Blogfightin' The Rock

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We are apparently throwing lacrosse mud.

I took off on a trip Thursday, but before I did I wrote about Penn State’s newest lacrosse recruits and apparently hurt some feelings.

A Michigan blogger went on a thousand word rank about how Bill Plaschke I am but provided almost nothing in the way of links or even accurate statements. The whole spark of last week’s post was to call out BWI for a comment that was no where close to true about the Brother Rice (MI) High School lacrosse team. The spark of his whole post was that I was right:

So the Warriors didn’t finish this year #1 in the nation. BWI regrets the error, since the #1 ranking for Rice was not this year, but last year. And the year before. And the year before that. Yes, until this year, Rice was 3-years running considered the best lacrosse team in the nation. BSD: "Geekness aside: only historians in the great state of Alabama would ever consider Brother Rice a national champion."

On what planet did this happen?

Other than this self promoting, unreferenced photo from the Brother Rice website, there isn’t any evidence any of this is even close to true. The year the school Bama’d themselves they didn’t play a single team outside of the Midwest. LaxPower ranked them 15th that year and the human poll on the site ranked them 14th. The explanation is probably going to be along the lines of a random media endorsement, but if that is the case no one else agrees.

As for the two years before that: VB is talking total nonsense. In 2007 they lost 10-3 to a Columbus team in the annual MSLA tournament and were listed on LaxPower at #32; the humans said #33. The year before they lost three games, all to teams in Ohio, and besides there were four undefeated teams from NY and MD that year. The human poll slotted them at #42. At no point did they ever beat a team from out east. I have no frickin’ clue where he’s pulling those unlinked #1 rankings.

Black Shoe Diaries pointed out the error in this statement by pointing out that Rice finished #21 in a year-end power poll.

Actually I said they finished #31, and in the time it took you to not look at that they actually dropped to #33…see:

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Also, KevinHD, you may have heard of Warrior Lacrosse (for those who aren’t familiar, it’s the largest (only?) reputable manufacturer of lacrosse gear)....Warrior Lacrosse was founded by a Brother Rice alumnus, and is based in Warren, Michigan. Brother Rice is indeed a lacrosse school, despite being some 500 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

How Warrior became the "only" reputable lacrosse manufacturer is beyond me when you consider STX is the exclusive supplier of the US National Team; a company not long ago purchased by Nike because of its brand recognition. It also happen to be founded out east, in Baltimore. Brine is also at least an equal player in all of this, founded awful close to the Atlantic, and also a family friend of Cascade, the company that makes everyone's helmets, which is HQ'd in New York. Why this has anything to do with anything I don't know, but the idea that Warrior is the only reputable manufacturer of lacrosse gear is kind of asinine and besides a stupid way to claim a talent advantage.

Black Shoe Diaries says that there’s no way Rice possible could put out enough prospects to fill a full team....The least you could have done was look at THE TEAM WHO WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, for god’s sake. The National Champions from Syracuse have three players from Michigan on their roster.

Fine, you want me to do your work for you? Roster spots of three eastern elite power-programs (college names in bold) by state of origin:

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Anything standing out here? You made me look at rosters I didn't want to but you still don't have a point. There may be three Michigan players on Syracuse, but there are twelve times that from the combined NY, NJ, Conn. area. Maryland recruited as many players from the Great Lakes State as they did from Nevada and, somehow, Australia. Virginia has more players from Ontario than they do from Michigan (because one > zero).

If you want to have your own fun with pivots, go filter out how many kids from the midwest were on the 2008 National U-19 team.

Brother Rice’s team in 2009 has 13 players committed or signed to play with Division 1 schools (sadly, the source for this is an article in the Oakland Press that I read in an actual newspaper, and can’t find in a quick search of the internets). So, Brother Rice has more Division-1 players than a Division-1 team. Way to do the homework before running your mouth, Kev.

Uh, what lacrosse team at any level have you ever seen roster 13 players? I have no idea what this even means. I do have questions, though: is what you are saying even true? Because a lot of what was in the post isn’t. What schools did these kids go to? How many of those schools made the NCAA tournament?  This is why you link things...

When I "ran my mouth" last week I said UM needs major east coast talent to fill a competitive D1 team; at no point is this refuted with anything worth reading.

The truth of the matter is, if the Wolverines were to make the jump to varsity at some point in the near future, they’d be well-positioned….[T]he team would have the most financially-stable athletic department in the nation backing it….

You hear this all the time from name brand schools but the facts don’t support the logic: if it were as easy as being rich I suspect Penn State, Ohio State and most certainly Notre Dame would have figured out a way to at least compete with the puny pockets of Johns Hopkins and Syracuse. And Oklahoma State would have won the last seven BCS Championships.

My point was very clear: Michigan cannot compete at the D1 level on the backs of Michigan players.  Look at high school lacrosse, look at the rosters of elite teams, and look at where midwest schools are picking up most of their players.  It's hard to compete with the traditionals in college lacrosse and don't get so cranky when I say Michigan isn't going to be able to do it with local product.

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