leagues were opting to temporarily suspend or cancel their season. There were only a few hundred Coronavirus cases reported nationwide when the first major college league, the Ivy League, decided to cancel their season and at the time, that decision felt rash to me. After all, other recent viruses like MERS, SARS, and H1N1 felt like little more than tiny blips in the US news cycle. So maybe it's understandable that the lacrosse community didn’t fully grasp the gravity of the situation.
But slowly the reality of the pandemic set in. The impacts of COVID-19 would be far more devastating and widespread than canceled sports seasons. Unemployment has skyrocketed, our economy has stalled and families are losing loved ones. Doctors, nurses and other essential employees on the front lines of the hardest-hit regions are fighting what must feel like a losing battle. Surrounded by so much gloom and doom, it's hard to remain optimistic. In fact, when I first found myself daydreaming about stepping onto the field again, it was a sense of guilt that struck me. How could I be thinking about lacrosse at a time like this?
At a time when the country is collectively sheltering in place, we have little left to do but reflect on happier times and look forward to brighter days. When I think back to how different life was a year ago, I am reminded of the nervous excitement that buzzed among players as we headed into the inaugural season of the Premier Lacrosse League. For this 10-year veteran, there was an unfamiliar sensation of uncertainty. Every lacrosse club was essentially an expansion team, which meant that team dynamics and roles were still unrealized. As the season got underway, rosters settled, team identities were established, and the drama of the PLL unfolded. Each week heroes emerged, feuds were ignited, and some players, who had high hopes at the onset of the season found themselves sidelined. For what seemed like the first time in my memory, the greater lacrosse community was captivated by the spectacle of professional lacrosse. 2019 was one of my favorite seasons playing professional lacrosse, and the anticipation leading into the 2020 season is palpable.
However, recently the PLL announced it would be postponing the start of the 2020 season. While not unexpected, it reminds us of the drama and storylines that accompany playing in a professional sports league are inconsequential compared to these unprecedented times. Even still, the light at the end of my tunnel is getting to suit up again with my Archers LC teammates. While it's important to remain aware of how devastating the virus continues to be for millions of Americans, it is equally important to maintain our conviction that this shall pass. It is hope and optimism that will ultimately guide each individual through their own personal storm. Our visions of returning to normalcy are not limited to lacrosse or even sports for that matter. It's our desire to resume our careers, to rekindle relationships, and to visit public places. So even when surrounded by so much bleakness, just remember that it’s okay to miss lacrosse.