I'm really struggling to try and figure out where Massachusetts should be to start the year. In my pre-fall rankings I had the Minutemen slotted in the 14th spot, which I thought was a pretty fair position given the losses of Tim McCormack, Tom Celentani, Art Kell, Anthony Toresco, Anthony Biscardi, and Greg Rushing. That's a lot of production to replace, and while solid components return for Greg Cannella, the ceiling for Massachusetts -- at least in the preseason -- is somewhat unclear. Inside Lacrosse in its Face-Off Yearbook didn't deviate too far from that positioning, slotting the Minutemen 12th in the country. (Lacrosse Magazine is still working through its preseason rankings, but Massachusetts will start the year ranked no lower than 15th on that site's countdown.) UMass has all kinds of potential in 2013 -- and are still, more likely than not, the class of THUNDERDOME! -- but the opacity of the program’s future this spring makes attempting to predict just how good the Minutemen will be a tough challenge.
Luckily, Massachusetts is here to tell you what Massachusetts has been working on in the early preseason. The commentary doesn't answer everything, but it does give a nice glimpse into a program looking to carry momentum forward from 2012. Let's break the video down.
0:06: That isn't snow in the background; that's piles and piles of flour that will be used to make the world's largest cupcake, right there on Garber Field. Storage facilities are few and far between in Amherst, so the flour truck just dumped it all on the ground. It's a pretty impressive sight if you see it in person.
0:14: Sweatpants and sweatshirts = Spring sport! Al Gore and those crazy liberals can't deny this.
0:32: As Colin Fleming sends a plume of warm air from his lungs into the chilly Amherst atmosphere, "The weather's nice too, so that helps." I'm assuming that Fleming's idea of poor weather involves frogs falling from the sky and the sun leaking blood. Real Old Testament kind of weather, where the seas turn into boiling lava and players are asked to run groundball drills over it in bare feet. So, yeah; if that's the case, it was a beautiful day in Western Massachusetts.
0:56: "We emphasize 'Gorilla Lacrosse.'" Please tell me that involves dancing with an organ grinder on a street corner or crushing airplanes while hanging off of skyscrapers. Or did he mean "Guerilla Lacrosse," which involves everyone wearing Che Guevara shirts while eating beans in the jungle and denouncing "capitalist swine"? Not sure either creates a Division I lacrosse national champion, but they both appear to be super fun.
1:04: "Win the groundball war." The lives that have been lost in the battle are too numerous to count. We hold them in our hearts for their valiant, courageous, and selfless service to their countries with groundball interests. Collateral damage in the fight over groundballs is a problem, and the national news organizations refuse to bring this to light.