Remember all those summers you sat in your hammock, wondering if someone would ever start an amateur lacrosse league featuring collegiate players? And do you remember wondering if that someone would put the league around the Chicago metropolitan area? And do you also remember wondering if "a good chunk of [the players] would be from the Chicago and Midwest markets" and potentially not feature any of the guys you really want to see play in the summer because of prohibitions from their collegiate programs or desires to play in legacy summer tournaments?
Do you remember all that? Good, because you may also have the power of premonition, which is good for you -- and America as a whole -- and really bad for our national enemies as the government will likely find you and weaponize your powers.
As announced today, the Prospect Lacrosse League is hell bent on giving college lacrosse what amateur baseball has had for over 100 years (without, you know, all that pesky funding assistance from Major League Baseball) -- a summertime league to help collegians develop their skills to one day become a thousandaire in Major League Lacrosse. To the press release!
The Prospect Lacrosse League, which is the first professionally organized summer collegiate lacrosse league in North America, officially announced its presence today. The league, which will play its first games in the Summer of 2013, will consist of four-teams in its Inaugural Season all based in the Chicago and surrounding markets.
Made up exclusively of collegiate players with NCAA eligibility left, the Prospect Lacrosse League will operate with the purpose of the development of future Major League Lacrosse (MLL) players as well as other leagues just like how summer collegiate baseball does with the development of future Major League Baseball (MLB) players.
Pretty nifty, right? Well, sort of. If you're like me -- named "Matt" and dealing with the sad reality of attempting to eat a dozen peperocini -- you probably had this thought running through your head while reading that blurb: "Great, but this thing has a "Failure" stamp in bright red ink all over it." There's no need to fear, though, as everything is -- 100 percent and without question -- going to run perfectly fine:
"This league has been on the drawing board for over a dozen and a half months, said League Commissioner Joe Stefani. Everyone involved in the development of this league wanted to make sure we not only had something that would truly benefit the players of this league, but also would be able to weather any storm thrown its way from an operational standpoint."
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All teams in the four-team league will operate just like minor league teams with ticket sales, sponsorships, concessions, merchandise, etc. The business operations of these teams will off set all costs to run each of the teams in the league with no fees for players to play on any of the teams.
This thing is obviously rock-solid, pals and gal pals. Except for the fact that the league doesn't appear to have locked down where its franchises will be, won't have any idea of its player pool until December, is focusing on a market that already lost a Major League Lacrosse franchise, doesn't have a host of high-major college lacrosse programs in the area to try and piggy-back fans from, is mixing club and varsity athletes which could have a significant impact on the quality of play that the league will offer, and requires players to commit to the league for two months with the sole pursuit of "developing" players for a league that has been notoriously stingy with its player compensation.
Now, I really hope this league succeeds. I hope the communities support the clubs and the host family model that the league is pushing is a great idea considering the internship opportunities that Chicago offers. However, this smells like a really difficult thing to pull off, and I'm not in a more-likely-than-not position -- right now -- that people are thinking about this league in nine months. I wish them the best of luck in finding 80 guys to try and pull this thing off.