In the not-too-distant past, you could have been discussing the high price of gasoline with a group of friends and one may have wisecracked, "there are 135 billion Chinese that don't give a darn that gas is $2 a gallon." That statement would now be incorrect. It seems that the Chinese are being given credit, or blame, for the current price of petrol. Now that they are allowed to drive and have access to cars they are taking full advantage, thusly making OPEC even richer.
After reading a couple of recent sports articles from some well-known publications, I have come to realize that the driving habits of the Chinese must not be the only thing that has changed on this earth. There apparently is newfound interest in certain sports that we know little about.
In the April 25 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, there was a nine-page article on the growing popularity of the sport lacrosse. You read that number right folks, nine pages. Remember, Sports Illustrated is not some magazine read only by Yankee Yuppies, or Yuppie Yankees. Nine pages in SI must mean lacrosse is really catching fire.
One graphic in the article indicates that male and female participation at NCAA schools that have lacrosse teams has increased by 75 percent in the last twenty years. One 17-year-old boy from Texas cited the really cool, futuristic, robot looking equipment as being a major reason for the sport's increased popularity. Whatever happened to the old holster and six-shooter in the Lone Star state?
Amazingly, another graphic showed that lacrosse's major gain has come in the southeastern part of the United States. The organization US Lacrosse reports that since 2001 the increase in participation has risen 337 percent for kids under fifteen that live in our part of the world. Too many kids from Dixie are now playing lacrosse. Sounds too much like fire ants to suit me.
Just when my nerves were starting to settle and my mind was about to forget this sport called lacrosse, last Saturday's Augusta Chronicle had a tidbit of information in its sports section that was really scary. I couldn't imagine that things were getting so slow on the local sports scene.
The report out of London, England (not Kentucky), said that The International Cricket Council is withholding its $54,000 annual contribution to the USA Cricket Association until it sorts out its "dysfunctional" management. That sounds like bad news for those of us that like to use the chirpin' little bugs for fish bait. I guess listening to all that squeakin' from the little boogers can make one dysfunctional. That $54,000 could decorate a lot of hooks though.
It really kind of got to me that two of the publications that I rely on for much of my sports news actually used space on lacrosse and cricket. Coming off March Madness, spring football practice, The Masters, the NFL Draft, and with baseball going strong and The Kentucky Derby coming up, the folks responsible for filling space in Sports Illustrated and The Augusta Chronicle should realize something: There are 21,000 people in McDuffie County that don't give a darn about lacrosse and cricket. The price of gas would be better news.