Lyle Thompson’s Impact
Quite honestly, I didn't like lacrosse. For a long time.
I was a college baseball player, and like most baseball and lacrosse players, I enveloped myself in the rivalry of the two sports. It's not so much a rivalry as it is just often a casual indifference from one sport to the other.
The two sports that share the same season are polar opposites: Faster vs. slower, new wave vs. old school, flashy vs. traditional -- not to mention they compete for the same fans and same media attention.
But as I grew up and wised up, I matured and began to really respect and really like the sport of lacrosse, from its physicality to its artistry, from its speed to its strategy.
That's in part, because of Lyle Thompson. This play from last season isn't a goal, but regardless, my jaw still dropped.
Thompson, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, saw his career end on Saturday with UAlbany's loss to Notre Dame, but the legacy he leaves behind on the sport is just as impressive as the one he leaves on the field.
His gaudy records, his flair, his passion, his honoring of his Native American ancestry are all things that I'll remember.
"I can’t tell you how proud I am of Lyle and for what he’s done for the game of lacrosse. I don’t know if we’ll see another player like him for a long time. It’s really sad to see him go but I’m proud for what he’s done for our program and what he’s done for the sport," said Danes head coach Scott Marr.
Because of Lyle Thompson, kids who never cared about lacrosse, are going to games -- asking for autographs. Kids who play lacrosse are trying to replicate his style and flair.
And that, moreso than any statistic, is the most impressive thing of all.