Weather-wise, it was a perfect weekend for professional lacrosse at Harvard Stadium and the action on the field delivered the goods as the Denver Outlaws rallied from down 12-3 to beat the Long Island Lizards 13-12 and the Boston Cannons fell to the Chesapeake Bayhawks 16-10 on Saturday afternoon. The large and vocal crowd, filled with kids, parents and players’ friends and family made for a great atmosphere as Boston went for its second straight Major League Lacrosse title.
There is a reason lacrosse is so much more popular than baseball with kids these days. The sports couldn’t be any different in terms of action, tempo and excitement. Lacrosse is basically a combination of hockey, soccer and football while baseball features plenty of standing around and waiting for something interesting to happen. There are a variety of skills necessary to be a good lacrosse player. With Americans’ notoriously short attention spans, it’s no wonder that lacrosse is growing in popularity every year. It also helps when the Red Sox can’t get out of their own way and haven’t won a playoff game since 2008. The MLL regular season starts in late April and wraps up the last weekend of August. Half of the league makes the playoffs, what they call MLL Championship Weekend with the semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday at one venue.
Located near Cambridge’s Harvard Square, the Cannons’ home-field provides a picturesque view of the world’s greatest University and their impressive athletic facilities, not to mention the surrounding Boston skyline. The team not only caters to children and teenagers but also college kids and that elusive 18-35 male demographic that all advertisers love. Jamn’ 94.5 FM DJ Hustle Simmons is the Cannons on-field MC during commercials plus before and after games with a bunch of contests (think Coach Willie Maye at Celtics games back before they were good again). The Cannons dance team also provides thrills for the middle-aged dads that have to shuttle a car full of whiny kids to Allston and back from their suburban palaces. For those 21 and over, there is also a tent that serves as a makeshift bar behind one of the end zones.
Parking is cheap ($5) in a campus lot and the traffic jam nightmares that are guaranteed at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium are not a factor for Cannons games. Fans have a couple different seating options: they can sit in the ancient bleachers, in more comfortable (but expensive) chairs on the sideline or in the tent area where you can sit or stand behind a net that will save you from lacrosse balls that miss the cage. If you are into local sports history, it is also fun to visit one of the most historical stadiums in the Northeast. Unless you went to an Ivy League school or pretended while you tailgated at a Harvard-Yale football game, this is one of your only opportunities to see Harvard stadium up close.