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The Denver Outlaws.
While that may sound like the title of a B-grade western in the same vein as Johnny Depp’s “The Lone Ranger,” the Outlaws are the Colorado-based lacrosse franchise and, unlike “The Lone Ranger,” they’re actually quite watchable.
I caught my very first professional lacrosse contests while on vacay last week in Denver. The Outlaws were hosting the tough-as-their-name-implies New York Lizards on the July 4 holiday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
I really had no intention of going to see the Outlaws during my trip to Denver last week. I was hoping to catch the July 4 Rockies game, but my brother scored free tickets to see the Outlaws. Because “free” always trumps “Rockies,” I agreed to check them out. Plus, I was going mostly for the fireworks and the concessions, anyway, so I figured one cold, soulless sports venue was just as good as the other.
This was my first trip to the complex. I had never visited Corporate Sponsor of the Year Field at Mile High before, largely because I don’t have that kind of money to shell out to see a Broncos team I don’t much care for, anyway.
I must say, though, I was impressed with both the field and the Denver Outlaws.
I learned quite a bit about professional lacrosse that day, including the fact that professional lacrosse exists.
The guy sitting in front of me (I never caught his name, unfortunately) had plenty of useful tips to the uninitiated spectator, including telling me that the Outlaws were going to be well represented at the upcoming Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game (again, something I didn’t know existed).
The MLL is apparently not new, having been around for more than a decade.
On July 4, the Outlaws broke a couple of records. First, they became the first MLL team to start the season 10-0 with their 16-7 de-tailing of the Lizards — the Lizards’ defense had Mack-truck sized gaps in it throughout the contest.
Second, the Outlawas broke the single-game attendance record in MLL history. In all, 31,019 fans showed up, although I’m guessing most of the fans were there for the rather impressive fireworks show that followed.
For those who don’t know much about lacrosse (I admit, I still don’t), it’s something of a cross (crosse?) between soccer and hockey, with a little bit of two guys beating each other up with clubs tossed in for good measure.
I’m still not entirely clear on all the rules, but you are trying to throw a ball with a basket connected to a long pole into your opponent’s goal. Also, you get to hit your opponent with your stick if he has the ball.
My final verdict: while the concessions sucked (avoid the nachos and popcorn at all costs) it was good fun and a good deal more interesting than I thought it would be going in.
Unlike "The Lone Ranger."