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Sunday, December 28, 2008

How I Got Started

As my profile states, I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. As a young lad, my parents dressed me in Iowa Hawkeye garb because that was the thing to do. Everyone on both sides of my family was a Hawkeye fan except for my older brother. At a young age, he knew he wanted to be an engineer, specifically an aerospace engineer. He knew he wanted to go to Iowa State. I followed in his footsteps in my desire to be a Cyclone.

My mom was into sports, but rarely had time to sit and watch anything. My dad pretty much hated all athletics and encouraged the rigorous mathematics and science based lifestyle of my older brother. Needless to say, there were not many opportunities in my house to watch a ton of sports at a young age. Luckily games were always on at the relatives' homes.
I liked the big three (football, baseball, and basketball) from the start because they were readily available; one cousin was always watching the Hawkeyes and another always had the Cubs on WGN. Once I had my own TV (as opposed to the family's tube), I discovered hockey. So long basketball...I will say that soccer was instilled in me at an early age. The same Hawkeyes watching cousin played soccer and lived on the same side of town as me. My dad responded by putting me in soccer. Unfortunately I was a chubby kid and did not like to run. Plus my friends all played baseball. I begged him to let me switch. After the first couple of games, I realized how boring baseball really is.
Since ice hockey was extremely limited and expensive when I was younger, I played a lot of roller hockey. We created our own league and played at a few locations on the south side of Des Moines all the way through high school. I continued playing recreational ice hockey at Iowa State and still play to this day.I started getting back into soccer around the turn of the millennium. The Des Moines Menace were highly influential in that decision. For less money than an Iowa Cubs game, I could watch fairly decent soccer in a great atmosphere. I got to know several players over the years, including current Columbus Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. This also led me to getting an expanded cable package, which included Fox College Sports.

It was on FSC that I really discovered lacrosse. Of course I had seen lacrosse on TV before and knew of it from American Pie (like everyone else in the free world). But FSC featured many games every week and I got to witness Hopkins lacrosse on a regular basis, including a certain guy wearing number 18. This led to me to adopt the Blue Jays as my lax team since there would be no loyalty concerns with other schools (like Michigan, ISU, and Florida) in other sports. I watched them lose the NCAA championship in 2003 and win it all in 2005 and 2007 (only to be disappointed again this year).Those early games hooked me. Soon I discovered Major League Lacrosse and the Long Island Lizards. As the league expanded westward, I became a bigger lacrosse fan. I realized that lax is the closest thing, in terms of play and speed, to playing ice hockey on grass.

As I watched more and more lacrosse, I realized that I would very much like to try it. I bought some kiddie sticks to mess around with and discovered how much fun just throwing and catching could be. That led me to get some adult stuff and find a way to bring lax to Des Moines. I researched area leagues and teams before I began this blog. Now, after almost three months, I feel like I have really started something here. There seems to be consistently growing interest in lacrosse in Des Moines at the adult and teen levels. I am getting better responses to my polls and have a very strong feeling that there will be some sort of men's league this summer.

Thank you for your continued dedication and support. Together we will make lacrosse a permanent fixture in Des Moines and Central Iowa from this day forward. Have a Happy New Year.

Tribe 7