Blaze Riorden Chaos

The meaning behind Blaze Riorden’s Instagram post

By Daniel May

Sep 9, 2023

After Chaos’ season ended on Monday in an unfortunate 15-9 loss to the Redwoods, Blaze Riorden – team captain and 2023 Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year – took to Instagram to reflect on the season.

The idea was sparked by a conversation on the plane ride back from Boston to Philadelphia with teammate and backup goalie Austin Kaut. In his seat, Blaze was struck by the realization that he’d just finished his eighth professional lacrosse season.

With Kaut being a ten-year veteran, the two reflected on their journeys.

“I just said, ‘Wow, eight years goes by fast, you know, it's hard to imagine that in a blink of an eye, so much has happened between the start of my career to now,’” said Blaze. 

He recognized that without the help of so many people, he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in today. Giving thanks to all who have supported him along the way was a tip of the cap he had to include. 

Grateful and appreciative for everything that’s transpired over his career, he felt compelled to include a quote from the song “Two Step” by Dave Matthews Band - an upstate favorite. 

“The last part [of the post] was just saying ‘life is short but sweet for certain,’ because when I embarked on this journey to be a professional lacrosse player, I knew I was going to be living life in the fast lane, and it's been nothing short of that every weekend.” he explained. “I'm traveling every week, I'm on the road coaching a new camp, playing for another championship, playing for just these moments that make life go by really fast. But through loss and through defeat, at the end of the day, I can see the bigger picture and see that life is still sweet, and I'm very grateful for that.” 

Given the heartfelt tone of the message, many people misunderstood the tweet for a retirement post. In response, Riorden took to Twitter to quell all rumors.

The reaction surprised him, assuming people would understand he wouldn’t walk away so casually from a sport he’s given everything to.

Blaze is tied to Chaos until the end of the 2024 season because of the three-year contract he signed after the 2021 season when he won the Jim Brown MVP award.

His career is far from over, and it was shocking to see the overwhelming amount of rumors that he was retiring.  Blaze expected people to understand he’d be straightforward with an announcement of that magnitude. 

“I'll tell you this for certain, that if someone puts this much time and effort in just like any other professional athlete, I’m going to come out and have an official statement saying that I'm retiring from the game…it'll be very clear one day, and I will sit down in front of cameras with the people that I love and the people that have supported me officially announcing my retirement from the game of lacrosse. That's not in my near future, so we'll cross that bridge when it passes,” he said adamantly. 

Although the original message of the post was missed by many, to lose sight of it would be a shame. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, Blaze recognizes how fortunate he is to play the game he loves professionally. 

Remaining healthy is at the top of the list. 

“My health was a big thing. I looked back on these past three years; the most time I've had off between the seasons has been 22 days. When you play this much, and you compete in a contact sport, I've just been so fortunate to be healthy and, you know, playing almost every game that my name's been called.” 

Chaos built a locker room built on trust and togetherness that Blaze is proud to be a part of.

What makes his lacrosse journey most special are his teammates. Showing up weekly to compete with a group of guys who share his unrelenting passion to see the team win at all costs has made his professional career memorable. 

That made the loss to the Redwoods so tricky — coming short with a group capable of competing for championships year in and year out. 

“I don't think one day defines this group. What I admire most about this group is the fact a lot of guys have had success, a lot of guys have won stuff, and then you add in the international game this year in the middle of our season where we have main players on both ends of the field playing for gold medals,” he said. 

Chaos has talented players who are also great people. Like Blaze, many players on the team share a similar journey -  playing lacrosse year-round. Their common adversity drives them closer together. 

“Through the hard times is when you really get to see someone's true colors, and there's been nothing but support and love for one another,” said Blaze. 

The intangibles of this group are what give Blaze and others hope that they can rebound from this setback, hungry to compete for another championship next season. 

The taste of another championship within reach keeps him coming back for more.

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