Lacrosse weekend

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on May 30, 2007

Memorial Day weekend also happens to be college lacrosse final four weekend. I must say that aside from the Super Bowl, I probably look forward to the lacrosse final four more than any other sporting event.

I must also confess I wasn't rooting for Duke. I've been a Johns Hopkins fan ever since I was in high school, and I just couldn't go changing because the Duke players had been given the shaft by Durham County, N.C., Duke University and the American media.

However, having said that I encourage you to read this column by Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel.

Bob Knight, full-time coach, part-time philosopher, once surmised that the pure beauty of collegiate competition, as opposed to the pro ranks, is that the focus is on the name on the front of your jersey, not the back.

But as Duke's last-second shot slipped just wide of the net Monday, giving Johns Hopkins a 12-11 victory and the men's lacrosse national championship, the Blue Devils' Matt Danowski sprawled face first on the turf here and cried for the exact opposite reason.

The resurrection of Duke lacrosse following 15 months of accusations and allegations, sins and sensationalism, indictments and ethics charges, a canceled season and finally a run to the final, furious seconds of the title game, never was about a school some players may attend but don't trust.

This always was about the 41 names on the backs of their 41 jerseys.

This was a team, in many ways, without a school because it was a school, in many ways, that didn't want a team. Some faculty members still don't want it, no matter the dropped charges, the exposed lies and the track record of model behavior since.

"We weren't winning for Duke itself. We weren't winning for the faculty. We weren't winning for the students," Danowski said. "We were winning for ourselves. It sounds cliché, but at one point all we had was 41 guys and our family. We didn't have student support. We didn't have faculty support. It was really just about us."

Read the rest and realize that it wasn't just the three wrongfully accused players who were betrayed by their school, their community and the district attorney.

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