Lacrosse Pet Sematary: Back From the Dead
To celebrate the release of Stephen King’s movie adaption for Pet Sematary, I figured we would do something fun. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ll provide the basic premise. There is a spot of land where people bury their dead pets. If buried in this area, the pets will come back from the dead. To stay with this theme, I will choose one former D1 men’s lacrosse team to revive. It is my honor to bring the defending 2018 MCLA champs, Michigan State, back to the division one level.
Just to be clear, Michigan State is not going D1 anytime soon. I’m writing this article to explain that if I could bring one former D1 team back, it would be Michigan State. The death of the program came in 1997, along with men’s fencing, when the school added women’s crew to comply with Title IX. If you’re an average lacrosse fan and wondering why the game’s growth seems so slow at FBS schools, blame Title IX. I’m no expert, but Title IX makes it so you need an equal amount of male and female scholarships. At least that is how I understand it. This is why the school eliminated two male sports and added a female one. The school needed more female athletes with scholarships.
Now pretending the dark arts would eliminate any issue with Title IX, alongside the team’s revival, I shall list why this would be a gift from the gods of the underworld.
First, since 1997, lacrosse has taken off in Michigan. In 1997 there were about 20 high schools fielding a boy’s lacrosse team. Now, there are over 140 (Article with statistics linked below). Simply put, the game is a lot bigger there than it once was. At the time, lacrosse was probably an easy sport to cut since not many people in the Wolverine state knew what it was. Now, the addition of D1 lacrosse at Michigan State would be met with massive hype. With all the high schools fielding teams, Michigan State would be able to build an in-state pipeline. With Ohio and Pennsylvania nearby, Michigan State would definitely be able to pull some kids out of the states dominated by traditional blue bloods.
Second, the addition Michigan State would be great for lacrosse in the Midwest. Right now, the main schools out west are Notre Dame, Denver, Air Force, Michigan (more on them later), and Utah. Michigan State would be huge in terms of growing the game out west. Unlike Utah, the Spartans wouldn’t have to worry about crazy travel costs. A major issue with western schools adding teams is all the travel expenses. From East Lansing, the Spartans would be able to keep costs relatively low. Also unlike Utah, Michigan State would not come in being an independent. They would be a member of the Big 10 conference. This would make scheduling a lot easier since there are built in opponents. Plus, teams would be forced to come out there due to conference scheduling (you cannot have all your conference games on the road).
Last, who wouldn’t want to see a lacrosse version of Michigan v Michigan State? Plenty of college sports fans have seen the crazy endings to the football matchups. One recent memory includes the Spartans defeating Michigan by returning a dropped snap for a touchdown with no time left. The addition of Michigan State to the league would provide added pressure on Michigan to improve quickly. I believe the burden of beating out your in-state rival to be top dog in the state, would cause both teams to participate in a lacrosse cold war. For example, Michigan might pull in a top recruit from Ohio, while Michigan State counters this by stealing two top prospects near Ann Arbor. A true rivalry in the Midwest would be a blessing for the sport.
To conclude, the revival of Michigan State lacrosse at the division one level would be a blessing for lacrosse fans. The only other school I could make an argument for would be North Carolina State (but that’s for another time). Unfortunately, there is no real Lacrosse Sematary like in Stephen King’s novel; however, we can still hold out hope for a day like this to come. Just keep putting creepy totems in your backyard while wearing animal masks, and maybe the lacrosse gods will show you favor.
Do you agree Michigan State lacrosse should be brought back? Hate the idea? Like that I incorporated a movie release with a lacrosse team’s revival? Whatever your thoughts, please discuss them with me on Instagram (logical_lacrosse) or Twitter (Logical_Lacrosse). Thank you and hope you enjoyed!
Below is the link to the article I used for statistics on Michigan lacrosse. It also gives great insight into why Michigan State D1 lacrosse was pulled.