Getting you ready for the 2012 college lacrosse season. What, the season already started? Drats.
The entire "The Colonial Athletic Association is THUNDERDOME!" thing started as a simple gag:
I'm going to ask you a question: Do you own any of the following items --
- A chain, used primarily to bludgeon your foes?
- A handheld crossbow, used primarily to impale your foes?
- A stick fashioned with a pointy metal top, used primarily to stab and conquer your foes?
If you answered "No" to all of the following questions you are ineligible to compete in the Colonial Athletic Association. Sorry, bros and broettes. You can't bring a lacrosse stick to a post-apocalyptic massacre.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're into violence and domes filled with thunder), it's all true. It wasn't a joke. Six young men died in THUNDERDOME! last year; the trainers were helpless to treat their injuries. Drexel actually played a defenseman 25 minutes against St. Joseph's last season down a quart of blood and with an eye patch covering the hole where his left eye once resided. It was a pretty painful scene. I'm surprised that you didn't read about it in the newspapers or something.
Anyway, the league should still put more blood on its logo. It's the only sensible thing to do.
The league currently has five of its seven teams sitting in the top-20 of the coaches poll: Massachusetts (11), Hofstra (14), Penn State (17), Delaware (19), and Drexel (20). That's close quarters combat with equally-armored opponents. This has all the makings of jujitsu/street brawling/angry diplomatic relations arguing/lacrosse-type deathfare. Which is, obviously, gruesomely awesome.
Aside from the competitive balance of the league, the best part of THUNDERDOME! this season is that all of the combatants are wielding deadly weapons while simultaneously committing vigilante justice with some kind of horrible flaw:
- Delaware: Probably the most lethal combatant. Grant Kaliekau swings a nasty boom stick, but do the Blue Hens have enough defensive wherewithal to stop a blind-side shot to the skull from a Hofstra or Massachusetts throwing ninja stars?
- Hofstra: Ian Braddish is a Panzer tank, but without Card and the rest of his posse in 2012 can the Pride stem a late-THUNDERDOME! collapse again? Andrew Gvozden has seen his share of kill shots in the past and has survived, but can he emerge out of the battle with fewer scars than he gave to others?
- Massachusetts: If anyone has the depth of higher-end brutishness to take THUNDERDOME! away from Delaware it's the Minutemen. Tom Celentani might be the best defensive force in the league, basically down for dueling with lacrosse sticks at dawn if that's what it takes to win. Will Manny knows his way around a tire iron and applying it to your neck. But, are the Minutemen ready for this kind of fight for a dozen games or so?
- Penn State: Jeff Tambroni has three of the strongest jaws in the cage: Austin Kraut (G), Shane Sturgis (A), and Ryan McGarvey (D). The problem is that a three-man group might not have the juice to withstand all of the flesh wounds they will eventually take. It feels like the Nittany Lions may bleed out on the ground in mid-April, but it's hard to count out any Tambroni faction.
- Drexel/Towson: Drexel will still likely need medical attention at the end of THUNDERDOME!, but they won't be put in critical care like they were in 2011. Very much a wild card with a fist full of steel and a streak for vengeance. Towson took too many pointless shots last year and the snakebites eventually caught up with them. Who knows what they'll do in the ring this season?
- St. Joseph's: Well, somebody has to die. No deadly weapons; full of horrible flaws. The Hawks are basically a de-limbed torso screaming for sweet release.
THUNDERDOME! is going to be fun, even if it is going to be a horribly violent mess. And, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Alright, knuckleheads: How do you see THUNDERDOME! playing out this season? Everyone in the league leaves bloodied and wounded but we all leave happy with violence in our veins? Leave it in the comments.