Tag Archives: Lacrosse

Tribal Sovereignty means uh… you’re a sovereign entity, with a US passport.

Remember when George Bush couldn’t define “sovereignty?” Maybe it wasn’t his fault. How would you describe sovereign lands where US extraction and exploitative industries can operate without regulatory oversight, and tribes can issue identification papers unless they mean to travel somewhere. When the original Indian treaties were signed, US destiny was manifested with promises that the former landholders’ sovereignty would be respected. The Iroquois Lacrosse team have just learned tribal sovereignty means carrying the occupier’s passport.

The US State Department at first refused to grant travel permission to the sovereign Iroquois because they didn’t have the newfangled, traceable, trackable, American passport. When congressmen intervened on behalf of the Iroquois who did not wish to submit to United States stinkin’ papers, the government relented, granting a one-time exemption.

How do suppose they mean to explain that? A just-this-once exception on the sovereignty whatsit.

But the lacrosse team’s destination was England, and British bureaucrats held firm on the original argument that the sovereign Native Americans required non-Native American passports. Post 9/11 days are no time apparently to permit international travelers to pass themselves off with rinky dink documents issued by who knows what maize-republics. The USA may foist whatever charade it wants on its captive vanquished aborigines, that doesn’t mean England has to play dumb too.

Maybe the British are mindful not only that the Iroquois were among the inventors of lacrosse, but that they once used the pretext of a game to successfully storm an English fort. Is that among their worries, Post 9/11?

Post 9/11 is no time for the pretense of sovereignty. Whether schoolchildren can grasp its contradictions or not.

Here’s Bush again, doing his best Miss South Carolina:

“Uh, tribal sovereignty means that. It’s sovereign. You’re a, you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities.”

Lacrosse fought & equipped by warriors

Warrior Sports
Need another tipoff that the sport of lacrosse is early combat training? The leading equipment purveyor is Warrior Sports.

This photo was taken at the 2009 Jamboree in Denver Colorado, where teams of little white boys converged to declare state champions. The sea of white was interrupted by a single black team, a girls team, I conjecture because women’s lacrosse is played more like field hockey, necessitating much less protective gear. From sticks to heads, to helmet, to Kevlar, every element of Lacrosse gear had a starting price of $120, going up.

Schools don’t have budgets to support both football and lacrosse armature. Lacrosse leagues are sort of the charter schools of youth sports: only those with disposable incomes need apply. If African American youth dominate you school sport programs, why not take you Anglo-Saxon tykes to fields where they can dominate each other without a challenger’s interruption? But I digress.

Lacrosse is for tots who already harbor an innate itch to thrust handguns forward, but have to be taught that, in every useful gunfight save those of James Bond, standard issue is an assault rifle, which necessitates both hands, and best represented in early boot camp as its earliest belligerent incarnation: the stick.

Kids like lacrosse because they get to swing their sticks at others with wild abandon. It’s especially fun, I’m told, when you really hate your opponents.

White Flight from football to assault rifle

Lacrosse baggataway warriorRyan dons the rest of his gear in the car. Pads, armor, helmet, even mouth guard. I adjust the rearview mirror downward until I see his small frame in the backseat. We’re only halfway to practice and he’s already biting down, breathing through his nose, focused straight ahead. It’s the same routine for football, except today he’s got a lacrosse stick across his knees. In his grip, I should say. When we pull the car to the edge of the parking lot, he jumps and literally hits the ground running. From my height he gives me the sense I’m a helicopter pilot who’s dropped soldier reinforcements to join the team on the pitch. There’s a steep hillock between Ryan and the field, but his charge never slows, he ascends like a Cavalry of One, his stick brandished like an assault rifle.

Would an M16 be held any different? The difference between football and lacrosse is that your little assault squad is armed.

In 1763 a band of Chippewa Indians seized Fort Michilimackinac by feigning a game of baggataway, the Native American origin of lacrosse. The Indians pretended that an over-spirited drive led players over the fortifications and within minutes they’d stormed the ramparts.

In a spirit of honoring American Indian tradition, like the harvest celebration of Thanksgiving, American dads are pushing a new sport unto the youth athletic season. Because the first early adopters where also the first white men to hit the New World, the sport now has a Mayflower WASP identity too.

Lacrosse has an exotic appeal in spite of its New England tradition. It’s sort of field hockey gone aerial, full court jai alai with armor, East Coast blue blood rooted with the authentic red bloods, the original old money land owners.

Is that what’s behind the lacrosse resurgence? As Ryan’s team wrapped up the other day, they passed baseball diamonds and could not hold back from chanting “lacrosse, lacrosse” toward the children playing baseball, as if to instigate a cross-sport rivalry. Lacrosse teams are still relatively scarce. On weekends they have to cross neighboring metropolitan regions to play each other.

How many sports programs do you need to round out your kids? Boys have baseball, football and basketball, among the big team sports. Neither of which are the biggest sports internationally. Soccer and handball. Curiously both those require little equipment. They are perfect for the Third World, but imperfect for consumer cultures which have wheels of commerce to drive, especially in recreational pursuits.

Which could explain why Lacrosse teams have to traverse great distances to encounter adversaries. The usual cross town rivals can’t pony up the money for this game.

Lacrosse is White Flight from football. Most schools have barely enough money to keep their athletes in football gear, let alone a completely redundant lacrosse kit. And so the only kids playing lacrosse are from families who can afford the hundreds extra for the specialized equipment. Added bonus, there are no players bringing a black athletic advantage to the game. Like the other equipment intensive sports of the northern climes, lacrosse is a venue where white boys can dominate, and give their accustomed advantage some elbow room.

I remember a fencing instructor encouraging prospective young pupils at a toney gym, about a peripheral advantage to the sport. Ivy League schools offered fencing scholarships, and prospects outside the usual New England states would be at an advantage for consideration. It was the first glimpse I had of counter-insurgency strategies in America’s race war.

Lacrosse may be the arena where prosperous families can let their white boys roughhouse with supremacy, but the joke’s definitely on them. It’s a sport for social climbers, and this ladder is definitely pointed elsewhere. Is your Playstation 3 teaching options trading or first person combat? Lacrosse is real world preschool basic training.

What does lacrosse impart that Football doesn’t? The teamwork is the same, the size differentials are still key. In both games there is only one ball, but in lacrosse, regardless who has the ball, everyone has a stick. If ever there was a sport which prepared athlete soldiers, lacrosse is it.

The sport of real blue bloods was always Rugby. In England, where commoners play rugby, you can always tell the rugby veterans by their broken noses and missing teeth. In America it’s the preference of the prep schools and private colleges, where offspring of the affluent can acquire scars without fear that it will hinder their job prospects because their futures are secure.

America’s white settlers weren’t blue bloods, they were the ground troops dispatched to seize the continent. It looks to me, the same American Dreamers are being tweaked again into service of the empire. The poor bigoted middle class is turning their boys out for real war.