4/12/2006

so I was reading about the Duke lacrosse scandal online and saw this Slate article. It's basically about how lacrosse players are a bunch of snobby assholes and how the author is not surprised they're involved in a sex scandal. Obviously this is a disgusting scandal, but the article is lame. I'm surprised it's in Slate, as it's pretty dumb and whiny - the writer (Dave Jamieson of the Washington City Paper) basically says all lacrosse players are jerks because the ones at his high school made fun of him and they're rich, loud and crude - as if no other people in school are rich, loud and crude jerks.

The article sounds more like a livejournal posting, and he uses tons of generalizations - lacrosse players marry trophy wives, they wear dirty white baseball caps with college names on them, etc. Again, because none of that occurs anywhere else in the world. He even tries to damn one of the players by saying poster of the "shocker" on his wall. Come on. Him and about a million other college kids have that poster. A lot of schools even have foam fingers shaped like the shocker for football games. The shocker is about as common today as devil horns. I bet some of the kisd even listened to misogynistic rap songs!

Then he argues that Steve Stifler from "American Pie" is the lacrosse icon. First off, Stifler is basically a clown, and the other characters also play lacrosse too - like Chris Klein, who skips the final lacrosse game to hang out with Mena Suvari and her big forehead. And anyway, it's a stupid teen movie! Stifler drinks a beer with sperm in it and a guy has sex with a pie! Clearly this is evidence that lacrosse players suck. I feel like you can hear the sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped.

I played lacrosse (not well) in high school, and I will admit I probably have a different view because I went to public school in Tennessee. Most, if not all, of my teammates were normal guys. I don't consider myself a jock at all (nor would anybody who knows me) and my friends who played weren't either. The team didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. It was basically a cross-section of my high school - there were rich kids, poor kids, Indian kids, Asian kids, etc, which seems like the way it is at Duke - mostly rich, white kids. Shocking! We played mostly against all-boys prep schools (one of the few generalizations of Jamieson's that I agree with) but besides a little bit of cockiness, they were just any other opposing team. They weren't taunting us with their BMW keys or yelling that their butlers make more than our dads do or anything like that. I'm sure they were wealthy and some were jerks, but who knows if they were any more common than your average all-boys prep school kid. I actually met one of the guys I played against randomly at college, and he was a cool (albiet well-off) dude. He doesn't wear a dirty white baseball cap or have a trophy wife.

This crime is terrible, and I hope they solve the crime and punish whoever's rseponsible. But don't punish a whole sport just because there are some jerks and morons who play it. It's a specious argument.

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