|GRANTLAND.com: The Triangle|
Older lax bros — short for “lacrosse brothers” — tend to offer similarly vague definitions of the phenomenon, but it is easy to spot them. Lax bros display a certain understated confidence that critics call arrogance. They wear their hair long, a look known as “lettuce.” They dress in colorful board shorts, flat-brim hats, and bright half-calf socks. They carry lacrosse sticks, or “spoons,” on and off the field.Browne: I should probably get this out the way now and say I love the lax bros I know and irrationally despise the ones I don’t. OK, go Kang.
Everything good is “chill,” especially chillin’, a favored activity that often includes listening to the music of O.A.R., Dispatch, and Dave Mathews.Baker: They spelled "Matthews" wrong :( I demand an official correction! [Ed. note: It has one now. Thanks, Globe!] Anyway, it sounds like the research for this section was either conducted in 2001 or was partially based on this video. And here’s the part where I announce that Dispatch totally played on the campus of my high school back when they were still called One Fell Swoop. One of the dudes in the band — Brad Corrigan, or “Braddigan” as he is better known — crushed lax (and, I’m assuming, hearts) at Middlebury and has since founded a nonprofit called Lacrosse the Nations. In the lax bro world, he really is a decorated general with a heart of gold.
Others worry the identity exudes a preppie/frat-boy image that glorifies elitism and wealth, and values flash over hard work. Some youth lacrosse leagues discourage any association between players and the lax bro lifestyle.
We are anti-lax bro," said Dan Chouinard, program director for the Boston club team Laxachusetts. "We push character and academics.
To reinforce that philosophy, Laxachusetts prohibits its elementary school and high school athletes from wearing flat-brim hats and baggy shorts to club functions.Browne: “Laxachusetts” makes me want to die. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever read.
Thomas Spangenberg, president of the nonprofit Mass Bay Youth Lacrosse, said lax bro culture could undermine attempts to publicize lacrosse as a sport that is open to anyone. The popularity of his league has exploded in recent years, Spangenberg said, and now counts more than 15,000 players in about 100 communities.
We are trying to keep the message of inclusion, everybody belongs, everybody plays," he said.Kang: Isn’t that a city law in Brookline? To live in Brookline, you have to be “all for inclusion,” even if you name your kids Zander, Cameron, and Beau? The history of suburban Boston and the METCO busing program lies somewhere in that paragraph.Andrea Keough, mother of Brookline player Beau, is all for inclusion. Three years ago, she signed up Beau and her other two boys — Zander, 12, and Cameron, 11 — to play lacrosse after becoming fed up with sitting through slow-paced baseball games.
Many lacrosse players are 'gear heads' — they collect a variety of sticks, using some for games and others for hanging out with their lax bro buddies.Kang: Is this really true? My sister and dad are camping/climbing gear heads and blow all their money on stupid ropes and stoves made out of titanium, and while they spend an ungodly amount of time talking about these things, I’ve never once seen them bring a carabiner or a chalk bag to a climbing bro hangout. It might very well be different for lax bros, but I just have a hard time seeing the following exchange happen.
At Commonwealth Lacrosse in Needham, assistant manager Chris MacKay said he is amazed by young players’ mushrooming enthusiasm for the game, gear, and clothing. MacKay, 21, who is taking a break from sports and studies at Hobart College in New York, said he also is a member of the bro tribe, although he cannot pinpoint exactly what that means.
It is "someone who plays a lot of lacrosse, enjoys hanging out, being sort of lackadaisical," MacKay said. 'Everyone has their own opinion of a lax bro. That is mine.'Baker: That should obviously be “laxadaisical.” Somewhere in Laxington, Laxachusetts, a new company is being trademarked right now.